I am in Dallas this week, so thankful to be here with my dear ol’ dad.
He no longer knows who I am, but it seems he knows that he should know me, and it makes me sad seeing his distress about forgetting.
Yet he continues to be sweet, funny, and generous, and his prayers are precious.
Oh, how, I thank God for him.
I also thank God for the presence of Dad’s New Wife. NW has had this position for over five years and she is doing a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious job!
That is the best word I can think of to describe her.
NW is good for Dad.
Driving him around in the car, pushing him around in his chair, pulling him up out of the pool or out of self-pity, cooking for him, eating with him, sitting by him, listening to him, hugging, teasing, complimenting him, playing the piano with him, singing and laughing and swimming and sleeping and praying with him.
AND: organizing his world: the caregivers, attendants, visitors, doctors, and his many ‘friends’, as Dad calls most of us.
It’s a lot!
And NW does it with a happy heart.
What a servant she is!
It was in December, eight years ago, that my mother died.
Jake and I were living in Ethiopia, but I was in Texas the last weekend of her life (what a God-blessed gift!) and after the funeral, sitting in a quiet corner downstairs, NW and I were talking.
(Of course, we didn’t know then she would become Dad’s NW.)
So, we were chatting and she asked me when were we going back to Ethiopia.
I said I didn’t want to go back. I wanted to live in the US nearer to Dad.
As she questioned and listened, I felt a clarity, a release in my spirit. I began to know that even though the camp-building project was not completed, our time in Ethiopia was done.
A God-blessed conversation.
Jake felt the same way so we went to Ethiopia for one month, to say goodbye.
Shortly after we’d arrived back at Langano, two of the staff invited us over for dinner.
That evening, Y., the camp cook, and E., the program director, welcomed us at the door, led us to our chairs, and knelt in front of us.
In simple English, E. told us they wanted to wash our feet.
If I remember correctly, he said it was their custom, to wash the feet of the grieving person, to give the message: You are not alone. We are here to serve you, to help you.
A God-blessed message.
One year later, E. became Son-in-law #3.
What a servant he is!
And my Dad.
In the last decades of his working life, his business card read “Andy Horner, CSO.”
That stood for “Chief Servant Officer.”
What a servant he was.
And he still is.
Even though his body and mind are weak and his spirit gets tired and discouraged, his lifelong desire to give and serve and help is evident.
He embodies the foot-washing message, as does NW and E.
He is like Jesus, the Humble Foot-washer, the greatest Servant of all, who says:
You are not alone. I am here to serve you, to help you.
This is a God-blessed moment for me, remembering Jesus.
Thank you for reading my story.