The time spent honoring John’s parents on Thanksgiving Day was everything I had hoped it would be. It took us hours to read the greetings, well wishes, and rememberances sent in from people whose lives they have touched. Not to crow too loudly (ahem, ahem) but I think Dear Hubby’s letter was the most touching of them all and I have asked his permission to post it here. Just to be clear, neither one of us knew what the other was writing. John just said that he asked the Lord to show him what to write.
You have modeled true patience as you worked on the farm. Dealing with difficult machinery repairs or setbacks with quiet diligence and patience you displayed a determination that would not give up in tough situations. You have always been gracious in your speech, avoiding pettiness, and been faithful in taking us kids to church. You have modeled leadership in both spiritual and temporal endeavors by taking leadership roles in church, community, and agricultural organizations. Your service in the Navy exemplified your selflessness and true sacrifice. I remember a 6th grade sports banquet that you sat at the head table with the coach and principal. After the banquet, the coach told me “I would do well to be like you.” I thank you for the opportunity to become part of the farming operation. You took care of a growing hog business when I was away at school. Your willingness as a business partner has made it possible for me to continue on in the family farm. Without you and mom’s help in so many ways over the years I don’t know if I could have kept the farm intact through the years of low hog prices.
You instilled in us kids a desire to redeem the time, using each precious moment for worthy accomplishment. The principle of delayed gratification, trading a moment’s temporal enjoyment for a grander achievement later which would better serve us in our future roles in life. Who can forget the reference to the “workhouse on the hill”? The term was not as much a humorous reference to the determined work pace which you exemplified, but an intuitive acknowledgement that nothing good comes without work and sacrifice. I remember well your admonition to “save your money, you will need it for college”. You modeled the principle of “waste not want not”, instilling in us kids a need to make the most of our available resources.
Dad and Mom,
As our parents and mentors you have created a rich environment for our growing up and continued family interactions. I have such fond memories of the trips you have taken us on from museums and parks to lake cottages and family visits. You have instilled in us an ability to truly appreciate what we already have as well as a foresight to prepare for the future. You have both lived tireless lives of service and purpose that have impacted not only us your kids, but will influence generations to come. You have been living examples of character for us kids to follow. I thank God for the gift of both you and your parenthood and revel in your faithful fulfillment and example of what the word family really means. You have both poured out your lives in the magnificent pursuit of being God’s stewards here. Your lives have given sacredness to the often mundane tasks of life and will no doubt be rewarded someday with the words “well done thou good and faithful servant.”
With thanks and love,