Your Child Can Succeed

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I learned much from my daddy. He was an intelligent man. I knew it myself, but I remember Mother telling me so, too. She was proud of him. Daddy never had an “important” job. He didn’t wear a three-piece suit to work. I remember well the day this photo was taken. Daddy came home from work on a weekday and put on his Sunday suit because Mother wanted us to have this family portrait made. I was used to seeing Daddy in khaki pants, a white uniform shirt with his name on it, and a white bib apron.

My Daddy worked in grocery stores for over 40 years. He ordered from the warehouse, put cans on shelves, bagged groceries, and carried them to ladies’ cars. He delivered them to homes around town.

Daddy loved people. When a customer had an encounter with Daddy, they left smiling. After he retired, his only hobbies were drinking coffee with his buddies and doing word puzzles — and loving his family.

Daddy would have been 89 years old this coming Sunday. I miss him very much. Sixteen years ago, I went to the eye doctor with Daddy. We had lunch together and he got fitted with a new pair of special shoes to help him with his foot problems. The next morning we talked on the phone. I had no idea it would be the last time I would hear his voice. That night he was in a coma. He died the next day, just before Christmas. I had turned 50 years old three weeks before. When Ray had asked me what I wanted to do on my birthday, I said, “Let’s go see Mother and Daddy. How many 50-year-olds get to do that on their birthday?” We did and, oh, how thankful I am.

Just a couple of weeks before that, Daddy had come to stay with us for a few days while Mother went to a club convention. While he and I were shopping one day, Daddy impulsively bought me roses. He had never done that before. I had been so pleased and had even kept the petals. They are still in a blue and white box in my living room. Wasn’t God kind to give me these wonderful presents — roses, a birthday with Daddy and Mother, and a day with Daddy right before he died?

I was amazed when over 450 people came to the funeral home to show our family how much they loved my daddy. They did not come because Daddy was famous or because he had done some great thing in the eyes of the world. They came because Daddy had loved them, taken time for them, and made them smile. Daddy knew many people. He remembered their names and often had special nicknames for them. He loved to make people laugh, and he loved to laugh with them.

At Daddy’s visitation, people said things like, “Charles was a Christian man;” “I always loved your daddy;” and “Your daddy sure loved his children and grandchildren.” I told them that no two children were ever loved by a daddy like Steve and I were loved by ours.

Do you want each of your children to be a success? I don’t think the world would rate Daddy’s career particularly high on a success scale, but just ask anyone who knew him: Daddy was a success. Your children can be, too.

Now as to the love of the brethren,
you have no need for anyone to write to you,
for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
for indeed you do practice it
toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia.
But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more,
and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life
and attend to your own business
and work with your hands,
just as we commanded you,
so that you will behave properly toward outsiders
and not be in any need.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

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