This is a drawing of my Hero. The original photo was taken by my younger brother Mark, who is a photo journalist in The Dalles. In the actual picture, Dad is tenderly looking down at his first born grandson, cradled there in his arms.
Dad was on his own very early in life. The eldest of nine children, at a mere 18 years old, he was drafted into the US army. He was still a kid, really, when he took part in the Battle of the Bulge in WW2, parachuting down behind enemy lines.
Dad was captured by the Germans, miraculously, for nine months, he survived unspeakable conditions as a prisoner of war in a Nazi prison war camp. Bad Orb was the worst of them--Dad was 96 pounds, only skin and bones, when he arrived back home.
He is the father of six children. I am the eldest. Dad built a home for us with his own hands. All his life, he worked very hard to provide for his family.
Dad loves birds. He whistles to them and they sing back. He's an honorary bird. They trust Dad--sometimes to the point of perching upon his shoulders.
Children of all ages are drawn to him. They know he loves them. Dad has a special way with people, too. He charms everyone he meets with a cheery comment and a twinkle in his eye. People always smile when Dad is around.
I have been blessed by the gentle strength, wisdom and love of my earthly Father. Because of Daddy, I see God as my dear Heavenly Father, who loves me unconditionally, disciplines me in love and who watches over me and my family every day of our lives. Because of Dad's loving example, I am able to call my Heavenly Father, Abba Daddy.
A true hero will often say, "I'm no hero, anyone in my place, would have done the same thing." Not so. A true hero's unselfish deeds, often in the face of grave danger, are accomplished by instinct, their actions born from a nobleness of heart.
Today Dad must wear a brace because his neck hasn't healed from the accident last July. The bones are still broken. The miracle is he can still walk, sit, eat--he still has all movement intact. Though this is a constant hardship for him, he still keeps going on.
May God always and ever bless our Hero. Our father. Our Daddy. Our Hero.