I Remember Dad: Dad’s Talks of Encrougement

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By Richard Mabey Jr.

Now at the age of 70 and battling Severe Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, I have become acutely aware that each and every day of our lives, is a most precious gift from God. It is not to be squandered nor spent in foolish pursuits. But rather, each day should be filled with purpose and a sense of working toward uplifting others, in some way or form.

These days, I find myself writing more and more. Each hour is precious. And I am focused more now than ever, to get as much writing done as is possible. After breakfast, I take a walk around the neighborhood, about a mile in length. Then I sit on the rocking chair of my screened-in front porch and write thoughts and reflections in blue-lined notebooks. My two cats, Little Opie and Floyd, sit near me on the front porch, watching the squirrels abound in my Live Oak. They also get lost in daydreaming about the birds that splash about in my two front-yard bird baths.

After about an hour of writing in my spiral notebooks, I begin formally typing a story or working on my second book, at my desk that looks out to my front yard. About 12:30, I’ll eat lunch with my sister, Patti. Then do some chores and then about 3:00 in the afternoon, return to my desk to write some more. Writing is my ministry.

Lately, I’ve become more and more aware of the spiritual presence of my late father. Often times, while writing at my desk, I will feel the presence of my father at my right-hand side. At times, I have felt Dad place his ghostly hand upon my right shoulder. I can hear the gentle whisper of my father’s tenor voice. “Keep writing, son. Keep writing,” is what Dad will often say to me.

When my father was first diagnosed with cancer, back in 1997, he was exactly the age I am now. Dad could have just sat home in his easy chair and felt sorry for himself. But instead, he gave talks at local churches, community centers and public libraries on the subject of making the most of each and every day.

His message was simple, but ferociously focused that every day is a gift from God. That we must do our very best to work toward helping others. To encourage someone who is going through a rough time. To quietly help the poor. To pray for one another. Simply, to love one another.

I had the high honor of introducing Dad at one of his talks at a church luncheon. I was fiercely proud of Dad. I knew he was in pain. I knew he knew that he was dying. But still he focused on being a light to others. Whenever I get down in the dumps, thinking about my battle with Severe HCM, I think of my dad’s incredible courage. Of his love for people.

Life is short. Painfully short. We need to forgive the people who have done us wrong. We need to love one another. We need to care for one another. We need to help the homeless. Encourage people to rescue a dog or cat from a local shelter. Support prison ministries. Simply put, to care for each other. For love is the most positive force in the universe.       

Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He hosts a YouTube Channel titled, “Richard Mabey Presents.” Richard most recently published a book of poetry and short stories. He can be reached at richardmabeyjr@hotmail.com.