Sunday, December 03, 2006

ECHO....echo......echo

There is an echo in the house. No, it hasn't always been there. Yes, it is there all the time. Do I like it? Well, I have mixed feelings but mostly, no, I don't. Why is there an echo? Because of the empty room. You see, Mark has moved out and is now renting the duplex where Baron and Laura lived before their house was built. So this bedroom across the hall from the master bedroom suddenly seems cavernous and with the hardwood floors and no furnishings the echo is noticeable--shocking even. Everytime LaWanna or I walk down the hall the echo reminds us that another of our children is gone from the nest. And just as when each of them was born, the nest will never be the same. Why don't I like the echo? Well, the first level of feelings is easy to explain; there is a room that needs to be cleaned, painted, and transformed into DAD'S OFFICE. That will be nice after completion but represents work, time, and expense first. And there are lots of irons in the fire already. The deeper level of feelings is more difficult to communicate. Mark has left before, once when he was very young and tired of the constant preaching of his old man. Once he left in the middle of the night in handcuffs. Neither of those times caused mixed feelings--at least not a mixture of good and bad. Everything I felt was bad. He was not ready for the world. I had not done my job as a father and he was not finished becoming a man. It is different now. Vastly different. Mark is mature and has demonstrated a couple years worth of discipline and spiritual growth. He is smart and fun to be around. He is no longer the angry kid thinking the establishment is against him and his parents are just trying to keep him from having fun. He has learned some valuable lessons the hard way--which I do not recommend for most, but can be very effective. How did all this growth occur? I wish the answer were that his mom and I demonstrated outstanding parenting. But the truth is prayer, prayer, and more prayer seems to have convinced God to pull Mark closer to himself. God did not blind Mark with a light on the road to Damascus or Columbus but rather blinded him with the unconditional love of a beautiful young woman named Lindsay who will become Mrs. Mark Wishum on April 7, 2007. That will be a great Easter weekend. So the feelings about Mark and the direction of his life now are good--very good. Still being a dad is a little like running a marathon. During each you are giving all you have and at times you become sure you can't keep going. Then somehow you do. It is not pretty, but you press on with all your might until you cross the finish line. You have mixed feelings immediately and feel completely used up. But after enough time passes, you think back and convince yourself you could have done better.

So, Mark, march on son. Become a better man, husband, and father than your dad. You can do it. I believe you will do it. I still pray for you and Lindsay and your unborn children and grandchildren because, while I can fill the room and rid the house of the echo only your continuing to become the man God wants you to be will quiet the echo in a dad's heart.

I love you and I am proud of you.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Mr. Roxy, you have become my dad now, not that my daddy will ever, ever be re-placed, but you are my only father figure now and I am the one who has been truly blessed. God had a plan for Mark and I, big plans, and you, Mrs. Lawanna and all of the Wishum's and Goins have been a true blessing to me. I never like for anyone to say that I changed Mark. All the credit goes to God, for working through me and also working on Mark's heart. Not only did

Anonymous said...

Mr. Roxy, you have become my dad now, not that my daddy will ever, ever be re-placed, but you are my only father figure now and I am the one who has been truly blessed. God had a plan for Mark and I, big plans, and you, Mrs. Lawanna and all of the Wishum's and Goins have been a true blessing to me. I never like for anyone to say that I changed Mark. All the credit goes to God, for working through me and also working on Mark's heart. Not only did God bless me to help Mark but he blessed me in bringing you and your family into my life to find God, to understand his love. I love you with all my heart and thank you for being supportive of Mark and I. I know it was not easy but your love helped me get through those hard times. So, Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'm not use to this blogging thing so sorry it posted my comment twice and I even forgot to write my name!
I love you!
Lindsay

Baron said...

wow...a true picture of a father's love. Thanks for sharing that.

Oh, and I had something in my eye...those weren't tears welling up or anything like that. Just wanted to set the record straight. :)

lawanna said...

Okay--I've cried twice now!!!First time when I read it on Sunday and now again!!! I'm so incredibly prould of you both!!!
1-4-3,
wanna

Anonymous said...

YALL ARE ALL MAKING ME CRY!!! Stop it! what a wonderful entry. I can onlyimagine what it must feel like to have your son grow up and move out and be so proud, and love him no matter what. I can barely stand for Aiden to switch nursery classes at church. Just another testimony to the power of prayer, and a great reminder for young parents, too. prayer prayer prayer.

Helen said...

I knew I shouldn't read this at work... and I'm glad I didn't!!

I love you, Daddy, Momma, Laura, Baron, Mark, and Lindsay!!! ALL my family!!

MissBossyPants said...

I am a friend of Helen's, and mom to three wonderful kids. I find it amazing that even when I think my parents did a great job with me (because I think they did) that they see their failings more than their successes. Not that *my* failures are theirs, but they remember their mistakes a lot more than I do. I guess it's something all parents go through. All the time I fear that I am not being strong enough, soft enough, kind enough, rigid enough...and I see that it won't change :)

Anonymous said...

This just in....

Kleenex issues their 4th quarter profits have skyrocketed after multiple readings of this post inspire unprecedented number of tears.

Beautiful tribute. Your children are blessed beyond measure.

Anonymous said...

Your writing is wonderful, Roxy, and so encouraging. I don't suppose any of us come as truly prepared for parenting as we'd like to be. Thank you for the admonition to stay in prayer for our most precious of blessings, because that is exactly what they are. What would we do without prayer?

Putting those words to print, being able to "say" them publicly as you did, is such a powerful voice! Your children are blessed to have you as a dad, and Lawanna as a mom!

Sherrie Conway