Monday, January 7, 2008

My Baby is 30 Years Old Today!

Dad and Brad--a long time ago

This picture reminds me of Brad's daughter, Lilly.

Brad was just a couple of weeks old when the Chicago area had a big snowstorm. The weather stayed cold and the snow did not melt for a couple of months. Then the following year in 1979, Chicago area had huge record snows again. Perhaps that is why Brad was such a cuddly, snugly, affectionate child. Or maybe that is a characteristic of second born children. Either way, Brad was a joy. He loved to play and have fun. His daddy called him his little buddy. Brad loved to do whatever Dad did whether it was shaving, or washing the car or playing with the train set or playing sports.

I know without a doubt that today, Dale would be so proud of his sons. Our sons are both so different from each other but both boys remind me of their father. Since this is about Brad, let me list a few similarities between Dad and Brad. Dale was a great father. Brad is a great father. Dale loved our church. Brad loves his church. Everyone always said of Dale, “He works hard and he plays hard.” The same is said of Brad. They both loved/love to play and vacation and laugh! Dale liked watching, “The Three Stooges.” Brad liked “Dumb and Dumber.” Dale was outgoing and loved getting together with friends, especially church friends. The same is true of Brad. Both were/are loyal. Dale and Brad was/is a person of integrity, could/can be trusted and wanted/wants to do the right thing. Dale worked on home projects. The night before his death, he was working on making a bathroom in our basement. Brad also does home projects. To name a few: Brad built a deck, tiled the bathroom, and put a new wooden floor in the kitchen and family room. When I am with Brad, I often recognize a gesture or expression that is so much Dale. Dale loved it when people told him how much Brad looked like him! Brad loves it that Jackson and Lilly look like him. Both daddies tried/try to be good providers—their names both suggest that meaning. Both were faithful men and loved God, their wife and kids, and lots of other people, too.

The December after Dale died, I had a difficult day at work where nothing seemed to go just right. Our neighbor, Mrs. G., was in the hospital and told me that she would really love to hear some Christmas music. I had bought a cassette for her and Brad and I shopped and found a cute little red tape recorder to take to her. When we presented Mrs. G. with the gift, the tape recorder would not play. It was so frustrating! I really did not have time to take the gift in the first place and was running late to pick up Andy from a school practice. Then I was supposed to feed the kids and get Andy and two friends to his junior high youth group. It just seemed that the day was not going well. Brad knew of my frustration and said, “Can I try to fix the recorder.” I replied, “It won’t work, Brad.” In my heart, I said, “God, didn’t you want Mrs. G. to hear that Christmas music?”

After we got home from delivering kids at church, Brad brought the red tape recorder to me saying, “Mom, I fixed the tape recorder! It works!” Sure enough, we tried it and it worked. After congratulating Brad on fixing the tape recorder, Brad said, “Mom, do you think I am just like Dad?” I answered, “You bet, Brad, you are just like your Dad.” We had time to get in the car and run over to CDH one more time and deliver the tape recorder and as we left the hospital, it was playing Christmas music.

That night I complained a bit to God about my frustrating day. It was as if a still small voice said, “I wanted Mrs. G. to have that music player but first Brad needed to know that he was just like his dad.” Of course!

Wow! Thirty years since his birth! I sure do love that man, my son! God has been faithful. Brad is much like his earthly father and his heavenly Father.

Happy Birthday, Brad!

More recent picture of Brad and his family

1 comment:

Andy Rowell said...

Yes. He is a good brother too. Amen.