Saturday, May 3, 2008

In His Likeness. . .

There were other things to do this weekend. My sister, Lou, had invited me to vacation with her in Hilton Head. She said it was a walkout onto the beach with my own room and TV.

Our church members were invited to participate in a program that I totally believe in and enjoy called Carefest. I was sorry to miss that also.

There was only one place though for today—with my Rowell family. Actually it is the family of my first husband, Dale. Twenty years ago on May 4, 1988, he died, at the age of 39 years. I wanted to be with others that still remember. I wanted to hear his name. I wanted to hear a new story. I wanted to see him reflected in the faces of his mother and his siblings—yes, even after twenty years!

Mom Rowell no longer resides in the home where Dale was raised or where she and Dad moved after the kids were all married. She lives in an apartment in a beautiful retirement community. Even so, I love the familiar furnishings and pictures on the wall, the hutch with the family pictures. Mom, at her kitchen table or in her chair, creates a wonderful sense of “home” and “coming home.”

Returning to Wheaton, I made a mental list of each of the family members in attendance:
Dear, practical brother Paul.
Sister Joy—so aptly named!
Sweet sister, gentle Judy.
Articulate brother David—knowledgeable in so many areas.
Little niece Annie—now a mother of two sons—who was loved by Dale.
Sister-in-law D’Ann—who helped me understand, enjoy, and appreciate what it meant to be a Rowell by marriage.
Uncle Howard—who Dale admired and enjoyed.
Mostly of course, Mom—loving, trusting, accepting, wise, reflecting Jesus in every way.

The day was not all that I had hoped. How could it be? There were no new stories of Dale—maybe after twenty years I have heard all of them. Even so, it was a good day.

As Bob and I neared home, I thought of the two Rowells that most reflect Dale to me. They look nothing like each other yet it is uncanny how much each son reminds me of his father. I love their walks, their postures, their facial expressions. I love to see them with their wives, their children, their friends. I love their determination, their smiles, and their work ethic. I even appreciate that, like their dad, breakfast cereals will work for any meal. I love their servant hearts, their playfulness, and their loyalty. They are very good men. Dale would be so proud of them. Gracious God, thank you for these children—living images of their heavenly Father and their father now in heaven.


Andy Rowell said...

Ryan (3 years) and Jacob (7 months)tonight for the first time had cheerios for supper. It was a coincidence but a fitting tribute to dad, don't you think? (considering your comments about dad eating cereal for supper).

Amy also comments that future Black and Decker employee Brad learned quite a bit but she wishes dad would have also taken me to learn how to use the tools at church. She would have appreciated those skills around our house. Ha ha.

Ryan appreciates Grandpa Dale's tractors which were passed down to him. We hope these little boys are people of character like him.

much love to all,
Andrew Dale Rowell

Andy Rowell said...

I wanted also to add that perhaps the cereal eating perhaps was passed down by the mother.

"Prior to pregnancy, breakfast cereal, but no other item, was strongly associated with infant sex," the researchers write in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. "Women producing male infants consumed more breakfast cereal than those with female infants."