This weekend June 17 and 19 mark two special dates for me; the 17th was the 3rd anniversary of my mother’s death, and has especially been on my heart this week.

And of course the 19th, this Sunday is Father’s Day.

I’ve blogged about Father’s Day before, and I want to acknowledge it is not an easy day for many.  I think we have to say this, on both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day… it can be a day that evokes emotion, memories and for some it simply is not easy.

That being said, I wanted to say how grateful I have been, and have felt, for my loving upbringing.  No family life is perfect, and I think all of us who are parents would love a redo with the knowledge we gain over the years!  But I know I was loved and cared for and nurtured, all beautiful gifts I will be forever grateful for.

Mom wanted us girls to be nurses.  Our brother probably destined for the ministry.  It didn’t quite turn out that way!  :-)

Of course mom was a wonderful nurse.  She loved caring for others, that was her passion.  And dad was the pastor, and she supported him in that role.

As a child I dreamed of becoming a missionary nurse.  Tropical lands like Haiti drew me, and I was influenced by some wonderful single missionary women who became part of our lives and we looked forward to their visits.  It was all quite romantic in my imagination.

But after struggling with math and science, I knew my destiny was not in nursing.  And it was not for my sisters either.  To our credit, and eventually our mother’s delight, our eldest son is married to a wonderful nurse, and my youngest sister’s daughter is almost finished her nursing degree… :-)

I learned early that my passion was to write… and to help people.  So it has been a fascinating journey for me to enter into this role of Chaplain, in my 50’s.    A pastor role, someone like my father, working in a hospital, caring for people, as my mother would have!  Mom was delighted in this role I had entered into.

So on the day of my ordination, just four weeks ago, it was such a delight to have my dad there and be part of the prayer of ordination.  To have a father’s blessing is a very precious thing, and I know there are many who have not experienced this.  Scriptures talk about fathers blessing their children and what a gift this can be.  To have dad there was very meaningful, and his prayer of blessing brought me to tears.  It was something I will never forget.

At the front of the church that day we also hung up one of mom’s quilts – a beautiful quilt she had created with some of her quilting friends.  It was a quilt with a spiritual nature, with spiritual symbols.  And it became the backdrop on this special day for me.

So Happy Father’s day to my Dad!!!  We are grateful he is doing so well, now in his 86th year.  And we miss mom and feel incredibly glad she was able to be part of our lives for her 80 years.

And as I work in the hospital, I am grateful for the spiritual legacy I have, part of a wonderful heritage of faith and service.

Here is Dad, Jake Friesen, on the afternoon of my Ordination, with my sister Cathy A.J. Hardy, who sang, myself and my sister Val who surprised me and came for this special day.  And in the background, the beautiful quilt of my mother’s.

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