By: Dr. Jacquelyn Simmons
Scripture: Thou shalt have none other gods before me.
Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee… (Deuteronomy 5:7;16 KJV).
Dear “Bill” (our mother) and “DaDa” (our daddy),
Even though both of you are deceased, you are very much alive in some of our physical features, behavior patterns, facial and oral expressions, talents, etc. When we are together, we can not help being laughingly reminded of one or both of you when someone exhibits some of your characteristics. We started calling you, “Bill” (mother, because our older cousins called you “Aunt Bill”). “Daddy”, we called you “DaDa”, picked up from our sister, “Dena’s”, then, baby son, Gary. Every one of your children (there were four of us three girls and one boy), seemed to have inherited your traits to physically fight our way out of challenging situations—and that was Julia and me. “Bill”, “Dena” and “Ronnie” inherited your quiet demeanor and tried as much as possible to avoid physical confrontations which kept Julia and me fighting for them; however, when we became adults our roles reversed. We have noticed some of our inherited traits interspersed among our children, also.
“DaDa”, it was soooo much fun to watch the astonishment on the faces of department stores’ clerks when “Dena” and I sought assistance with the selection of Mother’s Day gifts for you. Our rationale behind that had to do with our salute to you for “stepping up to the plate” soooo often and doing things which are classified by some people as “strictly” women’s work. We endured your unusual hairstyles. Your cooking was fine but too hot with peppers (smile). You shopped for groceries, changed diapers, cleaned house etc. That’s why we saluted you on Mother’s Day, also, but with the smaller gifts. On Father’s Day, you received the larger gift and “Bill” the smaller one. To us, it was fun! Both of you seemed to enjoy the idea, also.
“Bill”, to me, you were the world’s greatest cook. I’m still searching for your pie crusts, but to no avail. However, I rated your greatest gift to us as being your total dedication to making us aware of our constant need of Jesus Christ in our lives. You made sure that we prayed regularly, attended and participated in all church activities and “rolled out of bed”, too early for us, every Sunday morning for family devotions held around our kitchen table which was always laden with hot and well prepared breakfast. You always gave us encouraging words and formulated attitudes within us which enabled us to face raging storms in our lives whenever they occurred. They enabled us to assist others through theirs, also.
We are still grieving over the loss of our baby brother, “Ronnie”, less than a year ago.I am hoping that you met him as he “stepped across the Jordan”.
Here is some awesome news I would like to share with you. “Dena” and my beloved singing, praying, preaching, teaching, caring, primary doctor informed me last week that I, during my long hospitals and nursing home stays last year, had also been on life support. Wow!!! What a testimony!!!
Your oldest daughter, Cliffortene (Named after you, “DaDa”, Clifford).