My first father’s day salute goes to Rev. Thomas Hayes, my father-in-law and spiritual leader for many years of my life. To my blogging friends who did not know him, a bit of an introduction. One of Tom’s daughters, an English girl named May, married an American soldier during World War II. That began the immigration of the Hayes family to America. After May, came her father, Thomas Hayes. Later they brought Flo, Tom’s wife, with two small children, Bobby and Esther. While they were locating in America (Mississippi), another son (Samuel) was in the English Merchant Marines. When he was discharged, he came to America. Shortly after that, Sam came to Bible school in Oklahoma City where he and I met and married. That’s a short run down of how Thomas Hayes became father-in-law to this Colorado native, a small town country girl.
I was not very sophisticated; in fact, I was very naïve and inexperienced in “diversity” of cultures; however, I did indeed have some stereotypes which I applied to the English. One was that the husbands could be quite controlling; the other was that they did not have a sense of humor. Wrong on number one; wrong on number two. I don’t believe there ever were two husbands more considerate of wives than Tom and Sam. And regarding number two, my English family was way ahead of me on humor! They loved play on words. Perhaps that’s where I get my love of puns. In this family was an Aunt Fanny. At one point Momma Flo said, upon seeing a person who resembled Aunt Fanny, “Tom, doesn’t she look just like your Fanny.” Needless to say that set the family to roaring with laughter!
Look with me at a few incidents which will help you meet Thomas Hayes, my father-in-law.
- A Bible scholar, fluent in quoting scriptures, builder and pastor of churches.
- An accordion player and singer, how many of my family and friends remember “Gabriel, Blow Your Trumpet” and “Now don’t you weep for me when I’m gone, for I won’t have to leave here alone, and when I hear the last trumpet sound…My feet won’t stay on the ground. …”
- He looked for the coming of Jesus, believing he would never need the “undertaker.” He was waiting for the “uppertaker.” In the end, his body was indeed laid in the earth, but only after uppertaker took him!
- He trusted fully in Jesus for his healing, and lived to over one hundred years in that belief. I believe if he had any pills they had to be smuggled into his system without his knowledge! Sort of like wrapping a doggie vitamin in a piece of bacon! And speaking of bacon—his age and health sure decried the harm of bacon and eggs!
- Even in the eighties and nineties, he continued mowing lawns and trimming hedges.
- He taught me something about cooking. I didn’t even know people cooked pork and beans until the day I served them straight from the can!
- But my most everlasting loving moment was a day when he stood behind Flo’s chair long after her memory was basically gone, he put his hands on her shoulders and said, “This is the wife of my youth.” And I can hear in my mind, “And I will love her until death do us part.”
Thank you, Thomas Hayes, for the large place you hold in my heart.