This 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. (How I got here another story.)
I was not very sophisticated; in fact, I was very naive 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. Any pills he had 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 belied 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! When he saw those beans, I knew I would never do that again – in his presence.
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 carved in my heart.
About oneta hayes
Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
Thanks for sharing. Glad to know your family. God bless you , your family and ministry.
Thank you for the comment and for the blessing Great Father’s Day week end to you.
Thanks. Wish you the same. You are most welcome. Be blessed.
What a wonderful tribute, all the way around. I laughed at the “baked” beans from a can. We sometimes used beans from a can, but by the time we got done adding onion, chili sauce, brown sugar, and bacon, there was no more resemblance between those canned beans and the ones from the oven than between me and one of the Kardashians.
It’s interesting that you had a Fannie in your life, too. My great-aunt Fannie lived in Louisiana; she was the family chronicler, a great cook, and quite a story teller. I was lucky to know her.
Our Aunt Fanny did not come to America. I never met her. Yes, the canned beans experience was humbling. Very apt comparisons you made. Thomas Hayes performed the wedding for Sammy and me. Another reason he is special. They were probably glad to see him throw anchor in the USA, instead of going back to marry an English girl.
Such wonderful, cherishing memories; and I’m glad you have them, Oneta.
Thank you, Judy. I was always welcomed into their homes. Fun times.
Wow— I’m in tears— you’ve been richly blessed my friend— and I am a tad of an Anglophile, but that comes naturally due to my DNA ☺️
I’m glad to share my family blessings. I was/am blessed. Sad to say too many are now gone. I am still “bonded” with the siblings but don’t know all their prodigy. They are in Mississippi still. I do get a hint of your leanings to the UK. . I suppose because of your burden for the condition of the modern church world there. Thanks for the comment.
And that due to being raised an Episcopalian— blessed with an old school priest and his wife as Surrogate god parents— and they did their job to their utmost
Wonderful cherished memories. Thank you for sharing.
I’m grateful. Good Night, Faye.
What a lovely tribute, Oneta. You are blessed with wonderful, good humored in laws 🙂
Thank you. I visited you today and made some notes on your six sentence story. I might try it. Haven’t done one before. I’m at the thinking stage! 😀
What a lovely testimony of a wonderful man
I don’t know much about my US relatives so this was special
Welcome to my blog, David. Yes, indeed, Thomas Hayes was a one-of-a-kind man. His wife was Flo (Florence); she also was special. link https://onetahayes.com/2019/03/03/id-love-a-do-over/
I am married to their son, Samuel. I have a series of his life as a youth. I’ll attach a link of the introduction. https://onetahayes.com/2020/07/19/invitation-to-sams-story/ I think it consists of seven posts.