Happy Father’s Day, Dad

As a small child, I would follow my Dad around the house or yard, marching to a sing-song cadence of left, right, left, right. My Dad was a Marine through and through, and as we marched he would say some words that rhymed, but I was concerned with getting the right and left thing worked out. He would be in his green Marine fatigue pants with his olive green Marine cap that was paint-stained by now from working and painting through the years at the house.

What my Dad taught me were some very valuable life-lessons. None of them were in words, but by his actions every day.

COURAGE – Dave Morgan was a man of great courage. He lived a hard life by today’s standards. The Mather Mine Explosion on May 19, 1928 at 4:07 pm claimed the lives of 195 men, husbands, sons, and fathers in Mather, a small South Western town in Pennsylvania. My Dad’s father, David H. Morgan, Sr., was one of them. My grandmother, only 29 at that time, had 5 other children besides my Dad. As the only parent of that many children, my Grandmother needed help. She sent some of her children to live with family members to be raised. My Dad went to live with his Aunt and Uncle in Donora, PA, and stayed with them until he graduated from High School.

Because of World War II breaking out, he felt his call was to join the Marines. He was assigned to the Pacific Theater, and we only read of the atrocities that happened at some of those battles. He was in the Battle of Guadalcanal and the Battle of Coral Sea. I know that he received a Silver Star Medal. None of this was ever talked about, and I never directly heard stories of what he saw or did. Sometimes there was a far away look in his eyes, and sometimes I could hear him yell in his sleep. There just are some things that can’t be unseen once they are experienced. Deuteronomy 31:6 states ‘Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?’ Dad always said that there are no atheists in foxholes. My uncle Tom told me that Dad was a hero to many people.

COMMITMENT. Whatever Dave Morgan did, he did with a sense of purpose, focus, and commitment. Once he said yes to something, whether it was an activity, learning something new, or whatever it was, a commitment was created. He didn’t quit until it was finished. He dedicated his life to his family and providing for us. He made himself obligated to do whatever it took for the family. 2 Timothy 1:12 ‘for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.’ He taught me that the priorities of commitment were to God, Country, Family and in that order.

Dave Morgan was the first man I loved, counted on, whose hand I first held, whose face I first touched, and who taught me things about life nobody else could. I was not always in line with what he expected or commanded, especially in my teen years, but he always showed me grace whenever I did something wrong and admitted it. When my steps got out of cadence, he would help me to get back into step pretty quickly. In our family, he taught me that the 11th Commandment was ‘though shall not BS thy Father’. He was right, and most definitely was the Alpha dog, or platoon leader, of our household, and greatly respected.

The last day I was with him, the Thursday before Labor Day in 1997, I sat beside his bed and he said to me that he wasn’t going to get better. I put my head in his lap and cried, and said that I knew. At the age of 44, my insecurities of how to ask him about his relationship with God was alleviated by him taking the lead by saying ‘Candy, I’ve made my peace with God’, so I knew where he was going. My fears were gone at that point, and God’s peace and comfort took over. When Mom called the next morning to come to the house, I knew. John 14:2-3 ‘In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.’

Over the last few years I have realized that my Dad, though courageous, honorable, humble, and stalwart, had prepared me for my life’s journey and didn’t say a word about it. He modeled the life of a follower of Christ. He wasn’t perfect, he made mistakes, but he did the best that he could based upon his perception and viewpoint of the world at that time.

We had loads of fun, fought some hard battles, had the love of father and daughter. I see Dave Morgan in rays of the sunshine as they come down from the clouds. As I look to the sky and see a parade of figures in the shapes of the clouds, we saw that together, first. When I see a cardinal, I know that he has come to visit. In the cool shade of the evening, I feel him in the breeze. He visits in dreams, in the smiles of others, in the peace and contentment of my heart.

Dear God, thank you for making all things perfect in your sight. Thank you for choosing Dave Morgan to father me on this earth, to foster good character traits within him for us to see and imitate, and all who knew him to be blessed.

My Dad liked this version of Just a Closer Walk with Thee.. (keep listening, it takes a turn at about 3:33)!

Just a Closer Walk with Thee Lyrics

I am weak but Thou art strong
Jesus keep me from all wrong
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee

Just a closer walk with Thee
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea
Daily walking close to Thee
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be

When my feeble life is o’er
Time for me will be no more
Guide me gently, safely o’er
To Thy kingdom’s shore, to Thy shore

Just a closer walk with Thee
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea
Daily walking close to Thee
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be

Happy Father’s Day, Dad; and thank you! I love you and I’ll see you again….

Published by Candy Morgans

Being recently retired from the Healthcare Industry, and the spouse of a retired Methodist Minister, I find some time on my hands, and a strong desire to share experiences and develop relationships with others. God is my driving force, and I have humor and joy in my heart.

8 thoughts on “Happy Father’s Day, Dad

  1. Candy, I love this tribute to your father. It also gave me the opportunity to pause and reflect on the life-lessons my Pop taught me. Perfect timing, thank you! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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