What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My Father's Cane - Revisited in Honor of My Dad

(Originally posted 7/18/2011)...This was written a few of years ago, but I was thinking of my Daddy yesterday, on the 5th anniversary of the date of his entrance into heaven..and this story came to mind. Reposted today in honor of my Daddy, William F. Mursch ~ 8/9/1918 ~ 4/19/2011.  

"Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me."  Psalm 23:4b


My Father's Cane
Seldom have I been struck with anything so significant as my father's cane.  No, I don't mean struck in the literal sense...but in the spiritual and emotional sense...I have been struck by the presence of that cane, that empty cane, now in my home.

You see, for the past four or five years of my father's life he was rarely seen without the presence of his cane in his hand...or by his chair...or nearby wherever he happened to be at the time.  There were a few times (well, maybe more than just a few) in the more recent past that he forgot where he put his cane, and the hunt would be on, searching high and low, on doorknobs, windowsills, window cranks (those metal cranks that open and close the old awning style windows in my father's house), behind the door, on top of his bed, under his bed, or some other previously unthought of corner of the house...until the wandering cane could be found and returned to his anxious hands, restoring his sense of security and balance once again.  Even though in his latter days he relied more and more on a walker for his balance and footing, he still insisted on carrying that cane with him wherever he went...just in case he might need it to get himself up or down...or to retrieve an errant shoe or other item just beyond his reach.

Yes, my father's cane was a pretty significant part of his life...and we all knew it.  It sometimes became a bit of a joke with us, and he'd playfully threaten to "cane us" if we messed with his precious cane too much!  Daddy was always a bit of a jokester, but yet there was a more serious side underneath when it came to this cane. 

So it was on that day of the estate sale of his household belongings that I noticed his cane standing there alone by the door, and I knew that I had to have it.  I could not let it be sold to strangers...it was just too much a part of my Dad.  You see, this particular cane wasn't just an ordinary wooden cane...it actually had belonged to my Grandma and Grandpa before my Dad.  I can still remember the day of my Grandmother's funeral, when we went back to her home for a family gathering after her burial, that I saw her cane standing there alone in the corner of her dining room.  It struck me then that she was really gone, and I found myself wanting to go and just hold on to her cane as if it was a part of her.  Perhaps my Dad felt the same way, and that is why he ended up with the cane...and why he held on to it so tightly in his latter years. Perhaps it gave him strength...not just in the physical sense by holding him up, but maybe in an emotional sense as well...a connection to his past...to his loved ones gone on before...and maybe it was a bit like holding on to his mother's hand again as he had as a child.  Perhaps it gave him comfort. 

Last week I had some surgery, and when I came home from the hospital I was having some difficulty getting myself up and down and balancing myself while walking.  I asked my husband to bring me Daddy's cane, and he did...and as I held the well-worn handle in my hand, I found the strength I needed to get myself up...and the balance my legs were lacking in order to walk around in my home.  I was greatly comforted in holding on to my father's cane, and felt connected to him as if I was holding on to his hand and he was supporting me and lifting me up. It was an extremely special experience for me...

I think I better understand that portion of the beloved 23rd Psalm now in verse 4:
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;  For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."
Yes, my Heavenly Father's cane...His rod and His staff...does comfort me, support me, and sustain me in the times of my weakness and anxiety.  Even when I may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I do not need to fear any evil...for God is with me...and...
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."  Psalm 23:6    Amen.
My Dad, Thanksgiving 2009. Notice the cane hooked over the back of his chair.
Such a precious man...sure do miss him...but I know I will see him again someday.
Until then, I'm happy to have such precious memories.


Me and my Daddy, circa 1953


12 comments:

  1. Wow, this is so beautiful! So rich and deep. The idea of his cane being such and important and tender part of your family and now for you. Just beautiful and wonderfully written!

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  2. Thank you Pam--that was beautiful!
    That cane was also my "handle" that assisted me in pulling Dad's recycle bins out to the street every week. It allowed me to "pull" instead of having to lift a heavy load! Our father's cane is a wonderful thing to have! Treat it good! (I know you will!)

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  3. So beautiful, thanks for writing Pam! I am trying to send you an e-mail & it bounced back, can you send me your new address? Just want to catch up.

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  4. The 23rd Psalm is so full of hope and comfort. Indeed, his rod and his staff do comfort us. I love how you kept your father's cane and it brought comfort to you. Thank you for sharing.

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  5. Amen, praise God for that comforting cane of God when we are in the valley. Will keep you in prayer.

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  6. Thank you ALL for your positive and encouraging comments. You have been a blessing to me.

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  7. Beautiful story about your dad and his cane, and how it is now a family heirloom. I miss my dad too.

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    1. Thank you, Terra. (((hugs)))) to you. Our Daddy's will always hold a special place in our hearts.

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  8. What a lovely analogy & story. My grandpa (Daddy's dad) made canes from tree roots & I have couple of them. My Bigmom (Mother's mom) actually used a cane that my gr-pa made for the last decade of her life, at least. They have both been gone many years & don't know who has Bigmom's cane; I would love to have it b/c it has double blessing for me ~ as it was made & then used by 2 of my dear grandparents.

    Blessings from Ohio ~ Kim<><

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    1. Isn't it amazing how something so simple as a cane can have such emotions and memories attached to it? Every time I pick up Daddy's cane, I am holding the very place that his hand clung to for so many years, and my grandmother's hand before that, and my grandfather's before that. It is worn smooth from so many years of use...and I intend to keep it going. I know my day is coming that I will cling to that cane just like my predecessors...and I hope my kids will keep it going after I'm gone.

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  9. What a lovely post, Pam. Thank you for sharing it again! Some times it's nice to have physical objects to bring us comfort, yet the greatest comfort of all is in Jesus.

    Were you a "daddy's girl"? Sadly, my dad passed before I was a year old, so I no memories of him (although from what I've been told, I think I had him wrapped around my little finger!) and my mom never remarried, so I missed out on having a daddy to do the little and big things daddies do!

    Blessings!

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    1. Oh sweet Kim, I am so sorry that you never got to know your Daddy. What a joyous reunion you will have with him someday in heaven. So glad that you have your heavenly Father now to be your "Abba" Father. How precious you must be in His sight...as I believe there is a special place in our Father's heart for children who have not enjoyed the presence of their human fathers here on earth.

      To answer your question, yes, I believe I was a 'daddy's girl". I am a lot like my daddy...we both had red hair, which was something in itself to ponder....I believe he instilled in me my love of the outdoors and also woodworking projects. I can imagine when you meet your daddy someday that you will discover that you were a "daddy's girl" in many ways. Praying that God will fill that empty place in your life with His love and joy.

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