Monday, June 21, 2010

Sorry I was too busy enjoying Father’s day to really concentrate on writing a post. The kids are in bed and my favorite shows Army Wives and Ice Road Truckers are over. I enjoyed the fact that my children are at the top of the heap with state testing. My son even made that rare distinguished grade. The coveted 5 not garnered by more than 1 in 200 in Math. My wife credits the Singapore Math curriculum. That is definitely part of it because he has improved, but it also has to do with his hard work and using his GOD given talents. He scored well across the board. My daughter likewise. This year she lost bragging rights, she is only a 4 again. She is just in the top group. I had better be careful with my joking she may read this. Without a doubt, I am proud of both of them. She is one of the most incredible people, I have met. She is intelligent, civic minded, spiritual, and loves people of all stages and classes of life. What gets me more impressed is the character that they show. They are people of compassion, strength, and character. They are the people who will shovel out an elderly person and not take money because they believe they should look out for their elders. They will make sure that relatives know they need to come back in time for church at a sleep over. They understand the idea of civic obligation. It is not always about you. They know that our duty in life is to love GOD, love your neighbor. They are not the only kids that I am proud of. My stepsons are in their 20’s now. I am very proud of them. They are not only fine upstanding individuals, but they are beginning to transfer those same values to their very young children. They will help people who can’t help them back. They obey the law, live responsibility, and bring their families closer to GOD. A man couldn’t be happier with the quality of his family than I.

I think it comes honestly. My father, Levi Anderson, was a person of character who loved GOD and loved people. He held nothing back. His own comfort, reputation, or convenience mattered not if it conflicted with the larger picture. He loved his GOD, family, and country. He spent time in Haiti, on short term missions, he spent time in Delaware migrant worker camps (I was privileged to accompany him sometimes.) He supported an orphanage in Haiti until he died. He ministered the Gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone who cared to listen. He loved the cross enough to literally carry it. He saw himself as just a country preacher.

When he passed away, it was the first time many people found out that he was a World War 2 disabled American Veteran. He worked in the Executive Office of the President and personally met three Presidents. He was well educated coming back from dropping out of high school to fight in the War to go all the way to Seminary while working full time. He ministered with nationally known ministers that many would recognize in the media before they became household names in Evangelical Christianity. It struck me how many people were impressed with obituary. They came up to me and said why didn’t we know about this. The answer was that outside of his military service, he considered all of that good, but secondary to the greatest priviledge he ever had, ministering to people.

Since this is a political blog, I will deal with his politics. He was the Chaplain of the 32nd district Republican committee. He was a big Colin Bonini fan and a strong Bill Roth supporter. He thought Mr. Castle was a liberal. His father was a small business man. My father was also pro-business. He was involved in local anti-tax movements. He was an ardent anti-communist. Carl McIntyre was a regular staple in our home. I would say that the issues that most motivated where the cultural issues. The abortion tragedy, the rise of the counter culture with drugs, fornication, homosexuality, and soft on crime attitudes where major concerns. The oppression of religious liberty especially the religious apartheid pushed by the secular left designed to reshape a new generation with situational values. He spoke at pro-life rallies. He believed so strongly in the cause that even though he was sick and recently hospitalized, he made sure to call and eventually walk his area to get out the vote. He wouldn’t let a little thing like a broken hip socket from a winter fall and walker get in the way of that. He loved this country and always believed in its betterment. One year he had complications from dialysis and was too ill to vote that day. What did he do? He voted. He just borrowed a wheel chair and made sure to get out even though he was so affected that he had to have my mother read the ballot to him. He wanted to be sure that Colin Bonini got his vote in 1998 (if my memory is correct). It was an off year and no big races were on the ballot, but he wouldn’t let his friend down. He believed that Colin was one of our future leaders and needed support no matter what it took. I think he was right. What it showed me was his that he represented the best American citizenship. Politics was not his passion but he believed in participatory citizenship. They used to call it being a good American before we became self absorbed.

In his early life, things were not always easy. He and his brother were raised by a divorced mom. She worked for $.40 cents a day plus left over food and chicken bones at the Wayside Inn in Smyrna during the depression. She was a woman and black so the typical dollar a day was not given to her in segregated Delaware. She sent him to school at 4 1/2 so he could get another good meal. They had beans for lunch to help the nutrition of the children. It got tougher with more children and a new family. It was doing this time that he was inspired to one day join the ministry by Elder Mann. His father came down and took the brothers to Wilmington. All of a sudden his life changed. They weren’t rich, but there was always enough. All was not perfect in Wilminton. He was assaulted by a neighborhood gang that was pushing him to join. He resisted. He was hit on the head with a brick while sitting on a curb. Eventually he did join. His natural leadership ablilities took him to the top. Unlike now when gangs are little organized crime syndicates, it was more like a group protecting its turf. He was almost heading the wrong way, but those Japanese bombed us. He found a better reason to fight. His brother signed up. My recently departed Uncle Austin was awarded metals including the Purple Heart for being wounded in the European Theater. My father did not want to duplicate his brother so he joined the Navy. It changed his life. He was paid only 2/3’s of the pay of white sailors because that was the way it was. He served honorably. He returned and thanks to the G. I. bill and Veteran’s preference, went an entirely different direction. He moved to D. C. for the next 25 years. While working in Washington, he was saved. His heart changed for the better and he rediscoverd the passion that first burned in his heart at age 4.

His new passion did not sit well with his wife. She did not want to be married to a preacher and filed for divorce over his objections. Eventually he met and married a lady from his hometown of Smyrna, my mother. They were married 31 years. Together they built a life and family centered upon devotion to GOD. GOD, family, and country were the trio of values they stressed. They both lived a life that was centered on something greater than themselves. When may father was days away from dying, he could not get out to visit people who were discouraged or sick so he called them. He wanted people to know that the best days are ahead for a believer and even death itself can’t change that. He has been departed 10 years, but his impact is still alive in the family and friends he influenced.

It has been a happy Father’s day for me. I hope the same has been true of you.


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