I’m still celebrating my saints. Today, Dad would have been 84 years old. I’m grateful for the gifts he gave me:
- My love of “the family business.” Dad was a United Methodist pastor and, since I was a little one, I wanted to be a preacher’s wife. In grade school, I finally met a woman pastor realized that I could be clergy. So today I carry on the family business as an ordained Deacon appointed to The Upper Room and to Edgehill United Methodist Church. (I always enjoyed Dad’s delight when I would tell him my vocation during those last years when he was battling Alzheimer’s.)
- Photography. I found this photo after he passed away. Dad took it in Mooreland, Oklahoma during my first year of life. It’s the only self-portrait I’ve seen: Dad shooting his picture into a mirror. The reflection in the table is of a picture of Grandpa Richardson.
- Music. Dad had a beautiful tenor voice. I can remember him singing from the pulpit from time to time. Grandma Richardson was a music teacher who passed along her talent and love of music to Dad. And he passed it on to me. Today when I preach, I like to weave a song into the sermon.
- Art. Dad began drawing and painting when I was in grade school. I’ve only just begun to test out this part of myself with the cartoons I’m drawing of Jack. I’ve been sketching daily cartoons (a sort of daily journal) for about five years. I remember Dad writing letters to us using cartoons instead of words.
- A love of nature, watching birds, BBC, public radio, Mexican food … I could go on and on.
Dad’s legacy lives on in me. And I am grateful.
God of sunrises and sunsets, God of feeding birds and charcoal pencils, God of music and prayer, thank you the life of Charles H. Richardson. And thank you for his gifts to the world. May we remember Charles and, in remembering, give thanks to you, the Artist, Musician, and Loving Creator of life. Amen.