When I was a young girl, I prayed for a baby for our family. Many birthday wishes and prayers were always the same, “Please, Lord, give our family a new baby” It was my quest! When I was 12 and my sister was 15 , my prayers were answered when we got our little brother. William Reed McMahon, Jr. We all were excited. I remember so well when Mother told us how my big, strong Daddy, actually cried with tears of joy when he saw our Billy for the first time.
My Daddy lived a life filled with ladies. At any one time in our home, for special occasions, there would be 8-10 ladies around the table. His mother, his sister, his mother in law, his grandmother in law, aunts, friends of his mother in law and her mother, mother and of course, Anne and me. Daddy would be the lone man at the end of the table. He loved every one of those ladies and willingly would help when asked if he could do something for one of them. I never heard him complain, wishing he didn`t have to spend time helping, or wishing he had time for himself. His heart was so full of love and compassion ,that is just came naturally.
He loved well. It was only natural that when he saw his son that God gave him, he was over joyed. Oh the things they would do together and the things that he would teach his son to build. We all were blessed and our family was complete.
Daddy had only 8 years with this son of his before God took him home to be with Him. Our lives changed forever that year when cancer invaded our little family. Memories had been made with his son, our Billy, but as the years have gone by, those memories have faded for him. He only had 8 years to know his Daddy. I had almost 20 years to engrave it all in my heart. I can still see in my mind, his love and kindness and he fleshed out for others.
God gave me a physical glimpse of my Daddy the other day, through this grown son of his, my little brother. We three siblings, Anne, Bill and I, met for lunch with our aunt, Daddy`s sister, who is going to be 80 this year. We were discussing some upcoming events about her car and what needed to be done. After trying to figure out the best thing to do, my brother looked at her and asked, “would you like for me to go with you one day next week to the dealership to talk to them?” As he offered to take off from work, to help, she nodded her head and said,”yes”, with a feeling of relief. He said, “no big deal, I will be glad to.”
At that moment, I looked at him and said, “you are just like your Daddy” It was just so real, as if I was seeing Daddy, all those years ago, saying those same words to any one of those ladies who depended on him.
Today, all of those years later, I still pray for that baby boy, that has now grown up. The prayers have changed to prayers of praise. I thank God that during those 8 years he did life with his son, Daddy taught him a lifetime of love and compassion for others, and in doing so, taught him to shine for Him.
Love you Daddy….