Friday, August 9, 2013

The Rest of the Story

Dad owned a small motor rewind and repair shop for more than 30 years. The “shop” was a place many of my childhood and adolescent days were spent. It was a family business and as such the family was expected to work. Whether we wanted to or not.

The shop was a concrete building, a converted service station built in the early era of cars. The smell of oil and solvents and metal filled the air and counters were covered in well-used tools. There was a little transistor radio that was eternally tuned to the oldies rock ‘n’ roll station. The Monkeys and the Beatles were our constant companions.

At noon everyday dad would get his sack lunch out of an ancient refrigerator and come up to the front office. There he sat at a little desk that housed all the invoices and bills to paid, hand-written ledgers and deposit tickets. It was a wooden school teachers desk, a hand me down from a long forgotten donator which had a glass top laid over cutouts of peanuts comic strips and a small sign that read “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”.

Dad would get a couple of empty Grainger shipping boxes and prop his leg up on them. His leg had been injured years before on an accident while on his mission and never fully recovered. He would unpack his sandwich and switch the radio over to Paul Harvey.

“The Rest of The Story” was the background for countless lunch breaks spent eating peanut butter and jelly or bologna with mustard. I can still see dad there in his blue work shirt, blue jeans and red Converse all-star  high tops. Leg propped up, leaned back in his chair as the iconic voice of Paul wafted across the shop.

Over the radio that newscaster/storyteller taught us about farmers, government, and told folksy stories of every-day heroes. History and religion, composers and businessmen, the background you had never heard about George Washington and Elvis Presley. Then Mr. Harvey would sign off with “this is Paul Harvey, good day!” and lunch would be over, back to work we went.

Dad has been gone now for more than 5 years. Our bond in life had some cracks in it, especially in the early years. He had a lot of work to do when it came to family, but he did do it and by the time he exited this sphere had repented and purified himself to a degree which amazed those closest to him. And yet some of the pain of that previous life still lingered in my heart, even after he was gone.

I assumed that his death would be an ending of some sort. That no more progress could be made in our connection… at least for a time. But it has become clear that nothing is further from the truth. Dad has been around, he is actively working for the good of his family, he is mending things and occupied with healing old wounds. In experiences of all sorts I find him continuing his progress towards our eternal family and doing his best to help us along. It is amazing and I know that it is so.

President Joseph F. Smith said “I believe we move and have our being in the presence of heavenly messengers and of heavenly beings. We are not separate from them. … We are closely related to our kindred, to our ancestors … who have preceded us into the spirit world. We can not forget them; we do not cease to love them; we always hold them in our hearts, in memory, and thus we are associated and united to them by ties that we can not break. … If this is the case with us in our finite condition, surrounded by our mortal weaknesses, … how much more certain it is … to believe that those who have been faithful, who have gone beyond … can see us better than we can see them; that they know us better than we know them. … We live in their presence, they see us, they are solicitous for our welfare, they love us now more than ever. For now they see the dangers that beset us; … their love for us and their desire for our well being must be greater than that which we feel for ourselves."

So as I think about those lunch times at the shop all those years ago I can do it with fondness. The hurt that used to cling to my heart-strings is fading and the love I feel for dad increases every day. Dad is working for that and so am I. Relationships don’t end at death, not even temporarily. And that my friends is really the rest of the story.



“Relationships can be strengthened through the veil with people we know and love. That is done by our determined effort to continually do what is right. We can strengthen our relationship with the departed individual we love by recognizing that the separation is temporary and that covenants made in the temple are eternal. When consistently obeyed, such covenants assure the eternal realization of the promises inherent in them.” –Richard G.Scott

Here is one of my favorite Paul Harvey tributes. Best if you listen with closed eyes. 

1 comment:

  1. I really needed this today, and I loved it! Thank you!


Comments are the bee's knees! Thanks for sharing.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...