October 20th

Here we are – in the year 1992 or 93…. a picture I recently pulled out – not a great reproduction – but it records a moment in time which will always be funny. We had flown to London while my parents were stationed at IHQ. On a day’s outing we stopped at a very small village for lunch. We were trying to figure out what to drink and Philip wanted something warm – so I asked if they had apple cider. They did, but the server thought it was quite inappropriate for it to be given to a child.

And when I asked if they could warm it they really didn’t understand… finally the cook came out. Only then did we discover that apple cider there is an alcoholic beverage. “He’ll have millk.”

We mark 19 years since Dad was lifted to heaven – The Salvation Army’s phrase is “promoted to Glory”.

It’s funny I never use that phrase without thinking about a story Dad told may years ago. He was retelling a meeting at a corps, I have no idea where it was or who it involved, but it was a meeting to adjust the changes to the corps role. As they were reviewing the names on the roll they came to a name of a man who had recently died, and in the meeting was his daughter. Whoever was keeping the minutes made a less than compassionate comment about recording beside his name PTG. Dad told of his disappointment in that man’s comment and asked him to write in full – Promoted To Glory – he wanted to do two things. First he wanted to acknowledge that at that moment the daughter would be thinking of her Dad and would be sad at the thought of her loss and secondly he wanted that our response to this moment be one of empathy and respect.

I have never forgotten that story and I retell it with this in mind.

Our Dad was a man who loved people, had a big heart of compassion and worked hard (maybe too hard at times) to help others.

I have had multiple people since my Dad’s promotion to glory tell me stories of how he helped them sometimes quite openly but sometimes quietly in the background.

So, with many years, now 19, since his passing I wanted to simply say how I miss him but do so with a deep sense of gratitude for his impact on me and our family.

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