Monday, October 3, 2016

My Dad

On October 3rd 1927, Paul Parmalee Brinkman Jr. was born. I didn't know him when he was young, but I learned later than he grew up poor. He used to take the streetcar out to Waldo, which at the time was the end of the universe. He graduated from SW High in Kansas City. He served in the Navy during WW2, developing pictures of the first atomic bomb. After the war, he attended Drury college, graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering and a young wife named Mary.

Dad was a loner. His nickname growing up was "Pooh" like Winnie the Pooh. As a father, he was pretty distant. He worked long hours and I didn't see him much.

But, somehow, he delivered the goods to his son. He taught me how to work. He helped shape my faith. He taught me a myriad of old sayings and wise thoughts about life.

I got to know Dad a lot better after mom died in 1995. We had seven years together after that. From 1995 until he died in 2002, Dad was a member of the Woods Chapel UMC. He led the first 8:30 singing group, and he had a lot of ideas for his son about what makes a good sermon.

In February of 2002 I was on the church ski trip with the kids. They were 10, 12 and 14. At about 11pm on Saturday night, Cathy called to say that Dad was in the hospital. Heart attack or stroke, he was on life support at Research. Doug H and another young man drove me from Glenwood Springs to Denver. We arrived at the airport at 2am. When the kids woke up, Doug was there in the room to tell them what happened and to take care of them. I will never be able to repay him what he did for my kids that day. I sat in the terminal until 5:30 and left on the first flight to KC. Cathy picked me up at the airport. We went to the hospital and said goodbye to Dad.

Tons of friends from Woods Chapel attended his funeral. Dad is buried next to Mom in Mt. Washington Cemetery in Independence. I miss him.

But, I thank God for every day that I had with him, and all of the good that he brought to my life. Be sure to appreciate your loved ones everyday that God gives you with them.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

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