At the time we didn’t know it would be Dad’s last Thanksgiving. We gathered around the dining room table, patiently waiting as Mom scurried back and forth from the kitchen, retrieving some item she thought we would need. Finally everyone settled and we bowed our heads. There was no question who would offer the grace. At 98, Dad was very much the patriarch and spiritual leader of the family. As he started his prayer, I realized too late that I should be recording the moment. I fumbled for my phone, but then stopped.
There are times I regret not capturing that fragment of time, but perhaps it is for the best. It was too sacred a moment to be sullied by technology.
I can’t recall any of the specific words, only the emotion.
Ray Agnew was unencumbered by any vanity. More than anyone I’ve known, he had a servant’s heart. Every deed, every action was done to further the kingdom of God, never to seek recognition for himself.
The words he spoke were plain. The meaning profound. Simple words. Words of love for everyone gathered at the table. Sincere words of appreciation for the food before us, spoken from one who had lived through times when food was not bountiful. And of course words of thanksgiving to his Savior, always ending the same way … “in Jesus name.”
Though I did not record the moment, it is clear in my mind. Dad sitting back as Mom fussed over the food, his shirt slightly crumpled, softened by a hundred washings. Hair thin, but not given over entirely to grey. A slight smile on his face as he viewed Lillie Bell unnecessarily worrying over some small detail.
When it comes to parents, I have an embarrassment of riches. This is our first Thanksgiving without Mom. Dad has been gone for several years. Technically I am the patriarch of our little family. If I’m totally honest, I feel like an imposter, but I am a thankful imposter none the less.