May 2021 was a difficult month for our family. We lost my dad Burton Lee Bone (pictured at left with me in Alice, TX in 2015) as well as James' father Jerry D. Simmons. Although the two were friends and shared a mutual respect for one another, they were as different as night and day. Here they are together a couple of years ago at a wedding in Salt Lake City, Utah:
My Burt Dad was always the life of the party. When I see this picture, I'm thinking he's probably made some wise-crack, and Jerry (the more conservative of the two) is smiling politely for the camera.
I know I've been very fortunate in my life to have not only these exceptional men but also a third father figure when my mom Franny married Bob Probert. Sadly, Bob passed away in April 2020. As you can see in the photo below, he was a master gardener—just one of his many talents.
So, this will be my very first Father's Day with no fathers. I'm not trying to pull on anyone's sympathy strings in sharing this information. I am, after all, an adult, and all of my dads made it to their eighties. I suppose for me it's just still sinking in that they're all really gone.
My friend Deb lost her father a few years ago. Deb told me that she'd been blessed to have had someone in the world she could always depend on—no matter what. Her dad always had her back and he told her she could always come home. I remember being surprised by this at the time thinking: You're a successful, grown woman, certainly you don't need your father anymore!
The fact is, although Deb no longer needed a "dad", her father continued to be the wind beneath her wings. He reassured her and gave her confidence to seek new challenges and pursue her goals.
There's no doubt that I've been triple-blessed because I feel the same way about my three dads. No matter that I was only blood-related to one of them, I loved them all in equal measure. I guess I'm feeling a little like Deb did back then. Burt, Jerry, or Bob, any of these men would have my back if they were here today, and isn't that what it means to be a great dad?
I was thinking about the term "fatherless" and recalled a passage from Psalms 68:
Here it is (New International Version) Versus 1-6:
May God arise, may His enemies be scattered;
may His foes flee before Him.
May you blow them away like smoke—
as wax melts before the fire,
may the wicked perish before God.
But may the righteous be glad
and rejoice before God;
may they be happy and joyful.
Sing to God, sing in praise of His name,
extol to Him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before Him—His name is Lord.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in His holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,
He leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
Remember - All of us have a Father who'll always love us!
From The Garden
On the morning we drove to Oklahoma for James' father's funeral, I caught a glimpse of something in our backyard.
Now, I get excited about a colorful butterfly or even an oversized toad but seeing this deer really blew me away!
I talked with my neighbors and although we live near the woods, no one has ever seen a deer on our creek before.
What a wonderful way to start the day.
Praying peace, joy, and love over you, my friends,