Friday, May 21, 2010


@@@@@@@Clyde Harold Lee

My sister, Niki, called in September, 1983, to tell me that my Dad had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and wasn't expected to live more than three months. As she was hanging up she said, "Write a poem for Dad. I know you can." I left for work, driving about 20 miles to Oklahoma City, and on the way I saw sunlight "swords" cutting through the clouds, which lifted me out of the heavy dumpiness I was feeling, and before I reached the office I had the majority of the poem running through my head. That very day, I sent the poem to Niki and she put a photo of Dad with it and framed it and gave it to him. He kept it until he died, and it was given to me after his memorial service. I've had it on a shelf for twenty six years -- same old scruffy frame, same old paper.

As I've written before, Dad and I had a pretty intense, frequently angry and violent, relationship. And we rarely saw each other or spoke or wrote for most of the last twenty years of his life -- I left home the day after I graduated from high school in 1963. However, he sent me a letter dated March 17, 1979, with the following:

"I finally gave up my solo fight against alcohol and went to church ... I came away with an awful load off my back; I hadn't realized how heavy it was. My problems are still here, but the Lord is sharing my burden. I am really surprised at the feeling.

"Things are looking up for me now, but it wouldn't hurt for you to say a small prayer for me, I need all the help I can get."

Our whole family got together for Thanksgiving, 1983, just to be with him, and we all hadn't met together for many years. I had a short, but sweet, alone time with him; he was giving a Thanksgiving-eve testimony at his church and we simply sat and enjoyed each other and then someone took a photo for me. I returned to Oklahoma a couple days later. He died May 22, 1984, having lived several months longer than anticipated.

As I've often said, I'm looking forward to eternity in heaven, partly to enjoy some TRUE time with my Dad.


We’re so much alike – you and I –
We think and we feel much the same.
When we love, it’s a deep, soul-filling love,
When we hurt, it’s with soul-rending pain.

We’re like mirrors – mirror images.

Two needn’t be close –
If you’re counting the miles –
To Share this world’s Days and its Night.
There are soul-mates
Who travel life’s path side by side
Though mountains and plains bar their sight.

And we’re mirrors – you and I – mirror images.

Without Jesus to keep us, we’d Die – you and I –
Eternally lost from our Lord.
Our hurts closed our hearts
to the goodness of God,
And we turned our backs to His Word...

We’re SO alike – like mirrors – mirror images.

But He reached us – He found us
And He healed our hearts –
The greatest of healings provided.
We opened our hearts to receive that great love,
And now He walks closely beside us.

We walk hand-in-hand,
But with Jesus between –
As He looks in our hearts, we can say
It’s not just the one,
or the Two,
But the THREE of us,
Who will love through Eternity’s Day.

Shining like mirrors – mirror images.


Michelle DeRusha said...

Wow, CaryJo, that is an amazing story about your dad. It really attests to the power of God to heal!

Blessings to you this weekend...

Beth said...

Our dads leave indelible marks on us. I'm glad you were able to come to peace with each other and you are able to look forward to spending "true" tme with him some day.
This is a wonderful story about the changes God can work in each of us.
I liked your one about your sister too. She sounds like a lot of fun.

Sandra Heska King said...

Oh wow! This is awesome!

S. Etole said...

One thing I remember you telling about your dad is how he almost always carried a paperback book in his pocket ...

caryjo said...

He did. Even without a very strong education, he just read a lot... especially Westerns and Detectives. One good thing I always remember is that when I was in 9th grade and we had to read "Ivanhoe" I couldn't get past the first page or so b/c the wording was too outside of my brain zone. He took the book and read the first several pages to me and after that I was free... and did very well. A "gem" in the dumpster father-daughter relationship.

HisFireFly said...


You shine on in that mirror, both of you, to reflect His glory!

Jeanne Frances Klaver said...

Shining like mirrors-mirror images

Well, you certainly are a woman "worth her salt," so to speak. I can tell the Lord is with you. :)

caryjo said...

Well, if He wasn't with me, I'd be, so to speak, dead meat. He's "IT".