My Dad began his life in San Antonio Texas in 1933 and grew up during the Depression and World War II. From what I understand, his Dad grew up as a street kid in Laredo Texas, or Laredo Mexico; I’m not sure which one.
Grandpa Frazer was a man of God who’d grown up as a street kid. As an adult, he sometimes took his parenting responsibilities very serious and as tough as a man who’d grown up as he did. But one thing is certain: James Frazer Sr. loved his children, and the love he gave to my Dad taught my Dad compassion and love for his own children and compassion whenever he found someone who needed help.
I still remember him pulling our car to the side of the road and helping someone whose car was broken down on the side of the road. I remember him telling of picking up hitch hikers, of returning a wallet to a trucker and, while living in his later years feeding the animals that lived near his home.
My Dad was kind and compassionate with everyone, and he always had a smile and a bright eye for all those he came in contact with. Too many times, compassion is shared with others outside of the home, and the family is the last to benefit. This wasn’t the case with my Dad.
He loved his children and his wife with all the love a heart can give to another. In his last years, he was with his wife, caring for her in the nursing home every day for two years. The staff and the patients all came to love and admire the devotion he gave to Ginger, feeding her and loving her even when she could no longer respond to him in the normal way a man and woman share love.
The memories of my growing up years are a little vague, unless I have some trigger, but what I do remember is my Dad’s love. It was a love that was tenderhearted and kind. I can still see him sitting in the dark, late at night smoking a cigarette and listening to classical music or to Big Band; whichever mood would strike him. Although I don’t like cigarettes, that image is pleasant.
During the summers, Dad and Mom took us camping and fishing. Those times were fun when we went swimming in the river at Standish-Hicky state park in Northern California; but then Dad discovered North Bloomfield. It is a beautiful state park and was once the site of the great Gold Rush in early California history. We stayed in a cabin, Mom cooked on a wood stove and we went swimming in a frigid snow-water lake. We went hiking in the pit that was created due to the terrible destruction of hydraulic mining. It’s an other-worldy place that has been reclaimed by nature. Walking in the sulfur aroma man made desert one can see tracks of deer, coyote and panther by the stream
Now my most clear memories are the adult memories I have with my Dad as his daughter/friend. We go visit him often and I love his sense of humor and all that he is. He’s the reason I have such a great relationship with my husband and his fatherhood helped me understand the love of our Father. I don’t think being a Christian would be as natural for me if I didn’t have the acceptance of my dad. Even during those difficult years, I knew he was there for me, just as our Heavenly Father loves me and is there for me, even when I am difficult. I have much to thank my Dad for, so thank you, Dad. You were an amazing guy.
Weep not for me
For my journey is complete;
Now I walk a grander road,
In the city where the streets are gold,
And its light is from the Son of God,
The One who gave His precious blood,
So we can live our lives for Him
Until we come to life without end.