Father’s Day Chat

Welcome, everyone

Father's Day
Wilson Freeman Brooks, 1914-1971

Father’s Day. Depending on a person’s point of view, Father’s Day conjures varying emotions. Joy. Sorrow. And everything between.

From my perspective, it stirs up the sweetest of memories. Not because I recall a lifetime of sentimental Father’s Days with the family hailing ours as the best of the best (although we knew he was). Nor because I recall a specific card or message penned through tears of gratitude. But because I remember one event involving my father–Wilson Freeman Brooks–not on Father’s Day, but on three days in the spring of 1967, days that will live in my memory forever. Even when my mind is gone, my heart will remember.

Daddy and Father’s Day


Daddy was a farmer in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. As such, he and Mr. Sun worked basically the same hours. He started farming at age 21 by working as a field hand and living in a cottage with no electricity or running water.

In a few years, he had saved enough to build Mother the brick house she always dreamed of. He was at home at the head of the table three meals per day. He drank coffee with my mother, never with the “boys” down at the coffee shop. And he never wasted a breath on profanity or off-color jokes.

He joined one organization–Texas Farm Bureau; served as an officer in four organizations–Farm Bureau, Raymondville School Board, Willacy County School Board, and the Hayhurst Foundation; and was added by God to the rolls of one eternal body–the church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Daddy’s Cross

For years, Daddy was a very successful farmer. Everything he did turned to gold—-until it didn’t. And when it didn’t, it didn’t in huge ways.

Many folks referred to him as a modern-day Job. And in ways, he was. He didn’t have his four children taken from him, but he did bury one boy and almost buried another when at age 19 his son ran his small car under a parked 18-wheeler, spending a month in a coma. Daddy’s heart and soul were forever marked by that experience.

On the heels of that accident came a physical malady no one–not even Mayo Clinic–could diagnose. All Daddy and those of us who loved him could do was watch him slowly and ever-so-cruelly melt away. His muscular system from his shoulders to his feet atrophied over the course of 10 years, leaving him at his death in 1971 a wheelchair and braces-bound skeleton. Although he was an impressive man always, it was during those 10 years that Daddy’s greatest influence was seen and felt. He never missed a church service, nor a Bible class which he taught without stopping from age 21 to his death at 57, nor an opportunity to raise a weak hand at his lap or hanging to his side to signal hello or to shake hands.

And on top of everything else, Daddy’s farm business, much like his muscular system, slowly atrophied. For example, when he bought expensive hail insurance, no hail was seen for miles. But when he hadn’t the money for crop insurance, his crops got hailed out. When the sun was shining, the cotton pickers were broken down. But when they were fixed, it rained. For 10 solid years, Daddy’s was the opposite of the Midas touch. Everything he touched turned to dust.

Did Daddy agonize? Yes. Did he complain or ask “Why me?” Never. In fact, when I asked him “Why you?” he said, “All I know is I trust God and believe whatever He’s doing is for my spiritual good.”

How Daddy Fathered

It wasn’t in Daddy’s makeup to force himself or his views on anyone. He thought deeply, prayed unceasingly, and presented well-formulated arguments to anyone who would listen. But he let others make up their own minds. Even his kids.


One example occurred at the beginning of my dating years. A young man “with a history” asked to come calling. My mother’s reaction: Absolutely not! But Daddy’s: “I don’t have all the answers. But I can tell you what I’ve learned by living life over the years, and I can warn you of the possibilities I see. I could forbid you to see this young man, but I know you’re old enough to figure out how to do so behind my back. That’s not what I want. I want you to consider what I have to say and make a wise decision yourself.” 

Daddy never had to forbid me to do anything. All I had to do was look at his face . . . into his tender eyes . . . and the decisions came naturally. I respected him beyond any force on Earth.

One Unforgettable Event = An Unforgettable “Father’s Day”

With college aid, I was able to attend Abilene Christian College in Abilene, Texas.

College years were emotional years for me. Living in a dorm, I was exhausted most of the time and slept the better part of the holidays at home. But I found myself in tears fairly often too. Chalk it up to exhaustion, stress, emotional roller-coasters, dating drama–who knows? All I recall is that I was often emotional. I had extremely happy, carefree days but plenty of days of disappointment too.

We had no phones in our dorm rooms. There was one pay phone provided in the hallway for each floor of each wing. Consequently, we girls found ourselves lined up, waiting for someone to get off the phone. I discovered Wednesday evenings right after church was a good time to call Mother and Daddy. This was a time when others were drifting in from their dates to church and club meetings and a perfect time for me to grab that phone booth.

An Important Phone Call That Heralded a Unique Type of Father’s Day

On one Wednesday night, I was struggling with something emotional–the what is obscured by floodwaters under the proverbial bridge. I only remember that I was “blue” as Mother used to say, and talking to Mother and Daddy helped. Our conversation, as I recall, wasn’t a lot different from other similar calls, and we said goodnight and went on to bed like many a Wednesday night.

The next morning I felt some better and went about my day–classes, socializing, cafeteria, and all the rest. 

That afternoon I was in my room studying when my “buzzer” went off. (When we had a caller in the lobby, the receptionist “buzzed” our rooms, and we went down to see who it was.)

I pictured a couple of possibilities–both guys I had been dating–and wondered what either of them would want with me in the mid-afternoon. I pushed aside the swinging door into the lobby and looked around for one of the two guys and my eyes came to rest on a graying-haired, painfully thin, far-from-fashionable older man sitting between well-dressed and cologned “jay birds” waiting for their dates.

Looking much as he had three years prior when he delivered me to ACC via U-Haul trailer–travel worn and exhausted, Daddy grinned at me.

What Are You Doing Here?

Daddy. 500 miles from home. In my dorm lobby? “What are you doing here?”

“On the phone last night . . . You sounded like you needed me.”

As Daddy’s illness progressed, his abilities dwindled. He sat in a recliner most of each day and got around outside the house in an electric wheelchair powered by one finger. He had arm braces that helped him manipulate his arms and a body brace that held his torso straight. Driving had long been out of the question.

I hugged him and looked around. “Where’s Mother?”

“At home. I wanted to do this myself . . . alone.”

“But you can’t drive 500 miles. Surely. You can’t lift your arms. You can barely lift your hands from your lap. How in the world . . .?

“I managed, babe.”

The Visit That Became Unforgettable Father’s Days

Daddy remained three full days that morphed into something way better than Father’s Day. They were a father’s day experience that has lasted a lifetime. the most memorable imaginable.

I saw him into a nearby motel and picked him up every morning for a day of “shadowing” his college junior daughter. He couldn’t hold his head up straight, but he did his best. Couldn’t walk at the pace of a college junior, but I learned I could slow down. He ate with me in the cafeteria. Went to church with me. Visited with my girlfriends and a male friend or two. And then he was gone. 

Father's Day
December 21, 1968

But Daddy left an impression and a memory of several “father’s days” that still live fifty-two years later. I will never forget his sensitivity to the emotions he heard in my voice over the phone that night in 1967. Nor will I forget the aching heart that led him to tell Mother the next morning, “I’m going to see Linda. Alone.” Or the love that drew him onto the highway, creeping along seldom-used roads, avoiding the worst of traffic, eyes fixed ahead, looking for Abilene, Texas and his girl.

I’ll never forget the sight of my deteriorating father sitting among an array of robust young men in my dorm lobby with eyes for me alone. That was some father’s day. The best.

My heart remembers. It always will. Thank you, Daddy. I love you so dearly and thank God you were my father.

~ ~ ~

Books by Linda Brooks Davis

The Calling of Ella McFarland

The Mending of Lillian Cathleen

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide

A Rock Creek Christmas Novella Collection 

 

8 thoughts on “Father’s Day Chat

  1. Cecilia C Garcia

    Linda this is a Beautiful tribute to your Dad. I remember your Mom, Goldie, and him . He was a patient of a Raymondville dentist where I worked as a dental assistant back in the early 70’s.

     
     
    1. How sweet that you remember him that long ago, Cecilia. He died in ’71, so you treated him during the last months of his life. He was such a sweet, good man. Thanks for joining in.

       
       
  2. Marilyn R

    Linda, thank you for sharing this heartfelt and beautiful post about your dad. I had tears as I read it. There were parts that reminded me so much of dad, who has gone on to heaven too. He was an auctioneer and farmer. He worked hard to provide for his family. I remember those phone calls to him and mother from the payphone on our floor at college back then. So many sweet memories we both can cherish. “What a Day That Will Be” when we are reunited in heaven with our loved ones and our Lord and Savior for eternity. Blessings and hugs

     
     
    1. How beautiful, your comments, Marilyn. Thank you. And, yes, what a glorious day it will be!

       
       
  3. Alicia Haney

    What beautiful memories of your daddy you have, God truly blessed you richly when he put you in the arms of your parents. 🙂 My dad was also a very, very good dad and I Thank God also for giving me such a good dad. My dad and I were very close, he was an engine mechanic and I would go help him clean his tools in the garage at home, I was a tomboy having 3 older brothers and 2 younger sisters. I also had to see my dad’s health deteriorate, which was so hard. God Bless you Linda and Thank you for sharing this beautiful story of you and your dad. <3 🙂

     
     
    1. Thank you for joining in the chat, Alicia. I love your memories of your dad too. We’re both blessed!

       
       
  4. Debbey

    I am blessed to still have my Dad. He turned 90 in January. Unfortunately, he lives 12 hrs away!

     
     
    1. Hi, Debbey. Great to see you in the circle. How blessed you are to have your dad still. I hope you get to see him again soon. God bless!

       
       

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Let’s Chat! Author Kelly Irvin

Welcome, Readers! And Welcome, Author Kelly Irvin!

Prepare to be blessed. Multi-published author Kelly Irvin writes Amish stories that never fail to surprise and delight. Gather ’round for tidbits about her latest release, Beneath the Summer Sun.

**Kelly is offering a print copy of Beneath the Summer Sun to someone who joins our chat below. **

**Congratulations to Jackie Tessnair, winner of the drawing for a print copy of Kelly’s Beneath the Summer Sun!**

When a Character Has a Mind of Her Own by Author Kelly Irvin

Jennie Troyer, the heroine in my new release, Beneath the Summer Sun, took me by surprise. She had the audacity to have a mind of her own. I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer, so it’s not unusual for me not to know what happens between the beginning and the end of my stories. That’s part of the fun. But Beneath the Summer Sun is different. I thought I knew how Jennie’s life would go. She’s a thirty-seven-year-old widow raising seven children on her own. I thought I knew what was best for her, but Jennie had other plans.

The Birth of Author Kelly Irvin’s Every Amish Season series 


First, here’s a little backstory. This series, Every Amish Season, will encompass four books, one for each season—of the year and of life. The series had its birth in a blurb in The Budget newspaper in which an Amish scribe listed the annual statistics for her district: births, deaths, baptisms, graduations, weddings, etc. She included the number of widows and widowers with these other important statistics. She singled them out.

Author Kelly Irvin Imagines 

This made me try to imagine what life would be like as a widow in a community built around husband-wife-family. (Click to Tweet!) So from my fevered imagination came Every Amish Season. The series focuses on four widows in Jamesport, Missouri, who become close friends and support each other in this unexpected season in their lives.

Upon a Spring Breeze begins with twenty-something Bess, a pregnant newlywed who faces a terrible tragedy. I knew where the story would go when I started writing.

Same with Jennie in Beneath the Summer Sun. She would have her second chance at love. At first, she wants no part of it. That’s understandable. She harbors a terrible secret from her first marriage. (Click to Tweet!) Snake-bitten, she’s afraid and feels guilty. Jennie wants to make it on her own, even though the district elders and her family want her to marry again. She’s still young. Her children need a father. Although she understands these facts, her heart is dead-set against it.

I knew all this when I started writing. But I didn’t know how much her story would affect me. The choice she has to make is as hard for me as it is her. Both men who profess to love her have good hearts. I also see a lot of myself in Jennie. I didn’t have good role models growing up and distrusted love. As a child, I watched difficult relationships limp along on the verge of shattering, but never quite exploding. (Click to Tweet!) I didn’t want to live like that. As I wrote Beneath the Summer Sun, I found small details from my childhood slipping onto the page. They’re woven into the tapestry as Jennie’s troubled marriage is revealed.

From Beneath a Summer Sky by Author Kelly Irvin

“The kinner were afraid of him. They were always tiptoeing around him. They never knew what might set him off. A rip in their clothes, a kapp not properly starched, a chore not done to his satisfaction.” Jennie’s stomach lurched just as it used to do when the thunderclouds gathered, dark and fierce, in Atlee’s face. She put her hand to her mouth, willing her stomach to settle. She breathed and let it drop. “Too much noise at the supper table. The clicking of the fork on the plate when they cut the skin on the sliced tomatoes bothered him. I started peeling them before I served them. Chewing too loud bothered him. Cold food and food too hot or meat too tough set him off. Crumbs on the floor that didn’t get swept up.”

Author Kelly Irvin’s Own Love Story

Early memories of not so blissful matrimony colored my view of love and married life. (Click to Tweet!)  I wanted both, but I made terrible choices and they never worked out. When I turned thirty, I decided God didn’t intend for to me to marry. I should be happy in my single status. God had other plans for me. That year, 1988, I met the love of my life. Next month we’ll celebrate thirty years of marriage. The things I learned as a child about the complicated dance between men and women, I’ve applied to my marriage, to parenting, to loving, and to my stories.

Author Kelly Irvin Beneath the Summer Sun

Jennie Troyer’s Time of Suffering

Jennie can’t understand why she had to suffer. Likewise, I often felt the same way. God could have given me a “normal” childhood. However, the question is whether we believe God is good. I do. Also, do we believe Scripture that says in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him? (Romans 8:28) I do. As hard as it is to go through these experiences, they give us character, empathy, and compassion.

Author Kelly Irvin
See. I have refined you. Isaiah 48:10

“See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10

As Jennie learns, God knows what He’s doing. I’m reminded often of the saying, “God permits what he hates to accomplish what he loves.” Because of life experiences, I know He is the God of all comfort. I’m able to give comfort to others through Jennie’s story. (Click to Tweet!) In the end Jennie makes her choice. It’s not the choice I thought she would make, but maybe she’s even more like me than I realized.

Final Thoughts from Author Kelly Irvin

Finally, I hope Jennie’s story will resonate with readers. It wasn’t an easy one to write. But Beneath the Summer Sun is a story of second chances and hope. We can use both.

Author Kelly Irvin
Taste the Lord and see that He is good. Psalm 34:8

Lord, You invite us to taste and see that You are good. Only You can blend the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and tart that makes us Your unique creations. As readers and writers, we ask You to utilize the avenue of Christian fiction to communicate Yourself in myriad ways and to make You sweet on our tongues.
Bless each word Kelly writes for You. ~ For Jesus’ sake

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34 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Kelly Irvin

  1. I can so relate to the story line of this book. Trusting yourself after ending up in a bad marriage is hard, especially one that is abusive. God will lead us to the truth and Being the oldest of 7 , I can relate to big families and I have 7 of my own children, been thru divorce and remarried. Can’t wait to read this book !
    Linda Marie Finn

     
     
    1. It’s wonderful to “meet” you here, Linda! I’m sorry the deadline for the drawing for Kelly’s book had passed by the time I read your comment, but I hope you’ll be able to read Kelly’s books anyway. You’ll be blessed. Please visit again. New author every Wednesday 🙂

       
       
  2. Lucy Reynolds

    I’m so looking forward to reading this. I enjoy Kelly’s books so much. I was a single parent of two, I can’t imagine raising seven. Blessings

     
     
    1. I was also a single mother of two. In photos those years I look so thin, haggard, and worn out 🙂 I can’t imagine rearing seven by myself either. Kelly has hit the bull’s eye on this series. Thanks for dropping by. God bless you and yours!

       
       
    2. Me neither! My parents had five kids and that was tough!

       
       
      1. Lucy Reynolds

        My parents each came from families of 11 children. They were each the 10th child.

         
         
        1. Gasp! But then when I look back at the records on Ancestry.com, I’m dumbstruck by the # of kids people had. EEEEEGADS!

           
           
  3. Brenda Andrezeywski

    Enjoyed reading this post about Kelly Irving! Haven’t read this one yet; but it’s being added to my list!! Kelly, once again ya cracked me up!! So she has a mind of her own…picture popped in my head of ya sleeping & she’s sitting at your computer typing her own story!! God bless ya sweetie

     
     
    1. Love the picture you painted, Brenda. Now I’m cracking up! Thanks for stopping by. Please come again. God bless you and yours real good!

       
       
    2. Sometimes I wish that were possible–especially when I’m not sure where my story is going. Some times characters say the darndest things! LOL

       
       
  4. Ellen P

    I can’t wait to see what happens in Jenny’s life. I like that Kelly says Jenny has a mind of her own!

     
     
    1. 🙂

       
       
  5. Kelly Irwin’s comments about her character Jennie’s own idea of how to live her life made me laugh. I’m not considered a “pantser,” so I’m often surprised when one of my characters has the nerve to step outside my outline and to stand up for themselves. This series is on my list! Thanks Kelly and Linda.

     
     
    1. Hi, Clarice, my friend. So good to see you in our circle today. Kelly and her writing are completely delightful. Don’t you just love the idea behind this series? You and many other women can relate. Many others of us will relate in the future. I’m grateful I can slip this series onto my bookshelf and return to it in days to come. God bless you real good!

       
       
    2. It’s so exciting when they speak up for themselves, isn’t it, Clarice? I love it when a new character shows up out of nowhere. I’m astonished and tickled pink!

       
       
  6. Ellen P

    I recently finished reading Upon A Spring Breeze and am looking forward to reading Beneath the Summer Sun! I absolutely love Kelly’s writing! I just discovered her books a month or so ago and have already read several. Makes me feel like I’m in Amish Country, my favorite people and places to visit. Thank you for all your hard work Kellie ❤️God Bless you❤️

     
     
    1. Ellen P

      I know your name is spelled Kelly, I have a friend Kellie and auto correct changed my spelling and I didn’t notice 😊

       
       
      1. 🙂

         
         
    2. Hi, Ellen P. I’m so glad you joined us today. I’m totally with you in loving Kelly’s writing–especially the idea that undergirds this series. Please visit again. New author each week, beginning on Wednesdays. God bless you!

       
       
      1. Ellen P

        Now that we’ve met, I look forward to seeing the new authors you will be hosting. See you on Wednesday 😊God Bless

         
         
    3. Thank you, Ellen. You’re so sweet. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my stories. I love hearing from happy readers! God bless you too!

       
       
  7. Donnia Duane

    This was beautiful

     
     
    1. Hi, Donnia. I agree. Kelly’s posting is beautiful. I loved working with it, adding the photos, etc. It gave me such pleasure and fulfillment. That’s the Holy Spirit at work. I know you’ll love Kelly’s latest release. God bless you!

       
       
    2. Thank you, Donnia!

       
       
  8. Jean Dixon

    This sounds like Jennie is alot like myself I would truelly love to win this book and see how God works in her!

     
     
    1. Hi, Jean. The names Jennie and Jean not only look and sound familiar, but apparently, you share even more in your hearts and minds. Isn’t it cool how God does that through a writer like Kelly? I know you’ll enjoy this latest release of Kelly’s. God bless you!

       
       
  9. Jackie Tessnair

    I loved reading this blog post.Thanks Kelly for sharing.As I was reading your words I kept thinking this is another example of it is all in God’s timing . I wanted to read this book from the beginning but now after this post I am ready to read it right now.Thanks again!

     
     
    1. Hi, Jackie. Welcome, new reader friend! So happy the post inspired you to read Kelly’s latest as soon as possible. Her books—like Kelly—are full of wonder and joy and realness. God bless you and yours!

       
       
    2. You’re right, Jackie. It’s all about God’s timing. I hope you enjoy the book!

       
       
  10. Marilyn

    Beautiful interview with Kelly Irvin with her sharing personal tidbits and behind the scenes to pen Beneath the Summer Sun.
    Thank you for sharing. Blessings to both of you.

     
     
    1. Seeing you here always makes me smile, Marilyn. We simply MUST meet someday 🙂 Thank you for joining in and encouraging Kelly and me. God bless you real good!

       
       
  11. Deana Dick

    Beneath the Summer Sun sounds so good. I can’t imagine being a widow with seven children. I love reading about second chances. I was given a second chance when I divorced my hubby and we remarried a year and a half later. Being shown what what unconditional love and forgiveness is helped me find my way home. It is now 34 years later and we are still like newlyweds. I look forward to reading your new book.

     
     
    1. Kelly Irvin is wonderful—both as a person and a writer. So glad you’re getting an opportunity to get to know her. God bless you and yours!

       
       
    2. My parents married, divorced, and remarried a year later. They’ve been married more than 60 years total now. It’s not easy for them, but they certainly show us what the meaning of the vow is. You don’t give up and walk away when it would be so much easier. I’m so glad you received your second chance at love and a beautiful marriage.

       
       

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