Hi Friends, This Sunday we’ll be celebrating Father’s Day, and I’ll be remembering some very special men in my life. I was blessed to grow up in a home where my dad, Bob Swain, showed me a lot of love. And when I married, I added another dad in my life, my father-in-law, John Turansky. Both of these men have had a profound impact on me, and I have been blessed to be their daughter. When Scott and I had children, I was grateful to see my husband was a loving father to our five children, and now he is a wonderful grandfather to our seven grandchildren.
Bob Swain was just about the sweetest guy you could ever meet. He was soft-spoken and kind, yet also strong and determined, and best of all, he was a man of his word. Born in 1920, Bob grew up during the depression and had his first job, selling apples from a wagon, when he was eight. As a teenager he ran track, did the pole vault, and became interested in airplanes and skiing. When he was 21 Pearl Harbor was attacked, and he joined the Army Air Corp. He fought in the Pacific during WW2, and he told some very chilling stories of dangerous situation and close calls.
After the war her returned to Portland, Oregon, where he married my mother, Dorothy Brown, and started his life as a husband and father. He worked for the Union Pacific Railway and volunteered as an officer in Civil Air Patrol, teaching teens about aviation and search and rescue. He also enjoyed camping, hunting, and fishing, and often took the family along on these adventures.
My dad never let a holiday pass without buying a card or small gift to show he cared. Ever watchful, he kept a good eye on me and my brother Mark and made sure we were safe and protected. Dad was an honorable man from the greatest generation. He went on to heaven in 1986, and I still miss him. I am looking forward to a great reunion with him and my mom one day.
My father-in-law, John Turansky was an energetic pastor who planted several churches and discipled believers for almost 50 years. He memorized hundreds of verses of Scripture and preached countless sermons. But even more than all those things, I remember the fun family times we shared with him. He loved to play games, especially backgammon and card games. He also enjoyed traveling and liked to take his kids and grand kids on adventures. He is wise and thrifty, often saying things like: “Do your homework before you spend any money.” And, “Turn off the lights.” He also loved to share practical advice with young people: “You don’t fall in love – you fall down stairs. You plan your love life.” And, “You’ve got to marry someone who is going places.” His most famous saying was added to all his sermons, encouraging us to apply what we’d heard: “So what— How does this apply to me?”
John was always a great encouragement and support to us as we raised our children. His impact on our children’s lives cannot be measured. He invested love, time, and attention on each one, often making cards and booklets by cutting out photos from magazines to create funny stories or to illustrate Bible verses or topics. Even though he lived in Hawaii for many years, he would make the long journey to New Jersey to see his grandkids on a regular basis. John went home to be with the Lord after a stroke slowed him down for quite a few years. When I remember John, I think of faithfulness, devotion to God and family, humor and creativity. We still miss him very much.
My husband, Scott, is a great dad and husband. He has a heart to help other dads and spends a great deal of his time counseling, writing, and encouraging dads and moms to love their children and raise them to love and serve the Lord. Even though our children are grown, he communicates with them all regularly and invests time with them and our grandkids. I admire his commitment to family and his devotion to God and His word. That has given him the ability to offer practical advice that blesses me, our family, and many others!
What about father’s in fiction? As I was thinking back through the novels I’ve written, the most memorable father figure was Dr. Foster, Julia’s father, from The Governess of Highland Hall. As a medical missionary to India he cared for the physical and spiritual needs of the people there as well as his family. When poor health made him return to England it was a difficult adjustment, but his faith and love for his family helped him make that transition and continue serving the Lord in new ways. I loved weaving his story in with his daughter Julia, in the first book, and then with his son Jon, who is the hero in the second book in the series, The Daughter of Highland Hall. Have you read that series? I hope you’ll take a look at the book page and enjoy those stories!
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads who love, protect, and provide for their families. May God bless you all and give you His grace for your role as husband, father, and grandfather.
Until Next Time, Happy Reading,