I Remember Dad: Hold Dearly In Heart, Thy Steadfast Faith


By Richard Mabey Jr.


Dad steadfastly standing at the podium, presenting his heart moving talk, at the Edenville Methodist Church. I am standing in the left-hand side of this photograph, for I had just introduced my beloved father.

Once in a lifetime, a most monumental moment comes to pass. At the time, the depth of the golden truth does not resonate to the core chambers of the human heart. Rather, it is only after a bit of time passes, that a person is able to really appreciate the shining diamond aspect of a sacred moment in time, never, ever to come back again. 


Love is the precious key that unlocks the bolted doors of loneliness, prejudice, fear, and hopelessness. It was in January of 2006, that my dad presented a talk to the good people of Edenville Methodist Church, in Edenville, Pennsylvania, one cold wintry Sunday morning. Dad had managed to beat prostate cancer, kidney cancer and skin cancer. Our beloved Pastor had asked my father to present a talk, that fateful Sunday morning, when she was away on vacation to visit her daughter and granddaughter.


I had the distinct honor to introduce Dad, that wonderful Sunday morning. There, in this little country chapel, right before my eyes, my beloved father touched the hearts, minds, and inner beings of his fellow church members. When Dad was done with his presentation, that Sunday morning, I don’t think that there was a dry eye in the chapel.


My father shared his inner most fears, of all of his anxieties, in his struggles of fighting cancer. And, then as if my dear father knew his fate, his destiny, he shared with the congregation that he was not feeling all that well lately. That the good Lord had come to him in a dream and told him that he needed to prepare for his journey Home to Heaven’s Gate. 


My father’s intuition was keener than the team of doctors that he had. For it was shortly thereafter that Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Dad had two more surgeries after that fateful diagnosis, but neither one of them was to any avail.


I think that I loved my father as well as any son could love his Dad. My father was also my Scoutmaster. He taught me how to survive in the forest. He showed me which plants were edible and which ones were poisonous. I walked hundreds of miles of the Appalachian Trail with Dad. I shared a canoe with Dad on six, week-long canoe trips down the Delaware River. We often walked the towpath of the old Morris Canal together, down into the forest behind the old Mabey Homestead. My father was all so much more than a father to me, in all so many ways, he was my best friend.


I often think of that talk that Dad gave to the congregation of the Edenville Methodist Church on that fateful Sunday morning in January of 2006. For Dad went Home to be with the Lord in early May of 2006. I still deeply mourn for him.


In his presentation, Dad stressed the need to always keep a strong faith in the good Lord, despite how things were going in our lives. That we need to believe in the infinite goodness of God. That even though we many not understand it at the time, all things are working for the good of the Lord. Sadly, Dad’s talk was not recorded nor videotaped. Something that, to this very day, I deeply regret.


Hold dear the sacred love for one another. Keep thy candle of unconditional love burning brightly in your heart. Hold dear to the faith of a mustard seed. For truly, when faith and love combine, miracles can occur. 


Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He can be reached at richardmabeyjr@hotmail.com. Please put on the subject line: My Life Publications. 

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