I Remember Dad: To Keep the Flame Burning Brightly

By Richard Mabey Jr.


The book publishing industry has radically changed in the past 20 years. More and more bookstores are sadly closing up. The cost of printing books is steadily rising. And, it is become tougher and tougher for a relatively unknown author to convince a big corporate book publisher to invest a huge amount of money to publish his or her book. I confess that at times it becomes very discouraging. And, I am hesitant to admit it, but there have been times when I have thought about giving up on my dream to see my book published.


But then I think of some seemingly mundane moment that I shared with my father. Walking the Appalachian Trail, changing the oil together on the old lawnmower, being in the old Robert Hall clothing store in Mountain View and Dad helping me to choose a suit for my eighth-grade graduation dance, going fishing down the shore with Dad and Uncle Dave in that little boat, and Dad standing in front of the campfire sharing an inspirational thought with 30 or more young scouts. These memories, and 10,000 more, keep the flame burning in my heart to not give up on my goal to have my book, “I Remember Dad” published.


From the days of his childhood, growing up in the home that his father built at the end of Mabey Lane, to his time of serving in the United States Seventh Army Air Corps at Hickam Air Field during World War II, to his days of starting his own trucking company, to marrying the only woman he ever loved, Janet Kemmerer, to serving as the beloved Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 170, my father kept a certain focused fortitude on putting his best foot forward in all he did. Deep in the crevices of my heart, I know I must never give up. I can never surrender. The bridge is burnt and there is no white flag. Failure is not an option.


If I can share just one and only one thought with my good readers it is this: never give up. Never, ever give up. Never surrender. Keep your hands on the plow and shoulder forth with all the inner strength and power that lies within your heart, mind, and soul. Never give up!


In 2003, after I left the ad agency, I worked as a proofreader for a Christian book publisher for a couple of years before moving to Central Pennsylvania. One morning I got the courage to give a copy of my manuscript to the top editor of the company. He promised me that he would read my book. A few days later, he threw my “I Remember Dad” manuscript on my desk. He didn’t have a nice word to say about it. He told me that it was filled with sloppy emotionalism. The hurt of his unkind words stung deep in my heart.


Life is cruel. There are mean people out there in the world. There are people who will take great joy in robbing you of your dream. But no matter what, you cannot allow them to do that. Never, never, never give up on your dream. Never. When you’re so down that you feel like you’ll need a step ladder to look an ant in the eye, that’s just the time that you need to dig deep and find the inspiration to carry on. To light the flame within your heart. To stand tall. To find the enthusiasm to bring new life into a broken dream.


Every night I pray to the good Lord that I will keep the flame burning in my heart, to see my book published before I go Home to be with the Lord. Failure is not an option.


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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