21 January 2014


by Andy Weddington
Tuesday, 21 January 2014

"Without the spiritual world the material world is a disheartening enigma." Joseph Joubert

It's been an unusual ten days. Peculiar things, comforting things, have been going on - spiritual things that make our material world heartening.

Some 45 years ago I first came across my parents high school yearbooks (they graduated, though not the same year, from the same school). I remember. The books fascinated me. My parents, who seemed so old, were once young. But age and time frames perspective - it'd not been that long ago for them. For me, it may as well have been a century.

This morning, reflecting back on those yearbooks, what most came to mind are two photos of my Dad - a full-figure in football uniform with arm in cast (broken during a game); and his formal senior photo.

Harry Weddington - middle right

Harry Weddington

Just shy of 17 years ago my father gifted me a wristwatch, a chronometer really, that was gifted to him from the company he loyally worked for for decades. I still remember his words while handing me the treasure he earned and wore proudly only on special occasions, "Andy, a major working at Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps needs a Rolex." Etched on the back is his name and August 24, 1989 - I've worn it every day since.

I was awakened well before sunrise on the morning of 12 January - 9 days ago. I moved from bed to porch to catch up on news on my iPad and watch the sun spark life.

Something suddenly nudged me to glance at my watch (purposely set five minutes fast). The time: 7:33. 

I glanced at my iPad - on the header: 7:28 AM.

My Dad died exactly 24 hours earlier.

A chill swept through me. Then warmth.

I'd not been able to be with him.  

He came to me.

My Dad taught me to draw and paint in my youth - long before teenage years. I've been at it some 50 years.

In college a brilliant professor of communications taught me to see - truly see. A revelation struck, painting is not about the brush but seeing.

Thank you, Dr. Thomas Tedford.

The world has ever looked different to me. I see what most others miss.

The past few weeks I've been painting. And most recently teaching others - to see, that which others do not, and then to paint what they see.

For days in the middle of the night I've awakened thinking about how to help my students. And my Dad has been making suggestions - remind them of this and that. Show them! I have.

He came to me.

Sunday past a longtime Marine friend, who met my Dad a time or two, posted a quote on Facebook for me honoring my Dad. That quote was the same one from my Dad's yearbook. The words are Hamlet's - speaking of his Dad, Old Hamlet.

My friend had no way of knowing. I'd never mentioned the yearbook to him. There was never call to.

How did he know?

When I saw the post, the quote, a chill swept through me. Then warmth.

He came to me.

I told my friend about it.

He replied, "A chill swept through me." How odd. But not odd at all.

Thirty-one years ago my friend's Dad, knowing of tough times, gifted me a photo (he was then 27th commandant of the Marine Corps) on the border of which he's inscribed: For 1stLt Andy Weddington, USMC - Keep the faith! R. H. Barrow

It's a treasure. His words "Keep the faith!" have seen me through tough times - again and again.

Tough times it's been these past ten days.

Though not so easy, keep the faith - I have.

Absolutely Staff Sergeant Harry F. Weddington, U. S. Air Force (1935-2014) and General Robert H. Barrow, U. S. Marine Corps (1922-2008) - who never met in life - have met and orchestrated a crystal clear message to us. How could it possibly be otherwise?!

He came to me.

Thank you, General.

Thank you, Rob.

I'd not paid attention to the young man pictured aside my Dad in his yearbook. But I did this week. Note the quote that accompanies his name.

A chill swept through me. Then warmth.

Again, he came to me.

Thank you, Dad. 

Still - I miss you, and ever will.

Keep the faith!

Post Script

Troubled By The Cross



No comments: