Daddy's Unknown Blessing
Peggy K. Mack
August 4, 2013
I will never know the blessing my Dad asked at the dinner table. It was understood that he was the one who sat at the head of the table and he taught us to bow our heads in reverence and gratitude as he prayed the same blessing at every meal I can remember. I truly believe, that his dad had offered the same blessing at their humble table which gathered 10 children and two parents with meager belongings but full Christian hearts.
If I tried to type my Dad's blessing, it would look like this:
Ah GaSa Fa...
me ta thee
Now my sister and I have tried to repeat the "homily" in an effort to determine what in the world he might have been saying. And, since my father spoke with no speech problems, I can only imagine this little blessing was memorized in his mind far back in his childhood. I laugh to think that maybe, because there were ten kids around the table, maybe he was far away from the sound of his dad's voice and he interpreted what he believed his dad was saying at every meal.
All we know, for certain, is that he believed wholeheartedly in saying the blessing before each one of our meals and expected us to do the same. He was not a teacher by words, but a man of soft spoken action and believed in teaching by example. As a small child, I am certain I believed he was truly saying something, and to God, I am certain he was. For me, I must have decided that his blessing was how blessings were spoken because both mom and my older sister by six years seemed to think he was praying, so who was I to ask?
I look back, now, at Daddy's blessing and wish I had said to him, "Daddy teach me your blessing." I will never know why I never asked because I know I was a curious and talkative child. Maybe, it was because he said it with such conviction and discipline and reverence. He made the choice to lead us to begin each meal gathered as a family at the table, to bow our heads in reverence and to feel gratitude to God for all we had and the food we were eating. And it was not an option. We never questioned it and found, as children, a comforting foundation to the beginning of our faith. I regret not clinging to that ritual through life. Add that to my long list of things I would have done differently.
I think Dad's blessing and probably our grandfather's blessing was a simple one, much like the gentle men who prayed it. But they were men of faith, close to God in their heart, never asking, "why me?" and always facing life with a deep, everlasting joy that prevailed throughout their entire lives. I will thank Dad and ask him in Heaven, "what were you saying?"
For now, I have a sweet memory of a homily that held our family together through good and bad times. It remains one of many memories that my sister and I share with sweet joy.
Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
This is the way he governs the nations and provides food in abundance.
All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time.
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
If I attempted to translate the words of Daddy's humble blessing, they might read:
Our Gracious Father,
We thank thee
for these blessings.
We ask in Christ's name,