Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Special Man's birthday -

Long ago and far away.... a little boy was born to two very thrilled parents. He was a beautiful little boy, and his parents loved him dearly. He was their first child, and doted over by his family. They named him Edward Clark after his uncle. He grew up in Atlanta, GA, under their loving and watchful care...and many years later, would get married and become my father. :) Today is his birthday and this is his birthday post in his honor. :)

Mary, Joe, Baby Eddie, and Mother Jean. Somewhere back in those days...I am under Present Protection Program not to tell you the exact era, because I will no longer receive presents. :)


Little Joseph and Big bro, Eddie eating out on the lawn, in the Summer of .... the 50's. :) Jo and Eddie looked so much alike when they were younger, that to tell them apart in pictures is like looking at twins!
Dad's school picture in the later 50's.
And we skip up to the 80's, because that is where my stash of old pics ends. My dad is a great lover of fishing, he and his dad fished a lot, here he is with a nice string of fish in Atlanta, GA.
California 1987 - Daddy, Kimberly, and Mommy.
Our handsome man himself.

Daddy and Kimberly.
Florida, Feb. 1992 - Daddy and Kimberly on another one of his birthdays. :)
Jan. 1993 Me, Kimberly, and Daddy raking leaves. We worked a lot with Daddy outside, and did odd jobs and projects, just like Daddies and Children should do. :D I've learned so much working side by side with him. Thank you for teaching me so much, Dad!
June 1993 - He also passed on his love of fishing to Kimberly and I. :) Here we are in Georgia, after an afternoon of fishing at the country club's lake with Grandpa and Daddy. We were pretty excited, but I think I caught two fish. Haha. Kim is expressing her "Wow!" here. :D
Daddy, Kimberly, our fishin' poles, myself and Grandpa Joe.
December 1993 - I got the American girl Bitty Baby, and Kimberly got Molly! We were SO excited and thankful for what we really wanted that year! Grins all around that day!
Lake Michigan, 1995 - Mama and Daddy walking along the shoreline. And looking quite happy and in love. :) *Note - that's because they were.
Awwww. So happy.
Another skip in pictures to 2006 - Daddy was awarded a special honor through NASA.

Ed and Mary Ellen at the Special Awards Banquet. We were (and are!) so proud of you, Daddy!
Miscellaneous shots from 2007 to 2008.
Pigeon River, Tennessee.

Ever the lover of nature at heart.
November 2008 Old Spanish Sugar Mill, Barbarville, FL.
December 2008 - Mount Dora, Florida. Our getaway vacation with Sarah Magee. I told them to stay there and smile, and Sarah and I were snapping away with the cameras. Haha...Mama has this silly face on because we were laughing lots.
Awww...there we go. Notice Daddy's finger, he accidentally cut it with a hand saw, and had it wrapped up for a couple weeks. :( Poor man. The rug says - "Lakeside Inn", where we stayed.
I saw this while we were walking around Mt. Dora, and dragged them back there, to kiss in front of the gate - these are two of my very favorite pictures from that trip. Wow. Dad, ever the helper, was holding Sarah's jacket over his arm...that's who he is. Purses, jackets, packages, if you need help, he'll carry it for you, and never care. :D What a guy, right? YES!
I. Love. It.... and them. I. Love. Them. So. Much.
Mama and Daddy were holding hands almost all day while we walked around Mt. Dora! :D
Christmas 2008 - During our family portrait sesson, I snapped some shots of Dad playing guitar, one of his loves.

It is no wonder that we all love the sound of guitar, Kimberly and I grew up hearing it often, at least once a week. It is one of my favorite instruments to listen to because of Daddy.
Our Christmas 2008 Family Picture. We were Scots that day. The Fambrough Family. Daddy, today is your birthday!!! Happy Birthday to you! I love you so much! I cannot tell you how much I love you being my dad. You, Mom, and Kim are the world to me. I love you more than the world, oceans, mountains, and all that the future holds...I will love you more than that.

I was feeling badly that I did not have a special present for you, a special surprise, other than this, until I heard that we were giving you "The Conference" in June. :) Well, then. Nevermind. :D Haha, just kidding. So, I think this is my present to you, this post.

I am so grateful and thankful every day that you are my dad! You give the best present to us all every day - You love Christ first, then you love us. Day in, day out. You never stop loving us, or letting us know it. You are such a wonderful man! Sometimes, even though I see your faults, I wonder if I could ever find someone who I could marry, because they don't match up like you and Mom do! It's a predicament, that's for sure! :) I've seen marriage at its ups and downs with you and Mom, yet I don't think I ever saw either of you carry your anger into the next day. "Don't let the sun go down on your wrath", was not something you just taught us, but you lived it out! There might have been a few times, but I don't remember them. :) You always (and are!) were open for hugges, kisses, tickles, and saying "I love you.". You and Mom sang us to sleep with our special lullaby after night prayers every night until we were in high school. Wow.

You pushed us to do things we didn't want to do, kept us safe from things that would hurt us, introduced us proudly to your friends, and taught us to see others as not so different, they were still people that mattered. You took us on many vacations, taught us how to ride our bikes, sprayed us with the hose, pushed us on the swings, threw us into the pool, scared us out of every breath we had numerous times of jumping out of nowhere....did all the things that daddies do with their children, yet just better. Because it was Daddy loving me. And Mama. And Kimberly.
Because it was my daddy. We were blessed by God with our "Sweet life under the Savior".

There is one memory that came to mind this morning, and I couldn't forget it. Because even though I don't remember much, I remember those few things well. And out of all these pictures, we don't have a picture of that time, because there was no one to take it.

There's one picture that I wish I had. That day in '96 when Daddy and I stood on that St. Augustine pier. It was the end of our trip, and we were headed home. We were driving out of St. Augustine, and I was in tears of disappointment because we weren't going to go to the pier like was promised. It was raining, really and truly raining hard. I remember Mom and Dad talking about it, and eventually, we pulled up to the pier entrance, "Just to at least see it" - Mom said. I asked if I could walk out to the end, but both Mom and Dad said no. I stared out the window that rain was splashing upon, and tried not to cry.

The next thing I know is Mom saying she was not going, and Kim too, but there is Dad outside my door with his jacket on, and an umbrella held high. "We'll just go out there quickly, the two of us." he said. I squealed in excitement, wiped the tears away, and hopped outside the car. We walked to the ticket box office, got a ticket for each of us, and walked the whole long way down that pier to the very end. I wish you could have seen it. Our legs were getting splashed and drippy from the rain falling off the umbrella and slanting in sideways, I was pulled tight up against Dad's side so I would be dry, the wind was breezy and smelled so good, the clouds were dark and the boardwalk was slippery and wet. We were laughing and humming "Singing in the Rain". We stood there and watched the waves slap against each other, spray misting us each time. We watched the clouds tumble and roll, and heard the thunder rumbling in the distance. We listened to the seagulls cry and screech, and the breeze is ruffling our hair. Dad wasn't doing it begrudgingly, he was truly excited to be there too, he was telling me something or other about being there when he was a little boy, and what it looked like when he was little. About my age, actually. :) We walked the whole way back, and arrived back to the car breathless and more than a little soggy.

I can still hear and see those memories so clearly. My hand in his, the umbrella over us both, the rain falling, the water splashing. I can feel it - the wind, the excitement, the joy. I can feel the love between us, surrounding us. That will always be a special memory to me, Daddy, thank you. You didn't know it then, but that pier visit showed me just how much you really cared about the little things in making me feel loved and special.

Mama doesn't remember going there at all. Last time I brought it up, she wondered if maybe I had dreamt it up, since we didn't go....but it couldn't be that clear and tangible, could it? I remembered that somewhere I had a ticket, so I looked in my old scrapbook, and low and behold, there was my red ticket. My ticket that I held tightly in my 8 yr. old hand as we walked.


And here is what I wrote beneath that ticket - "Went to St. Augustine and went on pier to see the water, just Daddy and I. July 6, 1996." :D Says a lot, doesn't it?
There's one picture that I wish I had. That day in '96 when Daddy and I stood on that St. Augustine pier.... but I'm pretty sure I have something better: the memory. :)

Daddy, on your birthday, I hope you feel a small fraction of how special I felt on that day, on this day! Because I love you just as much as you love me. Happy Birthday, Daddy! Thank you for all that you are, and live out, and for all that you have worked for, for us. I thank God for you!

I love you always and forever,
Jean Marie

P.S. Leave Dad a "Happy Birthday" comment, if you like! I know he'd love to hear it from you all! :)

14 comments:

Becca Elizabeth said...

Happy Happy Birthday Mr.Fambrough!!!
May God Bless you and your family :)
~Becca

Sarah said...

Happy birthday, Mr Fambrough! I'm blessed to know you. I have sweet and fun memories of you from my visits over.

Sending love and a hug from across the Atlantic,

Sarah

P.S. A truly lovely post, Jean!

Laurie said...

Happy Birthday, Mr. Fambrough!
Much love,
The Jarvis Family :)

Emily Stone said...

Happy birthday, Mr. Fambrough!
I hope this your *cough-cough* year is the fullest you've had yet! :)
The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace. ~Numbers 6:26-27
~Emily

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Ed. We sure did appreciate looking at all the lovely pics that your precious wee lass posted....Know that we love and miss you. We need to quit living like we are on Venus and you are on Mars....Dinner soon....it really must happen...

Happy Birthday again...

Jack, Kim and kids

Anonymous said...

Let’s see, ol’buddy, we’ve been at this a few decades now haven’t we?
Wonder if you can unpack any of these?

Wow, sorta foggy, but I recollect the smell of deer skins on army trunks and recall trying to master strike-anywhere matches being shot from clothes pins down at Ma Jean’s. (Sure wish I could remember how to modify the clothes pin.) You could easily shoot your match well past mine and over into the gasoline vapor as it slowly crawled toward us. Impressive.

How many chipmunks can you get into a shower stall? Then there were the days of playing with Cousin Billy on the Garden Hill School grounds. Figure we could get away with carrying those Mausers around there now? No, I don’t want to talk about the scout hut. Let’s keep moving, okay?

Yep, got to be careful here. Let’s see, there was Singletary’s thirty-ought-six at the creek off the Chattahoochee. Waco. Pioneer. ’59 Pontiac lawn mower. Carpooling on Paces Ferry was officially defined by sociologists as “at risk”. Aunt Hallie’s Cadillac convertible. A Lark can outdo a Falcon. The right mixture of paper mache can patch plaster. Catfishing in Sope Creek can be exciting – look for the rod tip. Special prayers at Grandview Lake breakfast. Finding your “lost” brother in Crabapple. Whatyameanitain’tgotaclutch? TKF or was it TFK? “Ah ain’t thew yit”. Marty has all the chips … again!

Now sorta sliding along like nylon on frets. I-85 Southbound and I-85 Northbound got a lot of travel. The Atlantic is a BIG ocean and I was happy you got back and stayed. Tassy’s on your birthday. Brookhaven glueman, man. “You must keep current!” was I ever proud!
I barely got started, but now I’s tucker’d out, but I’m still proud … to be your brother!
Happy birthday, bro!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fambrough,

"Many Happy Returns of the Day." (Originally attributed to W.T. Pooh)

Birthday greetings from the ServenClan

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Ed!
We enjoyed the pictures. You are a blessed man to have such a wonderful family! We pray the Lord will do MANY wonderful things in you and your family's lives this year! You are a very special friend who we enjoy greatly! God bless you abundantly! Love, Stephen, Carol and family

Joseph H. said...

Happy Birthday Mr. Fambrough, I hope it was a good one 8-)

Anna Grace said...

Here's to one of my dearest friend's fathers...consequently...one of my *favorite* dearest friend's fathers!!!! :D
Mr. Fambrough...thank you for all of the encouragement you have given to my family and I over the years. It has been an honor to walk through life with you!
Many MANY Blessings,
Anna :)

Lauren Hope said...

Happy Birthday Mr. Fambrough!! I hope your year is filled with many more of God's blessings!

~Lauren
(P.S. ...Sorry this is belated!)

Jean Marie said...

Thank you, everyone who left a comment! We were all so blessed by hearing straight from you, your prayers and wishes and memories for my father. I wish you could have seen the grin on his face as he read all of the sweet things ya'll said, and his happy birthday wishes! I am so thankful to you all for being loving to my father in this way! He enjoyed each and every single one, just because they were from every single one of you all. :)

God bless!
~ Jean Marie

Anonymous said...

Well, our comment is definitely belated, but Happy Birthday to you, Ed!

What a wonderful commendation Jean's tribute is to you as her father. To have loving and close relationships with our adult children is a gift that only comes from the result of our Lord's work in our lives teaching us how to parent, isn't it? Praise to His name!

You have been an encouraging friend and brother in the Lord through these years of our friendship...we hope for many more. Happy Belated Birthday!

Michael and Julia Stone

Margaret T said...

A very late birthday wish for you, Ed!!! What a wonderful tribute that Jean has written and documented, and what wonderful women you have in your life! Thank you for your faithful walk with Christ and your commitment to his body, the church. Thank you for your friendship to us. We are thankful for you and your family.
Much love and belated birthday wishes!
The Thompson family