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*Thanks Dad, Thanks*


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Thanks, Dad, Thanks

By Janet Seever

My father grew up as an only child of second-generation German immigrants, a rigid upbringing. In his early twenties, he married his high school sweetheart from a neighboring farm. I was the first of five children.

Dad expected his children to excel at school and whatever else they did. As the oldest, I worked hard to meet his expectations.

In this era, fathers did not hug or kiss their children. Praise was sparse because it might "go to their heads and make them proud."

I remember a few occasions when we did things together. Dad would carefully mark rows in the garden early each spring when the ground was still cold and damp. My brother and I would follow him as he planted the first long rows of peas. I also remember planting spruce seedlings with him as part of a conservation project.

A few times I fished with Dad and my younger brother in Dad's old wooden boat. When the lake was high, huge sunfish hid around the roots of up-ended willow trees.

How I longed for Dad to say, "I love you" and give me a hug, but it never happened. Did he approve of me? It was difficult to tell in my teenage years.

I grew up, graduated from the university, and eventually married. Unfortunately, my husband and I often lived hundreds of miles away from my family, and at times our work took us overseas. Mom wrote weekly, telling of events back home, what my dad was doing, and news of my siblings. But Dad never wrote. He left that up to Mom.

When we came home to the farm, our visits were cordial, but Dad and I were never close like some fathers and daughters.

In 1986, it was time to say good-bye for another of our overseas assignments. My husband, two children and I, stood with Mom and Dad, our arms around each other. My husband prayed for God to watch over all us while we were apart.

Afterward, I hugged Dad and said, "I love you." It was still awkward.

"I love you too," he said and I noticed him brushing a tear from his eyes. How I wished we had been closer over the years.

My parents were in their early sixties, so I expected to have many more times together in the future. We'd be back from our work in Australia in four years.

Then two and a half years later, a life-shattering call came from home. That Sunday afternoon, Dad had been snowmobiling around the edge of the farm property, visiting neighbors. When he failed to return home, my brother-in-law searched for him and found him in the snow, dead of a massive heart attack.

Friends urged me to go home to Minnesota for the funeral. "You're not doing this for your father," they said. "You're doing this for yourself." How true it proved to be.

At the funeral, people had wonderful stories of Dad, a man of integrity with a quiet faith, Their stories were fresh; recent. They knew him so well. Even my youngest brother, twenty years younger than I, had related to Dad in a different way from me--as a friend.

Dad, how I wish I had really known you! I screamed inwardly. It was like a song without an ending, a book with the last pages torn out.

I grieved, for Dad and the close relationship that would never be.

Then, three years after his death, my mother died as well.

After the funeral, all of us five adult children came back to the farm and sifted through the treasures we had left behind in the attic of the family farmhouse. I was going through a box of my memorabilia when I came across a small canvas bag. Inside the bag were drawings I had done, old letters, and photos. In the midst, I discovered two letters from my dad written years back when I was finishing university-the only personal thing I had in his handwriting. How could I have forgotten that they existed?

I carefully pulled out the yellowing paper. The first one was about things on the farm. The second was about an honor society I had been elected to at the university.

When I read the first paragraph of the second letter, my eyes welled with tears, for he had written, "How proud I am to have a daughter like you. . ."

Thanks, Dad. Thanks.

Janet Seever

Write Janet and let her know your thoughts on her story!

The mother of two adult children, Janet Seever lives with her husband in Calgary, Alberta, where she writes for Word Alive magazine. She has had a variety of articles and short stories published in magazines and on Internet. You can find more of Janet's writing at and reach her at


Thought For The Day:

"The world wants your best but God wants your all."

Verse for the Day:

"Thou shalt love the Lord your God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."--Matthew 22:37

Kid's Thought for the Day:

"If you want someone to listen to what you are saying, whisper it."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"Men who have fought in the world's bloodiest wars....are apt to faint at the sight of a truly foul diaper."--Gary D. Christenson

Coach's Thought For The Day

"Competition is the spice of sports, but if you make spice the whole meal, you'll be sick."--George Leonard

Writer's Thought For The Day:

"This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don't consider it rejected. Consider that you've addressed it "to the editor who can appreciate my work" and it has simply come back stamped "Not at this address." Just keep looking for the right address." --Barbara Kingsolver

Deep Thought For The Day:

"I'm single by choice. Not my choice."


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"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business

Dear Michael,

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever! Love, Trisha Silverhill, AL

Let me make you a video from your photos! Check out my video production business by visiting:


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Do you feel as if life has no meaning for you?


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Reading Books, Changing Lives!

For those of you who would like to purchase the books from the bookstore via your credit card, you can now do so!

You can now order a number of different autographed best-selling inspirational books for the same price you would get them in the store, the shipping to you is paid for, and you are helping change the lives of teenagers and those they come in contact with! And best of all, every penny from the book sales are going to youth ministry!


A number of people have written to us asking what an EBook is, since our book is being offered in both print and EBook versions. An EBook is a book that can be downloaded and read right on your computer. The advantage of ordering the EBook is that is costs less, $6.95 (No other charges), as compared to $13.95 + shipping and handling for the print book. Plus you can download the EBook and begin reading the stories in a few minutes! EBooks are read via Acrobat Reader, which is software that most of you already have on your computer. And if for some reason you don't, it can be downloaded free of charge at the web site. So for those of you who don't want to wait for the print book to be delivered, check out this web site to order the EBook version of Heart Touchers.
Transfer your photographs or old home videos over to DVD or MP4 files! Give the gift that will touch your family's heart and soul.

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Touching Lives - One E-mail at a Time!
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