A bit of background. His daughter, born in the covenant, raised LDS is no longer practicing LDS or in the vernacular, inactive. Of his five children, four of which are daughters, none are currently what is described as active. At least two have found and participate in their own faith denominations. The family had gravitated to inactivity when his daughters entered their teen years and the family began to face the typical dilemnas of having teen daughters. At the juncture that his and my life came together, he was not only inactive but thoroughly angry, hurt, and disappointed the promises of his church were not being realized in their family life. He with his 24 year LDS marriage, me with my 24 year marriage (non-Mormon) and divorces which had the kind of fall out for all the family members which can follow the rupture of divorce. Needless to say, after 15 years of marriage to him, assimilating that his heritage is a big part of what formed his character, the decision of baptism and his rebaptism was a bit of surprise to his adult children. Which makes this part of the story with his daughter accompaying us to church on Father's Day a bit more significant.
I can't know his daughter's inner thoughts during the three hours, and she was entirely gracious during the services, however, when I explained that normally he would be sitting with us in the pew, she commented that she was used to him not sitting with them in the pew, he was usually playing piano in the choir loft. She seemed quite comfortable with the service, right up until her Dad, playing one of the hymns caused her to cry. I can guess at what some of her emotional feelings may have been.
Interestingly enough, with the change in our normal routine, staying for Sunday School, we instead went to the Primary class with the little ones. His daughter was almost transported to an earlier time in her life when she did attend Primary classes, reciting the recitations, singing the songs, enjoying her Dad's light hearted piano tunes to accompany the children hymns. It was precious for me to witness, giving me a bit of a sense of how it might have been for her when she was a child growing up LDS in her parent's home.
Some women from the Relief Society came to get me, worried I might not realize I was to give the lesson. Oh, yes, I did indeed realize, had the lesson prepared, and was ready, just not sure when this Primary lesson ended. In other words, with the change in routine, I was off in the timing, unsure of the timing of Primary lesson. His daughter accompanied me to Relief Society where I did deliver the lesson, receiving her welcome compliment on the nature of my presentation. The lesson, being on talents, was a less challenging topic than some other topic might have been for me to present knowing his daughter was part of the sharing that day.
Our ward has initiated what is being called Linger Longer once a month, where those that wish to stay (linger) a bit longer to socialize, enjoy informal potluck food stuff. This particular Sunday was such and his daughter was agreeable to staying to meet people, eat and socialize. An added element to the day. I was pleased that she was able to meet our Bishop, his wife, the Missionaries, along with some of the other members.
In view of the family story, I really can't think of a more special way for Dad and Daughter to have spent this Father's Day than the way it unfolded. We didn't and couldn't have planned it to unfold in the way it did, and with that might well conclude that blessings did indeed abound via the grace of Heavenly Father (the Beloved, Heavenly Family, Holy Spirit).