MUSIC MEMORIES IN THE MIND OF MY WONDERFUL FATHER
Horace Williams, Jr. commented on a post here @ Being Woven (April 29, 2016/Memory’s Music) which so touched my heart. It was in regards to the topic and the love he has for his father. I have invited him to be my guest today.
In honor of Father’s Day, I welcome Horace Williams, Jr. of Pleasing to the Potter.
My father is a wonderful man! I am blessed to be his first born son and his namesake. I have not written specifically about him on my site even though it was intended in the parent references I’ve made on several occasions. My father and I have a very unique relationship but as I have grown older and wiser, my desire is to live like he lives in representing Jesus Christ.
Today, I want to share with you some highlights so you can know him a little better and then I will convey how music has impacted my father’s life and continues to do so. Growing up as a child, I can remember my father and his love for classical music. I did not really understand it at that time and I can remember thinking where are the words? How can you listen to music with no words, I would ask myself? Two of his favorite composers are Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.
I admit as I got older I began to understand his affinity for classical music. In fact, I am listening to one of my favorites (Tchaikovsky) right now as I type this. He composed so many great pieces of music such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and my favorite, his Piano Concerto No. 1. As a former piano player myself, I can only dream to have played like this, but I digress! Now back to my father. Here are some highlights to give you a “peek” into just who he is.
Fantastic facts about my Father:
Faithful Husband. Dad and Mom celebrated their 50th wedding Anniversary this year!
Fantastic Father of five children.
Fortunate Grandpa to 11 amazing grandchildren. I say fortunate because my parents had to be wondering if I would ever give them a grandchild. I think my mom stopped asking me fifteen years ago!
Fluent in 4 languages. (at one time he was) English, Spanish, French, and German
First class Army Veteran. Dad was a distinguished Army Captain of the MP’s during the time of the Vietnam War.
Former Pastor, Church planter, and Home Missionary. It was during my dad’s time in the Army that He came to know Christ as his Lord and Savior and felt led to attend Bible College. He then became a Home Missionary as God directed him to start a church.
Free Taxi Driver. I can still remember either dropping me off or picking me up in the wee hours of the night from work regardless of how many hours he had worked that day.
Frequently Awkward Adviser. I think because my father saw us as so different, he had a hard time figuring me out at times. Although he always advised me in love growing up, our differences made it hard on him at times. For example, I loved playing sports; he played in the band. He loved Sci-fi movies and I prefer a great mystery or love story. Oh, how I wish I had listened to those “awkward” conversations growing up. Looking back now, they were filled with such Godly wisdom.
Fighting a difficult battle with the debilitating Alzheimer’s disease. Yes, you read correctly. My father now suffers from Alzheimer’s. A few years ago my father was t-boned while driving my car as I was recovering from the stroke. My car was totaled; he was okay, just a little shaken. It was at that moment we wondered if there might be something wrong with the safest driver I have ever known. I remember the day he told me his diagnosis was confirmed. He kept repeating it to anyone who would listen… I have Alzheimer’s. It broke my heart!
As I watch Alzheimer’s progressively attack my father’s brain, I go to God in prayer asking for peace in my father’s mind. I do not understand the disease and I’m not sure anyone does. I’ve read research articles and reports on the subject. It was stated in one article that sometimes Alzheimer sufferers remember things buried in their heart.
I feel my father’s love when he greets me with a kiss and calls me by my name. His love for music is still evident. For our parent’s 50th anniversary, all of my siblings pitched in and we got them tickets to the symphony. It was a performance of both Beethoven and Mozart. My mom said he absolutely loved it! He sat still for the entire two-hour performance and did not move a muscle! (I would include a picture but they are all pretty dark.)
Mom also plays the local classical music station when they are driving as too much talking seems to perturb him at times. My father has always been a fan of the “old school” hymns. He never really has been a fan of the contemporary Christian music. He loves hymns like The Old Rugged Cross and How Great Thou Art. One hymn that has special meaning and seems to have stayed with him through everything is My Hope is Built on Nothing Less. It is a beautiful and inspiring hymn from the 1800’s, a song overflowing with hope in Jesus and our foundation in Him.
Just a few days ago we all went to visit our parents. He sat down in the chair next to me and asked me how I was doing. I told him I was feeling okay, but was having a little pain. He looked me in the eye and recited the first verse of this song to me. It was all I could do to keep from crying. I got up and kissed him on the forehead as I whispered, I love you, Dad. I’m not sure I will ever understand why this is happening to such a kind, loving, and brilliant man with a heart for God. I trust my Father in Heaven and I ask Him that He bless my earthly father with peace of mind…even if it’s the few minutes of listening to or hearing his favorite songs.
I’ve included a beautiful video of the song my dad recites to me every time he sees me. I pray you are encouraged and inspired. Please pray for my father and grace for my mother.
Blessings to you and yours,
Horace Williams Jr.
I am a single, Christian man who loves the Lord Jesus with all his heart. I am also the oldest of five siblings. In the Summer of 2010, I suffered a devastating stroke that could have taken my life. My entire left side was paralyzed due to a ruptured blood vessel in my brain! However, God has given me a second chance and I want to glorify Him every day. As my love for Christ grows deeper, it’s my desire to share my faith with others. I pray you find help, inspiration, and encouragement as I share with you about the transforming power and love of God.