In my recent post, “The Last Gift,” I wrote about the last present that Dad gave me on Thanksgiving Day. It was practical, a plastic toothpick holder filled with toothpicks.
This morning the thought occurred to me that Dad’s fingerprints, literally, are still on that gift. If I had the powder that the police use to lift and identify fingerprints, Dad’s would be all over that little plastic container. Somehow this thought warmed me to the core. Something of Dad left behind–something invisible yet strangely tangible–his fingerprints. At first, I thought about never picking up that toothpick holder again. Of course, this would completely defeat the purpose of the gift–the reason Dad gave it in the first place.
Then reality set in. After daily use, Dad’s fingerprints will fade. Soon Wayne’s, Julia’s, Mom’s, Ginger’s and my fingerprints will replace Dad’s and slowly wipe them off. There was no way to preserve those fleeting fingerprints.
Still in this thought I know of some engravings on our lives that Dad left, much deeper than fading fingerprints. Dad could be called faithful, strong, responsible, decisive, funny, and witty. The list could go on and on. His life carved a deep and lasting impression. He left a strong legacy of goodness and godly character.
Dad’s touch, through his choices and example–his fingerprints of life–will last forever in my heart, my daughter’s heart, and her children. These fingerprints will not fade with daily use but will grow deeper and more profound with the passing of each day, each year.
Today, January 3rd, is Dad’s birthday. He would have been 75. We cannot celebrate as a family this year, but the touch of his life is more profound than ever.