(Guideposts) My dad loved to sing and loved any meal that brought our family together. He loved boats and the beach and being outdoors. He loved God, and his prayers were filled with gratitude.

He taught me how to spell my name in Morse code, to play pool and ping-pong, to bait a fish hook, but the important things he taught me were by his example. He was compassionate, caring and respectful. I never heard him say a negative word about another person. What a lesson that was.

Dad is 81 now. His once-brilliant mind has been ravaged by dementia. He doesn’t know my name. He rarely says two sentences in a row that make any sense.

And yet, without words he is still teaching me one of the most important lessons of all: how to trust God in the smallest moments, how to see that God is still present and working through all of us, even now, even on those days when I don’t understand a thing my father is saying except the word “beautiful.”

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