I want to take this time to talk about my fathers – both earthly and heavenly.
Wayne Alexander Hitchens is a man like no other. Oh he’s not perfect. And I think our family had its share of heartache and heartbreak but I think he did a pretty amazing job.
My fondest memories of my dad go back to my younger days in Chillicothe. He was always bigger than life to me. He was a healer with big hands that took care of every ache and pain, every cut and bruise. He was a teacher teaching me how to properly throw and field softballs or how to put a worm on a fishing hook. He was an encourager telling me I could do and be whatever I wanted to be. He was a disciplinarian with the big homemade paddle. Though I was never spanked, I learned my lesson just from knowing the paddle was at the ready.
He taught lessons of tenacity and perseverance in the face of adversity. He was a trailblazer in the community and in the work place. He was a man who wanted to correct the injustices that racism brought. He and my Uncle Robert worked to desegregate swimming pools in the area. We were the first black family to live on our street when we moved to the east end back in 1967. And he was among the first black men to work at the paper mill.
But he was never one to let race define his life. He accepted people for who they were and not judge them based on their color. He helped develop many recreational programs in Chillicothe knowing that sports and healthy activities were ways to reach kids – white and black. He was that guy.
My heavenly father is like no other also. He is perfect. He is bigger than life. He gives life. He is a teacher, a comforter, a disciplinarian, an encourager, and a healer.
I thank my heavenly father for my earthly father.
I love you Dad.
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Repeated several times throughout the Bible so it must be really important: Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16; Matthew 15:4 (just to list a few.)