“It is a humbling and honoring feat to leave a legacy of love for those we hold dear in this life."
Early this morning, when I started my car to go to work, my dashboard crudely reported that one of my tires was low. I was unsure if it was typical seasonal pressure changes or a nail stuck in my tire (which has happened on countless occasions).
Despite being a 42-year-old full-grown woman, I called my Dad … for help.
Less than two hours later, my Dad showed up at my office parking lot with his trusty (and rusty) old air compressor. He filled each of my tires, obviously including the one that was reading low. Only, he ran out of air in the compressor, so we drove to the nearest gas station, where he continued to fill each tire, making certain they all read correctly.
As I watched this man who had come to my rescue infinite times since he held me in his arms as a baby, I happened to notice he was wearing overalls.
The one memory I have of my Grandpa Maphies (my Dad's Dad) involves him wearing overalls. It could be that the treasured photo hanging on my bedroom wall of me, being held by Grandma and Grandpa Maphies, is the memory that I hold close to my heart. Whether it is the photo or my memory, I always associate men in overalls with my Grandpa Maphies. Hard-working country men who prefer to be outdoors, getting their hands dirty doing what they love, helping others out of tough situations.
Today is my Grandpa Maphies’ Birthday. And today, I received the blessed gift of Dad showing up to help for the second time this week - wearing overalls.
No, I do not believe in coincidences. I believe this was a divinely inspired message from my Grandpa to both my Dad and me. As some would say, my Dad is a chip off the old block. Grandpa Maphies must look down from heaven and nod his fatherly approval at not only his firstborn (my Dad), but his three other children, Aunt Christy, Aunt Sherrie, and Uncle Larry … as they are all outstanding folks.
Today, we remember a great man. A man who wore overalls and helped others every chance he got. A man who was taken from us far too soon. But, I look at his great legacy of love, and I am sure he accomplished more in his short life than most do when given double that time.
Because of my Grandfather's beautiful legacy of love, my Dad has modeled the same toward his daughter (me). Those Random Acts of Kindness, paying it forward in the Starbucks line, mowing an elderly widow’s lawn in the heat of summer, or helping a young family with groceries at a particularly difficult time of year, have never failed to bless a worthy recipient.
True love shows action. My Grandpa Maphies, and my own Dad, Duane Maphies, have lived (and continue to live) this example daily. In thinking of the way my Dad followed in his Father’s footsteps, I wonder whose young eyes, growing minds, and hungry hearts are watching the example I set. It is a humbling and honoring feat to leave a legacy of love for those we hold dear in this life.
Happy Birthday, Grandpa Maphies. Someday, I will hug you … the way I did as a child.
P.S. I wonder if Heaven has overalls?
About the Author - Manndi Maphies DeBoef
Manndi Maphies DeBoef works at the UMKC School of Pharmacy and as a freelance writer in her spare time. Her greatest passion is being a boy mom to her two sons, William (11) and Waylan (9). Her sons never fail to provide daily entertainment, which inspires many of her writings.
She also loves to write about everything from being a single mom and dating after divorce to finding love later in life, the devastation of miscarriage, the loss of a loved one, and starting over. Her pieces are lovingly filled with inspiration, encouragement, and always a touch of humor.