Words of Hope: Bedtime stories

Dad was a magnificent storyteller. He could mesmerize audiences at camp with stories of Challenger, our big black lab, or make everyone howl with laughter by a funny face or a silly expression. Dad loved stories. He told me stories as a young girl by the hour. My cousin would come over and spend summers with us at camp. We would lay on the bed together as Dad told our favorite story about Torsha, my cat. Torsha was a tomcat, bright orange, and super loving. He would lay in my arms all night purring. I loved this cat. Dad hated the cat because Torsha loved to pee on anything soft my Dad owned. One night Dad had traveled north into upper Alberta and stayed in a bunkhouse in winter. He could see his breath. He pulled out his sleeping bag and snuggled deep inside. Then he sniffed. My cousin and I would giggle when he would demonstrate his first sniff. Then he sniffed again. We would start howling with laughter, watching him imitate sniffing the sleeping bag that had been Torsha’s litter box in the garage. Dad must have told us that story a thousand times—every summer, each time with the same enthusiasm and joy as the first time he told it. He loved to watch us laugh. He said he didn’t laugh much in his home growing up with his parents. It was a fearful, angry place – and if there was laughter, it was often at another’s expense. He valued laughter as a sign of a healthy and loving home. He did all he could to help me, Jay, and everyone around him to laugh together.  

“You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and new wine abound. In peace I will lay down in sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.” – Psalm 4:7-8