Click above to listen to the Thanksgiving piano-English horn duet as you read. This track version is from 2009 Best Holiday Album December Peace (ZMR Awards, winning over Enya and Yo-Yo Ma). If you enjoy, please consider sampling and ordering the CD, MP3 Album or sheet music. You can also listen and download on iTunes and all other digital outlets.
This story is from 31 Days of December Peace (soft cover or eBook). Also available from Amazon Kindle, iTunes, and other e-Readers.
Where could you use some “December Peace” today?
Lord, Make Us Thankful ~ by Stanton Lanier (Copyright 2012, not to be re-published without permission)
Frank Stanton Bondurant was his name. My mom called him “Daddy,” but to his grandsons he was known as “Daddy B.” He was born in 1905 and died in 2002, just shy of his 97th birthday. As I reflect on his influence in my life, I am amazed at how many lasting impressions he made. He was quite a storyteller.
Daddy B was an only child. His parents both died before their 42nd birthday, so he didn’t think he would live past that age. They both played piano, but he was a gifted violinist. He played high school football when there were no face masks, just a thin leather helmet. He broke both eyebrow bones and both collar bones. He loved to play games and tell jokes. If you said, “Please pass the cereal,” he would throw you the box! He introduced me to fig preserves and Mama B’s blackberry cobbler. He threw baseball with me for hours when I was a Little League pitcher, teaching me how to grip the threads to throw a curve ball, drop ball, fast ball and slider. He played his violin with me when I was playing piano in middle and high school (that’s us in the photo when I was thirteen).
When I learned to drive he always reminded me that if an animal ever ran in front of me that I should “go through it,” and not swerve to miss it. He had wrecked his car one time avoiding a dog. His advice probably saved my family’s life when I hit a deer in June 2002 driving sixty miles per hour. I went through it. Incredibly, we were on the way to Daddy B.’s funeral when this happened.
“Lord, make us thankful for these and all our blessings. Pardon our sins for Christ’s sake. Amen.” This was Daddy B’s prayer before every meal whenever we saw him. These are only a few of my memories of this beloved man of character, passion and faith. I loved Daddy B. I will always remember the blessing he was in my life.
Who is your Daddy B? Can you be a “Daddy B” for someone?
Judy Houle says
Muriel and John Kemp were faithful members of my Dad’s church in Somerville, MA, when he served there during the 50s and 60s. They had no children of their own, but embraced my brothers and me along with all the others in our church as if we were theirs. Muriel taught Sunday School and led the Junior Choir. She introduced us to so many of the great hymns of faith and had us memorize them so we would not use music when we sang in church. One Sunday, only 3 of us were able to sing at a service out of the usual 9-10. We were nervous, but she prayed with us and told us we could do it. And we did! She was so happy, she cried. My memories of Sunday School classes and singing with Muriel are vivid and bring me pure joy.
I’ve worked in education for almost 40 years. My husband and I don’t have children of our own. So I consider my students, and now my younger staff, to me my kids. When I spend time with them, I remember Muriel and hope that I am passing along her legacy. I can imagine her saying to me, “You can do it!”