He Called Me, “Scalawag”

Now that I’m an adult, I understand the “pet” names my father used to call me. “Scalawag” was his favorite. I’m sure Dad wasn’t referring to me as a “white Southerner” supporting reconstruction governments after the American Civil War. He didn’t mean for me to take it literally, meaning “reprobate,” either. He just liked to tease…and not just me, that’s for sure. Dad loved to get a smile from all five of his children. And, yes, we were all “rascals” to one extent or another.

The photo below of

Richard Elmer Valentine Groves & Effie Alean Groves–1954–Ottumwa, IA

me with my dad was probably taken by my mother in Ottumwa, Iowa. I remember the day in 1954 when I stood there with him, his arm holding me. I felt secure and loved; I was.  The airplane hangar number is clearly shown, and I was the number two daughter, the baby of the family. I guess mom and dad decided to “hang it up” after I was born…the little “scamp!”

Father’s Day comes this year and I have a multitude of thoughts, even more than the number of names my dad loving called me. Strong men are always in demand. My dad was strong in many ways I can’t even imagine. He loved his family.during the difficult days of WWII. He took whatever job he could find just to feed seven hungry mouths…that’s strength. When he was overcome by failure and despondent, God’s love brought him through. He began again. All of the family loved him for that. I can still hear my mom say, “I love you, Richard.”

Today, in my personal devotions, I read about a different kind of father/daughter relationship: King David and his daughter Tamar. Many of you will know that Tamar was raped by her half-brother, Amnon. David was very angry about this family situation, but he didn’t take the steps his son Absalom took. Absalom invited his sister to live in his house, protected her, and eventually killed Tamar’s assailant. Now, I remind you, King David loved Absalom with a special kind of love for his son. The Bible records “the rest of the story” in 2 Samuel.

Isn’t it good to know that all believers in Messiah Jesus have God as their heavenly Father, and He will set all records straight in the final judgment? As our Father, God carries us through this life on the wings of the wind.

I wish all fathers a Happy Father’s Day on Sunday, June 17, 2012. My late husband, Roland, was a wonderful father to his three children. I miss him greatly. His Father’s Day has a different meaning now…It’s all good!

Our heavenly Father calls his children, “Beloved.” Now that’s a name I can live with.

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11 Responses to He Called Me, “Scalawag”

  1. floyd says:

    I love the picture of you and your dad, that’s one of this life’s true treasures I think. My mom and dad had nicknames for us as well, I take after them and have nicknames for all of mine too. Thanks for a wonderful and strong attitude and thanks for sharing parts of your life. These type of posts are my favorite. I can read your heart in your words, truly a blessing to all of us who read. Thanks again.

    • You must be a really good dad, Floyd. I can tell by your writings and posts, too. I hope you have a great Father’s Day…however and wherever you spend it. With the kids, of course.

  2. I look forward to reading your blog each and every time you post. Thank you for taking the time to share yourself with us in your heart-felt tribute to the Fathers in your life.

    • Deb, Thanks for being such a loyal “fan.” With us, it’s a mutual admiration society. Your replies are always an encouragement. I hope all is well with you and your family. May our Father grant His health to your daughter, especially.

  3. I’m curious. What “pet” names did/do you use for your children? Our youngest son was called, “Pumpkin.” Our daughter’s given name is “Angel,” because I figured the nickname would stick, so might as well make it official. The middle child I’ve recently dubbed, “Dutch,” because he lives in a Dutch town in Iowa, and he takes all the free stuff at garage sales. Never mind that we come from Dutch ancestry

  4. We who have loving fathers are very much blessed. I hope this father’s day the dad’s who work hard to be good fathers will be very much appreciated. Thank you for your touching story about you and your dad. Rosemarie Malroy

    • Rosemarie, I know that your two sons are good dads, too. Children are blessed with fathers who are engaged and involved in their young lives. My dad was far from perfect, but why focus on the negative? We all loved each other…that’s what is important. I so enjoyed visiting some of the places in Sweden where your family lived a full life “at sea.” Thanks for sharing your family with me.

  5. audrakrell says:

    I too, love the picture! It’s so beautiful and transports me to another time and place. Tough time of year for me, my dad left when I was 14. I’ve realized though, that him leaving has allowed and made space for my Heavenly Father, who will never leave me. My dad used to call me Miss Gail, as that is my middle name. I truly have missed being called a pet name by my father over the years, but being called the daughter of the King is priceless.

    • Audra, Sorry I’m so late in my reply. I would call you “Miss Gail,” but I think that is a special name reserved for you from your father. I have several other names from friends. My really good friends know my names, just like our Lord knows our name, intimately. You have a unique story, and I hope you’ll cling to all of the good memories of your earthly father.

  6. paul grove says:

    i too have the same wonderful father and Effis right he loved us all very much i used to chase him down at the pool halls husseling money to also feed his family he would do any thing other than steal to rise his family paul

    • Thanks, Paul. I didn’t know about the pool halls, but he did play a pretty mean game. It was tough to beat Dad at pool or checkers. Yes, Dad (and Mom) worked hard to make an honest living. We never went hungry. We knew they loved us. Times have changed for a lot of families, and that is sad. We had it pretty good, after all.

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