By Frances M. McCrory-Meservy 1943-Jan 1955
Daddy, John Clinton McCrory, Sr., was a good Christian man who had his faults; but I never knew what they were until I was grown. To me, he was perfect.
Since our church taught that washing each otherís feet was a way of expressing love, I loved soaking my Dadís feet in a pan of water while I combed the dandruff from his hair.
I loved to follow my Dad around and make him laugh.
When I was about 3 years old, I was following him while he was plowing. I started hollering snake, snake, snake! He dropped the plow and came running. A very large earthworm was crawling across my foot. Dad cracked up laughing, put me on his shoulders and finished plowing.
Dad taught me to shoot a 22 riffle and I was a crack shot before I started school. I loved going hunting with him. I could smell the squirrels before the dogs could. He told his friends I was the best squirrel dog he had.
We had an old mule named Maud that doubled as a horse to ride and she pulled a plow and a buckboard. She always came when we children called her because that meant play and treat time.
When it was time to work, Daddy would go out with the harness. He would almost get it over her head and she would bolt and run. Dad would patiently walk across the field and just as he would get the bit in our mouth, she would bolt and run again. Daddy would then state, "Maud if you don't get over here right now, I am going to get my gun and shoot you." Maud would lumber over and stick her head in the harness. It was a game they played before going to work.
When I was about 7 years old, we loaded the buckboard up with watermelons in the back of the field and I asked Daddy if I could drive the buckboard back to the house. He said yes over Momma's objections.
I turned Maud too sharp and Buckboard, watermelons, Daddy and I hit the ground. We must have been a sight in all those busted melons because Momma and Daddy cracked up laughing. After that they taught me how to drive a buckboard when it was empty.
Daddy went to church with us off and on. He said he felt closer to God in the forest hunting than he did in church. When Daddy went hunting, we usually had rabbits or squirrel for Lunch. Our pastor usually ate lunch with us after church. One Sunday Momma asked him to talk to Daddy about going to church more often. Our pastor told Momma, "Leave him be or we might go hungry."
Daddy was a very loving man. If he saw someone who needed something that he had, he would give it to them. He was laid back and easy going. Everyone loved him. Momma said my Brother Sam acts like him.
Dad started having bad headaches and had to open and close his right eye with
his fingers but Mom couldn't get him to go to the doctor. He never complained
but started getting winded when he did anything.
The year I was 10, there was an accident at the plant and Dad was hurt. They took him to the hospital and did x-rays. They found out he had a malignant tumor behind his right eye. The cancer had spread from his lungs to his brain and to his right eye.
Dad was in MD Anderson hospital in Houston, TX on and off after that. We, kids, were left with friends during that time. We went to school as usual but I kept an eye on the sidewalk in front of the school. I knew Mom would come to school and get us as soon as she hit town. I would get truly excited when I saw her coming up the sidewalk.
Dad was one of the first volunteers to be tested with the use of Chemotherapy. He volunteered even though there was no hope of a cure for him because he wanted to help future generations have a chance to be cured of cancer. That's the way he lived his life - always thinking of others over self.
While he was in the hospital, a friend came to visit him. This friend drank too much and was mean to his family. He and Mom thought Dad was asleep. John said, "Sue, I don't understand why God would take someone as good as Mac and leave someone as mean as me here."
Dad said, "John, Why on earth would God want someone like you in Heaven?"
Three weeks after Dad died, John was reborn in Jesus because he could not shake what Dad said.
They brought Dad home to die. He was bedridden but still talked to us. In Nov 1954 I was sitting with Dad while Mom went to get groceries. He had a stroke and started jerking all over. I ran as fast as I could and got our neighbor. His wife went up on the hill and called an ambulance & Mom at the store.
When they brought Dad home, he was paralyzed on his right side and could not talk. How I wanted to hear his voice again.
On Christmas eve, I prayed and asked God to let Dad be normal for Christmas. On Christmas day, Dad sat up on the side of the bed, talked and laughed with us. The next day, he was back the way he was before. I don't remember what else I got that Christmas. I just remember God answered my prayer.
On January 4, 1955 Dad was back in the hospital. We were staying with friends. Jerry and I were walking back from the barn. It had been cloudy and raining for days. There was a small hole in the clouds and the sun streamed through. It was so beautiful that I told Jerry, "It looks like God is opening the gates of heaven to take someone home." Five minutes later they told me that Daddy died.
When Mom came home, she told me that just before Dad died he looked over at her and said, "Sue I love you but Jesus is here to take me home."
I felt like it was my fault that Dad died. I worshiped my Dad. The Bible says to Worship God only. I felt like he died because I loved him too much. No one ever told me any different because I never shared my feelings with anyone. I would never love anyone (other than Jesus) that much again.
Since we were Irish, we had a wake in our living room where Dad was in a casket. Several relatives and friends were over the first night sitting with Mom. I was supposed to be in bed; but was quietly listening to the adults talking.
They were telling Mom that there was no way she could support and take care of three children by herself and we would have to be split up to 3 different aunts. I got scared. Finally Mom spoke, "The Bible says God will be a husband to me and a father to my children. I will not split my family up. I will trust God to take care of us." How wonderful - God was my Dad. I felt peace come over me. I climbed up on God's lap and cried myself to sleep.
John 13:14-15 "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
Mat 21:22 "And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
2 Cor 5:8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
Mat 10:37 "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
Rev 22:8 -9 Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, "See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God."
Psa 68:5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
Deuteronomy 10:18 He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.
Background picture John Clinton McCrory Sr. 1951 Hunting in the Big Thicket in East Texas.
"He Walked on Water" by Randy Travis from CD "Three Wooden Crosses"
I've Seen & Heard of Jesus by Frances M. McCrory-Meservy
Getting to Know Jesus (Chapter I)