My Two Fathers

Posted by on Jun 17, 2012 | 14 comments

My Two Fathers
In loving memory of my daddy, Lyle E. Thurston, who died when he was struck by lightning while fly-fishing on the San Juan River, in the “Quality Waters” below Navajo Dam near Farmington, New Mexico on September 29, 1995. God blessed me with this poem the first Father’s Day following my daddy’s death.


He fills his hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark. Job 36:32

When I was very little and afraid of the storm,
My father would hold me, so I felt safe and warm.
Silly songs, funny stories, and wild games we would play—
The fun and his love chased the bad things away.
The lightning and thunder were never so bad
When I was held safe in the arms of my dad.
As I grew older and the problems grew more large,
The gentle, patients answers still came straight from his heart.
There was no more important thing he ever had to do
Than take time to show— the important thing was you.
He never gave anyone less than his best,
No matter what the need was, his commitment stood the test.
When lightning struck our house one night,His Children Will Be Blessed
Shattering the darkness with its brilliant light—
Hobbling on crutches from a broken leg,
He soon had us laughing from the jokes that he made.
Once certain that all would soon be well—
He soon had another great story to tell.
Many things set my father apart,
Not the least of which was his great, loving heart.
People who came to my father in need
Always left knowing they had a friend indeed.
He did much to further the Father’s plan
By the generosity of his giant hands.
My father rose each morning to meet with his Lord.
He loved Him and served Him and cherished His word.
He was a man of great strength—yet gentle and kind
Because he loved the Lord Jesus with heart, soul, and mind.
He would say that if anything set him apart,
It was the presence of the Savior, who lived in his heart.
Then the lightning once again appeared,
Something all in the family but my father feared.
He, rather than seeing something to fear—
Said it showed the protection of God very clear.
For all in the house were both safe and sound
And only slight damage to the house was found.
As the years passed by, the family grew,
The son-in-laws came, and the grandchildren, too.
Each one he loved in a unique special way,
And faithfully, for each one, he daily would pray—
Upon our family, God’s blessings were poured,
Because each day my father spent time with his Lord.
It could have been just a regular day,
But our heavenly Father didn’t see it that way.
A man going fishing—just and ordinary man—
But our heavenly Father had another plan.
Ordinary things, when you live for the Lord,
Can often have bearing on eternal reward.
Once more, God’s lightning entered our lives,
And on fiery wings, bore my father home, through the skies.
The look on his face showed amazement, they said,
And confirmed for us all that he was not really dead.
He had gotten his first glimpse of his heavenly home,
And he knew that our Lord would not leave us alone.
The lessons that he taught us through the life that he lived;
And the Lord that he gave all the love he could give;
Are still here inside us—though he’s gone from our sight
Across that wide river— the River of Life.
He’s sitting there watching—he knows we will come;
And from his side, it really won’t be very long.
If we could just see—each event in our lives—
Is meant just to show us, God is loving and wise.
The traits that I loved in my father, you see,
Are all of the things God will be—just for me.
And so when I long for Daddy’s face—just to see,
I’ll look up to heaven—where two fathers wait for me.
 © Copyright 2012 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman
Note: Lightning really did strike two of my parent’s homes and finally my father. Who has 3 run-ins with lightning? Most don’t even have one. It is something too difficult to understand. We must leave it with the Lord.
About the author:

Norma - LoMD 2014Norma Gail’s debut contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, set in Scotland and New Mexico released in April 2014. She has led weekly women’s Bible studies for 19 years. Her devotionals, poetry have appeared at, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, FaithWriters, Romance Writers of America, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. She is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 39 years. They have two adult children.

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  1. What a beautiful tribute to your Dad, Norma!

    • Thank you, Robyn! God gave it to me the first Father’s Day after his death. It will be 20 years in September. It doesn’t seem possible!

  2. This is so touching an beautiful Norma. Thank you for sharing your father with us. Love you!

    • It is always a blessing to tell others what a special man my daddy was! I miss him every day.

  3. Your dad was really special and though absent for now has left you will beautiful memories. Thanks for sharing!

    • You’re welcome, Matilda!

  4. Oh my heart… this was just beautiful Norma! *Tears*

    • Thank you, Christine! It was a gift from God to a very sore heart. He gets the credit because when I write poetry on my own it doesn’t rhyme very well.

  5. Ohhh, what a touching tribute to both of your fathers. Your heavenly and earthly fathers both love you. I can see how much you love and miss your dad. My dad passed away a few years back so I know of the void that exist in your life when you lose your father.

    • Thank you, Mary! It does leave a void that nothing and no one else can fill.

  6. What beautiful words and a way to trace God’s hand through your father to reach you from beginning to end.

    • Thank you, Carrie! It is a very comforting way to remember him.

  7. This is so beautiful, Norma Gail!! I love it! I feel like you shared your father with us in a way we can’t easily forget. Your poem makes quite an impression! Just beautiful the way you tied all of the thoughts and memories together!

    • Thank you Bonnie! It came to me in one day as the entire neighborhood played in the backyard. I changed about two words and kept the original, scribbled version. It is truly my gift from God.

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