Phil O’Connor (my dad)

Today I’m thinking about my dad when he lost his job at age sixty, fired just like that, when a large conglomerate purchased the firm he worked for. He had no special training, had not even finished high school. At age fifteen he’d quit school and worked to help support his large family.

It was not easy finding new work at an age when many people were about to retire. But he had to do something fast. He had a wife and children to take care of.

I remember Dad combing the pages of the Wall Street Journal looking for small businesses that were available to buy or sell. He hoped to put owners and buyers together. Within three years he was not only established in this new field of business mergers but he earned more money in commissions than he ever earned in his previous career. God blessed him beyond anything he envisioned.

I asked him how he kept his wits and his health during this time of great stress. “I leaned on Jesus,” he said. “He’s a good friend to have.” My father gave all the glory to the Lord, the one he knew as the author and the finisher of his life and work.

His example cast a light on my path. When my life was about to fall apart after an unwanted divorce from my first husband, poor health, and financial uncertainty, I looked to him and to God, and fell together instead.

Lord, thank you for the gift of my father on earth and my father in heaven.

And I’m also thinking about my husband Charles, who reminded me so much of my father. Today is the second anniversary of his death. I like thinking maybe Dad and Charles are in each other’s company.




Falling Together — 14 Comments

  1. I love the image of Charles and your father being together now. You can bet they are both talking about YOU! You had a wonderful example of our Heavenly Father in your earthly dad. Bless you today, Karen.

  2. What an inspiring story! What a blessing your Dad was to you and your family and no doubt to all who knew him. Such wisdom to “lean on Jesus”. I feel I just HAVE to share the words to the old Hymn that fits perfectly with your Dad’s quote: “What a fellowship, what a joy divine leaning on the everlasting arms, what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms. (chorus) Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms, leaning,leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms”. I like the second verse and especially the last verse: “What have I to dread, what have I to fear ….. I have blessed peace with my Lord so near …..” We can gain a lot of wisdom from these old Hymns that I love! I bet your Dad knew this one!
    Thank you, Karen, for your wisdom and for sharing it with us. Blessings, Margaret

    • Thanks, Margaret, for reminding me of the words to this glorious hymn. They are certainly appropriate for all seasons.

  3. Praise God for His blessings, even in difficult circumstances. May God especially bless you on this anniversary of Charles’ death.

  4. Thank you, Karen, for sharing this heartwarming story about your father. You’re in my prayers today especially as you remember your beloved Charles❤️.

  5. Dear Karen…wow, two years of lots of adjustments and missing Charles. Anniversaries like this are among the most tender, and I’m sending you my love and prayers. I loved this beautiful post, and I’m so grateful God graced your life with such a dear dad and precious husband. I can just imagine the delightful conversations they’re enjoying in heaven about their beloved Karen. Hugs to you, sweet friend.

    • Many thanks for your lovely comment and encouragement, Judy. I really appreciate your words.

  6. Wow Karen…. 2 years! Sending you much love my friend and sharing beautiful thoughts and memories of times shared with charming Charles. He was so blessed to have you beside him as his true partner for those wonderful years together. You are an amazing woman and I am so happy that you are doing so well living on your own now. You have a huge family of loving souls all around you and you can feel that flowing love and support due to your faith and in the moment awareness. Keep on keeping on!!!!!

    • Thanks, Kathleen, for your words and for your loving support over the years of our friendship as we both have shared the ups and the downs of life. God is with us. That we know.

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