Of Dads & Daughters

Guest Writer: Kathy Brandt

As far back as I can remember I have been a daddy’s girl.  In my eyes, my father could do no wrong. Ivan Marais embodies the strong silent type.  He was a competitive athlete who grew up to become an accomplished physician. Everybody thought highly of my dad, and I thought they were right too. What my dad reserved for his children was his playfulness.  He named every one of my toys.  There was Carisalla the camel, and the bizarre soft toy from our trip to Istanbul, that was named Goebel Gobble.  He even had a pet name for me. But then that’s a private matter. He was strong and often times silent, but he was also a lot of fun.

In recent years my admiration for my dad has sky-rocketed. After a decade of bad health, and a long string of serious surgeries, my father ultimately had both of his legs amputated. And through this traumatic time I have seen him change.  He is still strong, but no longer silent.

My parents moved to Memphis to be closer to their family and unexpectedly, they were both led to the Lord. God was gracious enough to let me see my husband baptize both of my parents.  My father’s faith is very real and quite public. As his body has suffered, his spirit has soared, and he is quick to give praise to God. How is it possible to live an abundant life from a wheelchair? Ivan Marais has shown the way. With determination and courageous faith he has modeled for my children what it looks like to trust God through adversity.  More than ever, I am a daddy’s girl.


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