My father was born to nurture. He takes care of people. He plans things. He's a great organizer. Sometimes he can drive a person crazy but he never drove my mom crazy. She thrived within the cocoon of his protection.
Since the day he met my mother in college, he took care of her.
My mother was the gentlest of souls. She was not physically strong. She was very sensitive to others, and quick to encourage those who she saw had been disregarded or slighted; and her own feelings were easily hurt.
She was raised on a hard scrabble farm in Iowa; the middle of seven children and each of her siblings had strong drive and strong personalities.
On their first date, my father asked her to marry him. Several weeks later she told him, "yes."
"Yes?" asked my father.
"That's my answer to the question you asked me," she told him. He wondered what question that was, and then he joyfully remembered.
My mother needed someone to take care of her and my father took very good care of her until she died two weeks ago.
"Into your hands," the Son said to the Father, "I commit my spirit."
Just like my mother, just like the Son, I gratefully accept the strong hands of the Shepherd/Father whose nature it is to protect and to nurture.