R.J. Rushdoony often is portrayed by his critics as mean-spirited and crotchety. Well here is a little antidote for that criticism in the form of a short quip from Rushdoony’s daughter Rebecca:
Rebecca, Mark’s oldest sister, and the woman most likely to answer the Chalcedon phone, described her childhood with her father this way:
My father loved large, noisy family gatherings where he spent hours sharing his stories and wisdom with us. He loved the noise of his children and grandchildren talking, laughing and sharing, and would often sit back listening to their chatter, smiling. “Very good, very good,” he would repeat. He understood that his legacy would continue in their lives. The first few family dinners after he passed from this world were very quiet in comparison, and I can remember sitting there wanting so badly to hear one more story, one more joke.
My father’s libraries were always a special place we entered with the reverence of church. In Santa Cruz, Dad’s library was at the back of the house in a beautiful room with parquet floors and a large bay window that had a window seat. There were rows and rows of bookcases with aisles just narrow enough to walk through. It was a place of refuge for me. As the oldest daughter I spent a lot of time helping and watching my little brother, Mark (a handful, I might add), and three little sisters, Joanna, Sharon, and Martha.
Dad understood that I sometimes needed to have time away from them and would help me hide between the rows of bookcases with a book to read. It was there, hidden in his library, I read Moby Dick, David Copperfield, and many other classics from his library shelves with Dad sitting just a few feet away sharing my secret. It was there too that I learned one of Dad’s sweetest and most endearing habits. Often as he sat writing he would absentmindedly repeat the names of those he loved. What a joy it was for me to hear him softly repeat “Rebecca, Rebecca” as he worked.
When my siblings and I were small, Dad would often borrow small toys that we found special and set them on his desk. They would sit there for a time and be returned or disappear into the niches in his library. Many of them were packed away and moved from house to house, finally finding a place in a drawer or tucked away on a shelf in his library here in Vallecito, California.
What a joy it was to find these small remembrances of our childhood in his library. For me, finding several of the tiny wooden Chinese and porcelain figures I loved as a child brought a flood of memories of happy times spent with my father and the joy of finding a childhood treasure. With each treasure we relived the memories, laughed, and shed tears of joy and thanksgiving for the loving record he had kept for each of us. Small treasures and letters which would have been lost are now mine again to share with my granddaughters. They are time capsules of a father’s love. He was not a man who sought wealth, but he did leave behind for his children a record written and physical of the life God had blessed him with.
Taken from a Chalcedon Foundation story you can read here.