The Fabry Family

Connect with Me

Connect with Chris on Facebook Follow Chris on Twitter Watch Chris on YouTube

Featured Books

Featured Books
New Release!

Personal Stuff

My Photo
Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
View my complete profile

Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

Search This Blog

Visitor Count

Visitor Count:
Friday, August 19, 2011
As reported on Chris Fabry Live today, 8/19, Brandon Fabry ran for President of his fifth grade class. We waited all day with anxious anticipation to hear the voting results.

As predicted by this pollster, demographics torpedoed the candidacy of the Brandon/Max ticket. The new president is Kara along with VP Jadyn. They were in a dead heat with Molly and Peter. With a predominantly female class make-up, I told Brandon that he had an uphill climb.

"Girls will always vote for girls, unless you're extraordinarly cute," I said. I suggested he consider wearing a Justin Bieber mask but he decided against it.

Brandon reports that he will fully support the new administration and do everything he can to make the president's job easier. Such is the nature of the political world. It is a harsh, cruel profession. But I say the victor is the one who participates and never gives up, as long as his platform is to make the vinegar in the classroom smell better.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I told some family members that I would write down what I said about my father on the day of the funeral. This is close, without the emotion. I hope it encourages you. Sorry it is a bit long, but it's from the heart.


You know what my father would say about this gathering?

Horse collar. Shoodley-poot. Poodledog and apple butter. Let’s get this show on the road.

These are some of his Fabryisms. We would ask him, “How you doin’, Daddy?” He would respond, “I’m no problem.”

He would say about my mother today, “She’s prettier than a speckled pup.”

My brothers elected me to speak today and told me if I didn’t, they’d beat me up. I’ve been pushed from the porch too many times not to believe them. But it’s dangerous to give me an open microphone, an audience, and not give me a time limit.

In the obituary we put together for my father, we highlighted three things that seemed to form the structure of his life. Farming, Family, and Faith.


And my father was probably the most “integrated” man I ever knew. Integrated in the sense that he was the same person he was on the back of the tractor as he was sitting in the pew. He was the same wherever he went, whoever he met. I long to be that type of person.

My family was not able to be here but my children wrote some things they’ll never forget about their Pawpaw.

The joy he found in his garden.
Playing croquet with him.
Feeding us grapefruit.
When he talked and thought no one was listening he would start talking to the wall.
Mommadee Mommadee Murder Buck—hitting us on the back while he said those words.
He always showed me his garden and taught me to identify the trees.

I remember how he used to come home from work, eat a bite of dinner, and go out and work on the farm in the field or with the cattle. It seemed to give him energy to work, to mow, to plow, to be up on the hill. But in the evening, as the sun slipped behind the hill, he would join me in the front yard and put on his old glove and we’d toss the ball back and forth, ball in hand, throwing, ball in glove, ball in hand and back again. It was how he said he loved me, other than when he said, “Love every bone in your body.” We’d listen to the Cincinnati Reds together on the radio and watch the lightning bugs ascend. He’d smoke his pipe. Those are the tender memories of my childhood.

Some people have a problem with viewing God as their father because theirs was abusive or stern or vindictive and mean. I’ve never had that problem. I’ll be in Bible studies with other men who will talk about their fathers as drunken men who knocked them around the house. I sympathize with them, but I cannot relate.

Tell me God is loving. I believe. Tell me he is kind and compassionate. I understand. Tell me God has my best interests at heart. I’ve seen that in action.

When Jesus taught his followers to speak to God as “Abba,” their heavenly “Daddy,” he was talking about a radical concept. No one had ever approached God this way. But that’s what I’ve experienced.

One of the great triumphs of my life came in answering the phone as a child. We had one phone that hung on the kitchen wall like an anvil. When it rang, I usually got there first and answered. “Hello?”

Until about the age of 13, I invariably got this response. “Kat?” Or, “Kathryn?”

“No,” I would say dejectedly. “This is Chris.”

“Oh Chris, I’m sorry.”

But then the day came when the phone rang, I ran, and answered.
“Robert?”

That was a good day. To be mistaken for my father’s voice was a triumph.

My father was a tactile, hands on person. I’m convinced his love language was physical touch. You couldn’t be around him without him touching your shoulder or giving you a hug. I remember early on holding his hand as we went to the feed store.

“Who you got with you today, Robert?” the man at the counter would say.

“This is my helper.”

It felt good to be a helper, though as it turned out, I wasn’t much of a help around the farm because I was different than my father. I did not have the closeness to the ground that he had. I tried, I really tried. In fact, I almost shot my foot off going squirrel hunting with him once. And I think he knew, intuitively, that I was not meant for the farm.

When Johnny came along and he went into the military, my dad was proud. He loved his country and to have a son serve made him beam.

Then Dave came along and studied chemistry and worked in a lab with petroleum. Having worked at a chemical plant for 30+ years, he could grasp that. And he was proud.

And then I came along a few years later. I was not a farmer. I was not military. I couldn’t understand chemistry and calculus. I could barely understand consumer math. Instead, I wrote songs, talked on the CB radio, dressup our dog and took pictures (canine pornography), and memorized lines from Marx Brothers movies. I was the three-headed monstrosity. I was foreign to him. But even though he couldn’t understand me, even though I was so different, he loved me.

I remember we used to watch TV programs together and he would cry at the Star Spangled Banner and schmaltzy commercials that touched him. One episode of The Walton’s sticks out. The father was away at Christmas and all the kids were nervous about whether they would get presents. Finally, the father shows up and for his eldest, he gives him a writing tablet. It’s the gift that finally tells the son it’s okay to be a writer, it’s okay to be who he was.

There’s a scripture often quoted from Proverbs. Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Some take that to mean that you need to guide a child in the path you think he should take. But my father knew better. Though he didn’t understand the path, he trained in the way I should go. And I’ll always be grateful.

On Sunday mornings, if he wasn’t working at the plant, he would wake me early and ask if I wanted to go for a walk on the hill. This was partly our alone time and partly his way of helping me lose weight. I was 15 before I knew Little Debbie wasn’t related to us. He would unleash Shep, our old collie, grab his walking stick, and up the hill we’d go. Along the way he would show plants, trees, flora and fauna, just like my children said.
That easy walk is what I compare his faith to. There was a time when he dutifully served God, where he went to church and did things FOR God, to make God pleased with him, happy with his efforts.

Then came an awakening to the grace and mercy of God. I can still remember him getting an NIV Bible—we found it the other day. From Ephesians on it’s totally gone, just worn out. And I remember him devouring Knowing God by J.I. Packer. My father encountered the truth that we don’t earn heaven or favor, but God’s grace is received. Forgiveness is not merited, it is offered freely to all who ask. Righteousness is not earned or worked for like a well-tilled garden, it is imputed. By His stripes we are healed.
So there became this long, easy gait of a man forgiven and made new because of the work of Jesus on his behalf. And every day was a walk with God. Every seed planted, every row hoed, every ear shucked, every cow fed, every boy’s hair cut.

I remember the haircuts. I dreaded it like Sunday evening church. This was the late 60s, early 70s when crew cuts were anathema. I wanted long, flowing hair. He would drag us down to the basement and sit us on that red, rickety chair and proceed to lop off every bit of hair we had. In later years, he switched from the crew cut or buzz to a little longer style, and I remember him using his hands instead of a comb to get my hair to stand up straight. His hand going back on my head felt like a blessing.

(I also remember when Dave and Johnny told me about the jugular vein and how, if it were cut, you would die within minutes. And my father nicked my ear one day and I saw blood and ran screaming from the basement to say goodbye to my mother, thinking my jugular had been cut.)

My father’s life, his work, his devotion to God all came from a heart of thanksgiving—not out of obligation. And my dad’s faith grew deeper as the incline increased. The steep, uphill struggle yielded a deeper life for him.

A week or so before he died, one of his care-givers asked, “Mr. Fabry, if you could have anything on this earth, anything at all, what would you want?”

According to my mother, he paused and looked off, contemplating the question, struggling to process the information. Finally he answered, “Jesus, my Savior.”

Those were the last words he spoke. The next few days were spent being loved well by his wife of 61 years, who was committed to helping the love of her life spend his last days in the house he had built with his own hands. His daughter-in-law was there to administer the complicated mix of medicine that would keep him pain free and stay up with him and comfort him and speak so kindly to him even though he didn’t respond. And David was there in the bed beside him, watching, waiting, grieving, and trying to make his last days more comfortable.

I like to think that last Thursday, my father got up early, before any of us could tell him to stay in bed. And he said to himself, “Let’s get this show on the road!” He grabbed his walking stick, but realized he didn’t need it. His knee that had given him such problems felt better than it had ever felt before.

And he headed alone for his final walk. He walked all the way to the back fence on the hill and it felt like he could walk forever. And he can.
He’s not coming back. And we love him too much to ask him to. But we will meet again. This is our sure hope in Christ.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
On today's Chris Fabry Live, Hour 2, I'm going to pay tribute to my father and I'm hoping many will be encouraged by his life and struggles. People at the funeral said they never knew what he went through and that his story was similar to their family's journey.

If you would like to see the video my sister-in-law, Kim, put together of his life and the beautiful job the funeral home did, click here. You'll see photos of my brothers and me and two old love birds, married more than 61 years.

Here's a photo of my brothers and me with my mother, Kathryn (center), and his surviving sister, Elizabeth.

Monday, August 1, 2011
Death seems like such a formidable foe. Big and scary and final. It feels very much like the end in so many ways.

But it's not. I know that from what God has revealed to us. I know it in my heart. But knowing that in your head is the problem because what we see isn't the total truth. Yes, death is an end. It's separation. It's painful.

But it's also a beginning.

We're going through that with my father now. At 91, his mind and body are failing. It could be days. It could be weeks. But the end is near. And it hurts. Death seems to be all around us. I have a feeling that's not going to change. The illusion is that life just continues as it is and as it has been, but we're smacked with reality from time to time.

I was searching for some encouragement and received this email from a listener. I thought it might encourage you. If you're going through grief and trying to understand, this parent's perspective says it all.


Chris,

My son, CPL Frank R. Gross, was killed in action in Afghanistan July 16. The Humvee he was riding in hit an IED. While it has been difficult for this family, I am thankful to God for the 25 years that we enjoyed with our son. He fulfilled all of the qualifications of a good son, and he did that well.

Last night, I struggled with some differing thoughts...I have friends who believe that my son's life was cut short, that the enemy took his life....however, I opened my Bible....the place I turn to for words of truth...a place where God reveals Himself to me and draws me to Him...and read these precious words: Ps 139:13 "For You created my inmost being, You knit me together in my mother's womb.......16 All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.", and then I turned to Ps 31:14-15 "But I trust in You, O Lord, I say, "You are my God" 15 My times are in Your hands...".

I believe in and trust in the sovereignty of God, I have hope and faith that I will one day join my son and all those who have gone on before me who trusted their lives to God.

I enjoy listening to your program on 91.1 Tampa Bay, FL.

Toni Gross

The attached photo above (lone soldier) is of Frank as he graduated from basic training, Ft. Benning, GA, July 2010. My daughter and I picked that one.


The other(the final mission) is one that my son created just before he died. All of his artwork up until this piece had been gloomy, but this was the first and last one that he did that wasn't....perhaps he knew in his spirit that he would be going home soon?