Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tribute to my Dad

September 9, 1938 was the day my dad was born and July 6, 1985 was the day he left this earth to go to Glory. They say its what happens in the middle of those two dates that counts. Since today would have been my dads 70th birthday I thought I would write some things about the life between the dates.

  • He was a hansome man...dark brown hair, green "cat eyes", beautiful hands.

  • He loved the Lord. He got up every morning of the life I knew of him and spent time with the Lord. His cup of coffee, his bible and until a year before his death, a cigarette! So, no he wasn't perfect!

  • He was a preacher. What we refer to these days as bi-vocational, meaning he didn't have a degree of any kind but was called to preach and he loved being a preacher.

  • He was a great listener.

  • He loved popcorn and coke.

  • He was a pack rat...stacks of papers everywhere.

  • He looked mean but didn't have a mean bone in his body. This caused people to be afraid of him until they got to know him.

  • He loved to laugh and cut-up.

  • He was an Elvis Presley fan. He went to several of his concerts. He would put his music on at home and we would all dance. I know can you believe we old baptist were dancing in our home!

  • He loved to sing. He had a base voice and his favorite solo to sing was "How Great Thou Art".

  • He always brought me prizes when I was sick.

  • He worked in a cemetary, keeper of the grounds. He always told me that when Jesus came back he wanted to be standing in the middle of the cemetary and see all the graves open.

  • He always talked about going to heaven and wanting to be in heaven. Makes me think that maybe he knew he wouldn't live to be an old man. He was 46 when he died.

  • He loved animals. We always had dogs while I was growing up. He also took care of wounded geese that were at the cemetary.

  • He was a gentle soul.

I have now lived longer on this earth without him than with him. That is a very strange feeling. Its been 23 years since his death and still on these anniversary dates I am jarred in the depths of my soul. In some ways its so hard to think I've been without him for so long. He was the one person in my family that I connected too and felt loved by.

I think the hardest and saddest part of him not being on this earth is that my children did not get to know him. He was gone before they were even born. He loved sports and loved coaching baseball and basketball and so I know he and my kids would have related so well. I know he would have been at their games, whatever they were playing. I know he would have been in relationship with his grandchildren.

I know without a doubt that he is in heaven and that is the legacy he left me. That no matter what he was going thru he loved his God and trusted Him. Even at times that I would probably have given up. I don't remember talking to him about how he became so passionate about Christ, that passion was just a part of who he was. There are a lot of things that I would like to know about him, our family, why things were they way they were. Alot of unanswered questions that are to remain unanswered. And when we are in heaven, I won't care anymore.

After going thru many issues in my life I have realized that he was not perfect and that he had his own issues. But, here is what I know, he loved me and he loved God more than anything. I'll take that legacy, its been a huge influence on my life. When I die, if my children know that I loved them unconditionally, I loved my Savior and that I'm in heaven, I will have left a legacy.

Happy Birthday Daddy!


Holly said...

What a neat post. I can just see you dancing to Elvis. It really makes sense that you are such a gift person after reading this...and such a coffee lover. :)

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

This was beautiful, Beth! Your memories of him are amazing...so when you talked about him to Z & K, I'm sure they felt like they knew him. Oh, and I'm sure by the way you described him that he would be the Grandpa who had the best relationship with his grandkids.
Love ya Girl!

Shannon said...

I have sweet memories of your Dad. He was always one to give good advice. What was he thinking teaching the Training Union class of me AND Sandra??? I always loved seeing him sing at church. He was never the best or the most talented but it was always passion filled which would always bring the message that much more.