Yet, hours later, in the middle of the night, I received a phone call that my dad had unexpectedly, inexplicably, tragically passed away.
We are still reeling from the loss but as the weeks have passed I have come to see even more clearly what a remarkable man my dad was. And though reminders of his sudden absence are evidenced everywhere, it is the lessons that he taught us and the life that he lived that bring me such joy when I remember him.
A life of humility, character, and love.
One of the things that I will always remember about my dad is how well he loved my mom. Not a Christmas, birthday, or anniversary would pass that he would not present her with a card filled with words of adoration extolling how much she meant to him. Almost every word pre-written by Hallmark would be underlined two or three times emphasizing his agreement. And many times he would include his own poems or the one they found as high school sweethearts and claimed as "their own."
They met in 9th grade and last Friday would have been their 44th wedding anniversary.
|Mom and Dad on their wedding day (9/24/1966)|
Nobody, and I mean nobody, built homes like my dad. Not only did he have an eye for design and detail but more importantly, he was trustworthy, dependable, and honest. Though his work was excellent, it was his character that drew people to him and gave him success in his line of work.
And then there were the grand kids.
Oh how he loved his grand kids.
|Dad offering some grandfatherly advice to Michael (1997)|
And oh how his grand kids loved him.
|Celebrating birthdays with Michael and Lauren (2000).|
He always had time for them no matter what he was doing.
|Caroline stealing a moment with Granddaddy (2009)|
|Alex and Granddaddy taking in a little batting practice (2009)|
|Patiently waiting for Lia to warm up to him...which she eventually did...whole-heartedly. (2009)|
Since my dad's passing, I have heard story after story of how his life impacted others. And how his character made him a role model that many looked up to.
|Michael with his Granddaddy (1998)|
|Mom and Dad (2009)|
"I thank my God every time I remember you." ~Philippians 1:3