Special Post: A Tribute to My Dad

At the end of last week’s wrap up, I mentioned that my mom and dad had been in a serious automobile accident and that my dad was in ICU with extensive injuries. Yesterday we held a memorial service for him. On Thursday evening, after they removed his ventilator, he passed away and went to meet Jesus.

I know without a doubt that he was ready to go. I know that going to Heaven and meeting Jesus was something he looked forward to. I know that he had no desire to linger and to suffer. And I know that, because of the hope we have in Christ, I’ll see him again.

Daddy’s memorial service- which we called a Celebration of Life- was a beautiful remembrance of him. His brother told stories about them growing up. Charles read one of his favorite Scriptures, and my sister talked about his impact on her when he married my mom, and my sister was twelve years old. I didn’t choose to speak at the service. Although I can be pretty wordy when I’m writing, talking in front of a group isn’t really my cup of tea. But I do have some great memories of my dad. There are things I’ve passed on to my kids, and now they’ll have those memories as well. There are things that Daddy has said or principles that he’s taught that will have a lingering impact on generations to come, I’m sure.

As a tribute to my dad, here are some of the things he’s taught me over the years.

Daddy always taught the importance of a relationship with God. I knew that his relationship with God was important to him. I saw him pray and read his Bible. In different seasons of life, we had family devotional times- especially when I was younger. I knew that his relationship with God was strong and was important.

Daddy taught me that family was important. He loved his family. He made sure that we knew he did- by the way he acted and by what he said. He listened to me. He did things with me. He valued his relationship with me and with my mom. He also valued his relationship with his mother, and after my grandfather’s death, he made sure that he was available to help her as well.

Daddy taught me the value of generosity. He gave freely to individuals and to organizations that needed it. He was never ostentatious with his giving, preferring it to be quiet and not recognized. But I knew that it was his priority to give. He tithed faithfully to the church as well as supporting missionaries and missions organizations. He was generous.

Daddy taught me that “stuff” doesn’t matter. Although he had a good job, and we were comfortable materially, he always made sure that I knew that real happiness wasn’t ever going to come from having “stuff.” He always pointed out that, even though he grew up without much stuff, they were happy, and they never knew they didn’t have much because their happiness wasn’t conditional on what they possessed.

Daddy taught me that “you can stack buttered bee bees for an hour.” This was his way of saying that any unpleasant thing could be endured for an amount of time. When I complained about something I didn’t really want to do, he’d pass on that insight- which I really didn’t want to hear right then. I’ve made sure to pass it on to my children as well- even though they don’t always want to hear it.

Daddy taught me that education was important. I love to learn, and he encouraged that. He helped me pay for college classes all the way through a master’s degree. And when I quit working after only four years to stay home with my children, he said that education was never wasted. It’s valuable. He also recognized that not all education happens in a school, and he always affirmed the idea that not everyone was meant to go to college, and that someone who hadn’t wasn’t any less educated in different ways.

Daddy taught me to believe in my children. He always treated what was important to me as important to him. And he did this with his grand kids as well. He went to games and concerts and recitals of all kinds- not because he really cared about the event, but because he cared about the person in the event. Even as an adult, he’s done this with me. He believed in my blogging. As I’ve begun to monetize or write for money, he’s been a tremendous support, not thinking it trivial but being proud when I’ve been published or when I’ve done well. Because of this attitude, I’ve learned to treat what my kids are doing as important, and I know it’s helped to create a good relationship as they grow.

Daddy taught me that parenting is an important priority. He always supported our decision for me to stay home and homeschool. Many times he financially helped with extracurricular classes for the kids so that they didn’t have to miss out on those things even though we do live on one budget and homeschool. He did this because he thought homeschooling was so valuable and staying home with the kids was so important.

I’ll miss my Daddy. I’m happy that my kids got to know him and spent time with them, although I regret that they didn’t know him longer. I’m sad that he didn’t see them fully grow up, but I am glad of the impact he had in their lives. And I know that, indirectly, many things I pass on to them are values that Daddy taught me.

I’m very glad that Daddy is with Jesus in Heaven instead of suffering here. I’m glad that he’s totally healed and happy. And I’m reassured, always, by these verses- some of my favorite: I Thessalonians 4: 13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. We grieve, but we have hope. I’ll see Daddy again one day, and he’ll know the continued impact that the things he’s taught have had.

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