Saturday, October 18, 2014

A tribute

This is what I read at my Daddy's funeral.  It was taken and re-written from what I wrote to him while he was in Hospice.   There was so much more I could have said.  Oh my Daddy, this is the tip of the iceberg...

Dear Daddy,
I was honored and privileged to spend a night with you at the Hospital Hospice and much time alone at home.  I soaked you in, and your calm and quiet breaths were music to my soul.  It was my greatest honor and blessing to care for you in your final days.  I prayed that you would go easily and comfortably without pain or fear.    I prayed that you would have no regrets or sadness from this life, and as you left this world you would only know and feel the pure and deep love we have for you.   And when heaven’s gates opened wide, I prayed that Jesus’ face would be all you saw and all you ever needed and that you would swim in His love.   I knew that all your pain would evaporate and joy would envelope you!  And I told you that once you settle in you will turn around and there we’ll be, right behind you, in merely a nanosecond and until then your memory will be forever etched into our minds and hearts.  

Daddy, I will miss so many wonderful things about you!  I will miss your crooked sweet smile, your laugh, your garage tinkering, your piles of “Stuff”. I will miss your stories about growing up at Girard College, and all of your antics and pranks.   I will miss hearing of your travels while serving overseas.  I will miss going to the Y with you and hearing you say “Take your time, I’ll finish my work out and have a cup of coffee and wait for you.”  I’ll miss our trips to Big Lots, not shopping for anything in particular, just sharing our mutual love of a goodbargain.  I’ll miss how we both wore socks to bed even in summer with our cold feet and how I inherited your way of rubbing my feet together.  I’ll miss crawling in bed between you and mom even as an adult to chat late at night, or laying next to you in bed to catch an episode of “Pickers.”  I’ll miss your pinball machine fixing, eating Braums with you, the mints you handed out weekly at church and how you loved your “greenies.”  I’ll miss how you saved everything to recycle and add to your garden compost I’ll always remember our hike up Camelback Mountain in Phoenix and how many times you came to Arizona to help me, move me, bring me a car or drive me home from graduate school for Christmas.  I’ll remember how you came up to my sorority for Dad’s day and moved me to different colleges.  I’ll miss your precious bond with my daughter, how much she adores you and talked about you all the time even when we were apart.  Don’t worry, she will never not know you!  You being gone gives me a greater sense of urgency to teach her all about Jesus so she, too, can one day join us in heaven!
I’ll cherish the lessons you taught me, like strength through adversity, your commitment to family and friends and your church, your strong work ethic, your constant generosity and gift for servitude.  I’ll miss your brilliant engineering mind and all the silly little contraptions you designed and constructed around the house.  

I’ll so miss you calling me “Sis.” I can count on my right hand the number of times you actually said my name, but Sis was so comforting because it was just for me.  

But what will remain most vivid in my memory dear Daddy isthat at the age of 62, I witnessed Christ take reign of your heart.  In you I saw the most radically changed human being of my life.  We were saved close together, so I watched your faith grow and with it, so did mine.  You taught me well and because of you, my faith is strong.  I will miss your scribbled up sermon notes and verses falling out of your Bible, the way you pouredover the Word for hours on end and our many discussions.  Through this journey you developed a sincere love for others and a gentle spirit.  I loved watching a wonderful example of the change that Christ can make in a human being to transform him to be more like Himself.  

I will miss how much you encouraged me.  You supported all of my God-given passions and ministries.  You told me I musttravel to Israel even when others warned me it was too dangerous to go.  You supported Lee and I in our quest to adopta child saying we must do what God called us to do!  (my one regret is that you will not meet your Ethiopian grandson this side of heaven.)

Oh my daddy, you fought so hard and though you have lost this battle, Jesus has won the WAR!  By now you are in the loving arms of your Savior and have heard Him utter “Well done my good and faithful servant” and your body is new, whole and free of pain and suffering!  
Jesus simply could not bear to be away from you any longer.  You are so loved and will be missed by so many.  I am so grateful that we were able to hold your hand until Jesus took it from us and walked you to your true home! I love you my precious little Daddy!  I cannot wait to one day be reunited!

You can now proudly proclaim as it states in 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

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