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Happy Birthday Dad! January 9, 2008

Posted by pastorsbc1303 in Just for Fun.
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Today would have been my Dad’s 83rd birthday.  He died in 1995 following some complications from a stroke.  I miss him dearly and even though they say that time heals all wounds, I am not sure that time will ever stop me from missing him.

The above picture was taken in the fall of 1994 at my birthday.  The last birthday I had to share with him.   As I have looked at this picture I realize just how perfect it is.  My dad was a very quiet man, and yet he was always there watching over me.  In this picture he is just there, watching on, as he always was.  In many ways that is how I remember him the most.

I learned a lot of lessons from him and have some very special memories of him.  One of the most special memories I have of my father was when I was about 10 years old and playing Little League baseball.  My coach wanted me to work on my pitching at home.  Even though my Dad could care less about sports and he never played any sports himself he was willing to help me with my pitching.  Every evening he would get out in our back yard and kneel down as a catcher and practice with me.  He was quite clumsy with the glove and didn’t catch very many of my throws, but it was a very special time for me.  I knew how much he loved me because he was willing to help me.   I never did tell him that I did not throw the ball as fast as I could as I was afraid I was going to hurt him.

One of the lessons I learned from him is to always pay attention to what people say.  People are important and deserve to be heard.  As I noted my Dad was a very quiet person, but he was a great listener.  He had a way of reading people and knowing what was going on and whether they were genuine or not.  Once he got to know you he suddenly would become quite the story-teller and loved to tell people of all the things that had happened in his life. I would like to think that I carry that lesson on in my life and let people know that they are important.

Another lesson I learned from him was the importance of quiet service.  My Dad came to know the Lord in 1986 after he retired from a steelmill.  After his salvation he was always up at our church doing little things that no one hardly noticed, but they were his ways of serving.

A final lesson, but perhaps the most important one, that I learned from my Dad was the importance of forgiveness and not holding in any bitterness.  My Dad was raised by his grandparents in central Kentucky on a tobacco farm.  His Mother had him out of wedlock and never wanted anything to do with him.  In fact she had herself and others convinced that he was not her son.  In all of the years I knew my Dad I never once heard him utter a harsh or sarcastic word about his Mother.  In fact, as she got older and was in poor health I remember very distinctly my father asking his half brother if there was anything he could do to help her.  That made a huge impact on me and I pray that I can be that type of person as well.

One final story about my Dad since we are in the middle of an election year.  My Dad was a staunch Democrat.  He knew not of any issues in politics, but he knew that he was told that the Democrats were for the working man, and that was what he was an average working man.  On the other hand, my Aunt Donna was a staunch Republican.  She thought that Ronald Regan walked on water and was the greatest man ever.  Her and my Dad would often go around about politics.  One day the four of us were sitting down to share a meal and my Aunt Donna got real quiet and she finally asked my Dad if she could ask him a favor.  He said sure, anything.  She asked if she could borrow $1700.  Without any hesitation my Dad told my Mom to get the checkbook.  My Aunt Donna told my Dad, “Ohhhhhh thank you so much, you do not know how much this means to me, now I can fulfill a life long dream and attend the Republican National Convention!”  The look on my Dad’s face was truly priceless as he realized he had been taken.  We laughed about that one for many years, and it still brings a smile to my face.

Happy Birthday Dad!  Thank you for difference you made in my life!  I hope that I can do the same for my daughters as well.

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