A year ago today, my dad went to heaven, just before the inaugural address aired on TV. We like to think he did that on purpose. (If you knew my dad, you would think that was funny. :)) It was a sunny day, and Hana Kate were playing in the living room while my mom was in the bedroom with him. Hana Kate and I had both seen him that morning, and I think even greeted him. We didn’t know it would be so soon. Those last few days together were so precious, and I am thankful Hana Kate and I stayed over that weekend. In the hours after my dad’s death, we had several visitors, and Hana Kate kept us all entertained. It was a special, precious time.
Here is a cute video of Hana Kate with my dad in September 2008, 4 months before he passed away:
In the last couple of years of my dad’s life, he was at home most days due to his health. When we got a cell phone, I loved calling him up almost anytime during the day and talking. But if he called us, he always wanted to talk to Daniel instead of me. 🙂 In fact, I think in the last few weeks of his life, I rarely talked to him on the phone–it was Daniel. I love that my husband had such a wonderful relationship with my dad. They were good friends, and my dad taught Daniel a lot about a lot. Especially hunting. 🙂 I think the funeral day was actually a lot harder on Daniel than it was on me. It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year–in some ways it seems like he’s been gone much longer; in other ways, it feels like we just talked to him last week. I miss him.
What I loved most of all about my dad was that he never gave up praying about anything or anyone. I watched him pray for things for over 20 years, and then rejoice to see it answer. I saw him pray for other things for 25 years, yet leave this world in faith that perhaps God would choose to one day answer those prayers. And I can’t help but think that my life now is an answer to his prayers: for as long as I can remember, my dad prayed that we would one day marry a pastor or a missionary. 26 years later, I’m married to a man who is following God’s leading us to be missionaries in Madagascar.
My dad often prayed aloud when having his devotional time. I still have vivid memories replaying in my mind of hearing him pray for me. At times it annoyed me, but today I am so thankful. Thankful for a faithful, simple, godly man whose life impacted so many lives in ways I’ll never know or understand.
He never went to college, but he was a brilliant man. He knew just about everything about just about everything, but never made you feel like you didn’t know. I remember the drive home from my sophomore(?) year of college, I thought I’d impress him by talking to him about antibiotics and antibodies. Turns out he could finish my explanation of it himself. 🙂.