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Monday, April 21, 2008

Goodbye, Daddy...


Engrossed with the task at hand, I was subtly aware of the soft silence that had creeped over the noisy chatter of the college classroom. Subconsciously aware that the atmosphere had changed I looked up to survey my surroundings. A student next to me asked, "Who's that man?" I looked in the direction that she referred to and saw a very tall and strong man in blue jeans and a buttoned shirt sporting boots and a cowboy hat. His hands were large and strong looking. His face and arms revealed that he was a person who had spent a lot of time in the strong Texas sun. The stranger's gaze was direct, almost piercing, definitely subjugating all who had turned to look his way. However it was obvious that he was there without malicious intent and held no ill will towards anyone. This tall Texan had a very self-assured stance, and it was clear that he was accustomed to having a commanding presence over all that he surveyed. In fact, one had a sense that this man was God's representative of honor, a person who had surpassed the simplicity of drawing a line in the sand between right and wrong. He was a virtual wall between good and evil, principles and deceit, justice and inequity. I felt a sense of pride and an indescribable sense of safety and warmth wash over me and simply stated, "That's my Dad."

Dad loved the land and appreciated the bounty that it brought forth. He was a dutiful steward of the earth and was a nurturer of the grasses, fields, and animals that were put in his care. A rugged individualist, Dad was an example of self-sufficiency and strength, drawing all that he needed in this life from God and what God had provided. Dad taught his children independence and gave us a sense of individuality, duty, and a strong knowledge of right and wrong.

My father, the protector and spiritual guide of my family, a tireless caregiver, a man of sacrificial love for his wife and children, and a true patriarch passed away Thursday, April 17, 2008, little more than a month before his 72nd birthday.

The heavenly hosts cried out in simultaneous sorrow and joy as they received God's faithful servant into Abraham's bosom. That night the heavens opened up and the welcoming tears of God watered the Texas Hill Country that Dad loved so much. Dad is now in a mansion on the most beautiful ranch that anyone could imagine. Fields full of grain and pastures of tall grasses. Fat livestock graze in meadows watered by gentle rains and they drink deeply from cool clear waters.

I would not want to take your reward away from you, but Daddy, I miss you terribly.


27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

29 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so.


Genesis 1:27-30 (NIV)

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1 Comments:

Blogger Connie said...

Hi TJ:

Thank you for your note over on my blog. I'm very sorry to hear about your father.

My thoughts are with you and your family.

Cheers,
Connie

May 11, 2008 8:16 PM  

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