My Dad…

   A friend was here at Missions Outpost, helping me clean the kitchen, when my mom called. “Your dad just died.” We packed and drove north, still in our work clothing. You just do the next thing. That was to go home.

   Dad developed seizures when I was 4 months old. I never knew him un-medicated. Years before I left home I was going through reel-to-reel tapes. I found a recording of a debate my teenage dad and his cousin, Dwight, was having with the church board. The pastor was opposed to the church’s youth attending dances. I caught a glimpse of my dad that I never experienced, a young man who could argue a point in a rational and clear manner.

Tough times…

   He endured 3 brain surgeries to reduce the seizures. Then in 1990, a life-changing accident. We were told he would never walk again. Through prayer and stubborn determination, he walked again, and returned to work. When Dad retired, he had a hard time finding his place in the world. He loved spending time with Grandpa, and took him to Burger King a couple times a week. He talked about that fondly until he died. He also volunteered at a food pantry, where he broke down boxes and made jokes, livening up the place. Then, last summer, came the bladder cancer. He didn’t die from the bladder cancer, he died because, after years of fighting, his body was worn out.

   The day before the memorial celebration of his life (including a meal of hamburgers, French fries, and pizza), I picked up his ashes. Dad and I drove around town. We visited the home where I grew up, the schools he attended, my grandparents’house, and his church. We said good-bye to the places so familiar to him.

Surreal experience … 

   A couple days later, Mom, Stephanie, and I drove his ashes to the small town in New York State where Mom grew up. No one else was around when we placed the urn in the ground, and we covered him with dirt. In a time when the undertaker does all the work, removing us from the process of burial, I was thankful for the opportunity to bury Dad. God is so good to give us what we need, to understand Him better.

Prayer…

– I am thinking about taking some counseling courses.

– Patience and wisdom to make good decisions in spring prep here at Missions Outpost.

– Only $6,500 to go to pay off our truck!

– Mentoring a couple college guys.