Sunday, September 21, 2014

We Took A Walk With Our Father Today

When our Father passed, I sat down and wrote a letter to my five brothers on how I felt about our loss.  They choose to use it as the Eulogy for Dad and I am honored.

When I am feeling low or in need of a hand on my shoulder as I am now,  I think of my Dad because I couldn't ask for anyone better.

I share it with Love, and the hope it finds a place in your heart as it does in mine.

We took a walk with our Dad today, down a gravel road in Hornsby Bend to the house where Sam and Nora raised a family on love and the bounty cultured on hoof and in rows.  He spoke of his love for his parents and what the family meant to him.  He spoke of how they had been raised to respect each other and to always be there for each other.  He spoke of how they had learned the importance of trusting and living their lives according to God’s word.  

He said it seemed it was yesterday.

He showed us a hillside on a cold desolate Aleutian Island where he and a group of soldiers shared a time where uncertainty, duty, comradery, and fear were a part of daily life.  He spoke of wanting  wanting only one thing, to make it safely home to his family and Texas.  

He said it was like it was only yesterday.

We stood on the steps of our Nation’s Capitol as a young lady and her friend walked toward us and how his life changed because of her smile and her wit. He said that he had lost his heart to this Yankee girl and he knew his life would never be the same. 

 He said he could sworn it was just yesterday. 

We rode the horses up the slopes leading away from the river bottom.  Stopping in the shade of a large pecan tree.  He talked about the cattle that grazed on the hillside while their new calves chased each other playfully.  We walked down the long rows of cotton. Dad pulled an open cotton boll and rolling it in his hand mentioned that it was just about time for picking. 

 He looked around and said that if he did'nt know better that he had been in the same field only yesterday. 

We came to the campground in the lower river bottom.  Dad fed Buck marshmallows while Mom finished making supper over the BBQ pit.  Later we boys piled up on Dad in a wrestling free-for-all until Dad “acted” defeated and we ran screaming our triumph and washing our hands for supper.  Later, lying under the stars, we listened to the whip-o-wills calling to each across the pasture and from the other side of the river until we all drifted off to sleep.  Early the next morning Dad woke to climb onto the tractor after a quick breakfast and was off to do his day’s work. 

 Dad smiled and said there was no doubt that all of this happened just yesterday.

We walked through the greenhouses of Travis State School with three or four of the school’s “boys” following their leader with total devotion.  He check the temperature gauge and adjusted the water pump flow.  Then teasingly, he reached out and flicked the ear of one of the boys, letting them know that they were the reason he was there, not the job.  Also, each year, he climbed into the DPS helicopter for the quick trip to the top of the hill and Santa Claus suddenly appeared.  It was his way of reminding us the importance of compassion and helping others who were not as fortunate as we were.  

He looked around and said that he knew for certain that all of that only happened yesterday.

Afterwards, we stepped out onto the front porch of a house surrounded by pine trees and he sat down with that same Yankee girl who had now turned True Texan to enjoy the final years of their lives with their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends and some good quality fishing.  He smile as he spoke of the old times, the good times and even a few of the not so good times. He spoke of what he had learned in life and what he hoped he had passed on to those around him.

Our Dad, always the Faithful Son, a Trusting Brother, the Lords’ Humble Servant, a Proud Patriot, Mom’s Devoted Husband, our Dedicated Father and a Best Friend to many.  Yes Dad, to you it may seem as if this all happened only yesterday.  But to us, the amazing life you led, the faithfulness and dedication to your friends and community and you never-ending love for your family will be remembered forever.

Mom, your best friend is on his way home.