Today is the 8th anniversary of my Dad’s passing. The day is as vivid as ever, and I feel like he was here yesterday. I knows many of you can relate. I read this at his funeral. It’s deeply personal, but not meant to be kept to myself. God revealed so much to me during that time, and when God shows up…it’s hard not to share. This is also the moment that I realized God expected me to use words to communicate all my random thoughts to friends, family, and the passing stranger on the internet highway.
Good Morning, the family and I want to thank you all for being here. Wes, my Dad, always said that funerals were for the living. He was right. He knew he wouldn’t be here today. He was also known for saying, “People should get their flowers while they’re alive, not just at the end.”, and that’s how he lived. Dad always made sure that we knew how much he loved us. He had special names for all of us kids. I was ‘Princess’. He liked to buy little sparkly gifts for me on special occasions. He said a princess needed jewelry, and who was I to argue?
Anyone who knew him heard about his family, certainly about his grandsons. I’ve heard it said, “No one is as crazy about their kids and grandkids as Wes.” Well, that was true. He gave everything he could to all of us.
Life without Dad will always be bittersweet. We’ll smile when we remember his funny sayings, his hilarious hissing laugh, and the colorful way his stories always got better with each re-telling. Then we’ll be sad and miss him when we’re all together and his recliner remains empty, we watch the Sooners, or enjoy playing with his grandkids.
Well, that’s a brief glimpse of the past, and a small forecast into the future, but I need to talk about why we’re here today. Monday morning, my Mom called and said, “Come fast!” I hurried over, ran through the house to his bed, but when I looked at him, I knew he was gone. In that moment, all seemed lost. My Dad had died. There was nothing I could do. The most desperate hopeless feeling engulfed me, and through my tears all I could say was, “No. No. No.”.
But then there was a whisper, louder than all the noise in my head, and the presence that until that moment had always been a steady warm glow in my heart, a beacon on the shore of a calm sea, the sweet song in my soul since my day of salvation…it swelled, it blazed, and it shouted, “No Aimee! All is not lost, your Dad is not gone, and it is not hopeless! I made certain of that.”
I fell to my knees, laid a hand on my Dad, wept, and thanked God for him, the life we had, and for the beautiful hope that we will see him again. Peter penned my experience exactly nearly two thousand years ago: “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him, and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (IPeter 1:9)
This past Saturday, I told a friend, “Life is good. I am blessed, and am so thankful for all God has given me.”
Well, that was Saturday, and here we are four days later, and that is why I had to speak today. The shadow of death has passed by, and because of Him I can stand here even in the midst of that darkness and stillsay, “Life is good. I am blessed, and thank you, God, for all you have given me.”
Dad…we love you, miss you, and we will see you again.