Do you remember how you used to let me sit on your lap when we’d take long drives? I remember those times like it was yesterday. You trusted me to let me take the wheel, but I always knew you were there in case I got into trouble.
Thanks Dad for always being there whenever I’ve been in trouble.
One of my favorite memories is when we used to sit in the kitchen and watch storms late at night. There was a table by the window and sometimes we’d be eating peanut butter and crackers or white powdery donuts and large glasses of milk.
No matter how afraid I was in the storm, I always looked to you. When you were calm, I was calm. You were my rock, my lighthouse.
You always taught me not to be afraid of the storm, but to always be prepared for it.
I still remember lying on my back in the lake when I was a little boy. You were teaching me how to float and how to swim.
I didn’t realize it then, but you were teaching me how to survive.
Once, you took the whole family up to the church and we mowed the lawn. We worked hard all day and I couldn’t figure out why we would do something like that and then not tell anyone. I asked, “Aren’t we going to tell someone?”
You said, “No, sometimes you do things because they are the right thing to do, not for the praise.”
That day, I learned a lesson in character and humility.
I remember you always working in the yard or on the house. There were always endless projects and as a boy I never understood why you never stopped. Now I realize the value of hard work and taking pride in ownership. I know the joy in accomplishment and making something from nothing with your bare hands.
Thanks Dad for showing me that sometimes getting what you want takes hard work and dedication.
One year during November it was so cold that we were able to keep about 30 turkeys in the trunk of that old white car Grandma gave us. We got a list from the city and took turkeys to families in need for Thanksgiving. We had a blast.
Thanks for teaching me the joy of giving.
Over the years you and mom let people live with us. Unselfishly you gave of your home, your money, your time. Whenever someone needed help, you gave all you could. You picked up hitchhikers and shared with them about Jesus. You were a prime example of a Good Samaritan. You still continue to do this today.
Thanks for showing me what it means to really help others in need. How to be unselfish, and how to share the gospel to whoever, whenever.
I remember when you went to the hospital to have a tumor removed from your neck. You never seemed to worry. Later you had prostate cancer and you took it in stride. After the surgery you talked of the pain as if it were nothing more than a mosquito bite.
Thanks for teaching me to be strong in the face of adversity.
We joke about it now, that week long fishing adventure where we caught our own bait in various dirty ponds and then strung up trot lines. It was a grueling week with lots of work, but when I look back on it, I remember it with fond memories. I was learning to do things that many young men would be afraid of. I was learning to face challenges. Learning how to clean fish and becoming a man. There were times when we would go into ponds filled with snakes and green moss, at first they scared me, but after a time I wasn’t afraid of anything in the water.
Thanks for teaching me to face my fears and to not be afraid of the unknown.
I remember digging our own septic system and even bricking it. We dug that big hole and then we poured a concrete floor and then we built walls, brick by brick. It was hard, but fascinating. In my whole life I’ve never felt limited. I’ve always known that I can do anything once I’ve set my mind to it. I learned that from you.
When we were younger, I remember you taking us to church. Later, you and mom took over the youth ministry at The Pentecostal Church of God, but you didn’t stop there. You branched out and created Megalife and started a youth ministry that really did some amazing things. There are times when I am at work and people doubt possibilities. They see dead ends where I see opportunities and challenges.
You and mom always overcame obstacles. You helped me to be an over-comer and a visionary.
When I played football my senior year at Liberty, you came to all my games. When you are a kid you don’t appreciate the time and money that goes into raising a child.
Now that I’m grown I realize that you make time for whatever is important to you.
Thanks for making time for me
I remember going to work with you and watching you do things that other managers never would have done. You repaired grout in the kitchens, you scrubbed the floors in the dining rooms, no matter where you’ve worked, you’ve always gone the extra mile.
Thanks for teaching me the importance for going the extra mile.