He made me feel as if I lit up the room. His joy was in being with me, proudly introducing me to his friends, and showing me unconditional love. He was gentle, kind, and never, ever had a cross word to say to me. Though I’m sure I pushed his ‘limits,’ he never made me feel unloved.
There was always, deep inside my soul, the knowing that he would never stop loving me ~ no matter what I did or didn’t do. To rest in that kind of love is an amazing gift from God.
Daddy was a true southern gentleman. He saw the good in nearly everyone he met. Oh, sure, there were some that Daddy could “see through,” as he put it. But they were few. When he met people for the first time, he was sincerely engaged, asking each one to share with him what mattered most to them. It’s no wonder he and Mom had friendships that lasted over 60+ years.
Daddy was admired by so many. He never met a stranger. Even in his senior years, living at a retirement home, Daddy was the one who ran pharmacy or grocery errands for other seniors. His energy was boundless, and his heart was as big as all outdoors.
Amazingly, my daddy worked out at the gym three times a week until he was 90 years of age. Trainers would hear complaints from young men being pushed to their limits, then would then ask them to take a look across the room at my daddy working out. Asking their guess of Daddy’s age, they would always guess somewhere around 65 or 70 ~ when he had already turned 90.
When I was very young, Daddy introduced me as his “favorite child.” Being the only one, it always seem to embarrass me ~ knowing Daddy was exaggerating. As I grew older, knowing I was endeared as his “favorite child,” I was prepared to easily receive the love of Father God.
During the time of Daddy’s last week on earth, his doctor, upon leaving his room and with tears in his eyes, turned around and looked at me. Pointing at my daddy, he said, “HE’S the reason I am a doctor!”
I am who I am today because Daddy loved me so deeply, and because he not only introduced me to Jesus ~ he ‘lived Jesus’ before me.
“Every recollection that I have of you is a cause of thankfulness to God.” [Philippians 1:3 Twentieth Century New Testament]