A week ago, I woke up to an ominous message from my brother. My father was in the hospital and it didn’t look good. I immediately notified our local family and started to pray. I knew in my heart, that my father was already gone the way of all men. It wasn’t until later that morning that I received the call confirming the news. That is when the tears flowed and it was hard to breathe. The world is not the same anymore.
You see, he wasn’t just my father, he was a great man. In fact he was the greatest man I have had the privilege of knowing, and I have been blessed to know some amazing people. I expect that most people think their parents are great people, and that is a great blessing. It is even more to know it to be true. He did not invent cures for chronic terminal diseases. He did not solve the energy crisis or clean water problems for the world. He did not lead civilization into a new era, or solve world peace. Those are all great accomplishments, but they do not make someone great. What makes a person great is not doing something in a moment in time, or even an era. A great person is not great because of their actions. Their actions reveal their greatness regardless of the scale. A star is a star no matter its size, the size of its solar system, or its remoteness. My father was a star among planets. Everyone caught in his orbit was affected. You could not meet him and not feel the impact of that experience. I don’t know another human being that can make that claim.
I also don’t know anyone else that drew every breathe, and whose heart beat every beat for those around them, the way my father did. He was always concerned for others and if there was a way in which he could serve and make someone else’s life better, he did it. He demonstrated again and again that if something needed doing, and we could do it, then we should.
His last day under the sun is a perfect example of my father’s life. His last post on Facebook was concern for those left behind in a war torn country. Even as his body was shutting down in its final moments, he was reminding my mother to follow her doctor’s orders. While he was in pain and his health was declining, his only complaint was that he didn’t want to burden my mother. I pray that I meet my Heavenly Father with the same love of others.
It was not just that he was focused on serving others (although that would be enough in itself). He was brilliant, kind, creative, devoted, dedicated and probably the most ethical person you could have met. He was also flawed, just like the rest of us. But he knew his flaws were not an excuse to remain that way. In short, he was a great man.
I will miss him immensely as I know the rest of my family and his friends will. When a star winks out in the universe, its absence is most definitely felt. After spending time in prayer, I am at complete peace with his absence. The tears have been replaced with joy and happiness. I am at peace, because I know he is more than the clay and dust that makes up these bodies we know. I am happy because I know that his life and his trust all rested on the Lord Jesus Christ, and he is able to enjoy the awesomeness of being in His presence. My greatest regret is that those of you who don’t know him, will not have the opportunity in this life.
My father has gone the way of all men, but he did not do it like most of us. He was a great man and he still is. I will get to see him again and that brings me great joy. I pray when it is my time to go the way of all men, my children and grandchildren will know the same comfort.
Blessings Dad. I look forward to seeing you again. Thank you for all the ways you impacted my life.