I was awakened to receive a call that my dad had passed away last night, June 12, at about 9:00 pm California time. Even though I knew he could pass at any time, it was still hard to hear that he was gone. I felt a flood of emotion that just seemed to wash over me. Later, I called my mother to pray with her and found myself too broken up to talk.
For the last month, he has been unable to have very much mobility, so home healthcare was required for him. For the past two weeks his overall health has been declining rapidly, and he has been struggling to breathe. This, of course, was very difficult for my mother and sister and for those helping to take care of him. It is now a relief to hear that his struggle is now over and he is with Jesus. He is with the Lord, and his earthly journey is now ended.
When you lose someone close, you are flooded with remembrances as they cascade out of your memory banks. Fortunately, I have so many wonderful memories with my dad to draw from. He taught me to work, and to work hard and to finish the job no matter what obstacles you encounter. He showed me how to be responsible and handle money the right way. He was a patient teacher—something I am grateful for. He enjoyed having me around him even when I was very young and not much use to him or his work, although I didn’t know that then. He was a very generous person, and he loved to give away what he could. He didn’t hold grudges and was kind and helpful to people. Those are pretty incredible qualities.
We spent so many years working together that we have many shared memories. Most of the memories are about experiences of working, learning, and finishing something we started. My dad was always very supportive of my ministry and often prayed for me.
Recently, the Lord was merciful to me by allowing me to travel to California four times in the last year and spend time with my dad—time that I now cherish. I saw him August of last year, again in September, and in March I spent some real quality time with him. He wanted to go everywhere I went. I remember one evening I said that I was going to take a walk. He immediately got up and said, “I’m going with Boyd.” He could barely walk—so I walked, and he rode his electric cart. Then in May I went and spent several days and nights with him in the hospital. Although our roles were reversed from what they had been so long ago—it was my chance to give back to the man who took care of me when I was little.