Today there is a profile on the computer that isn't being logged into, a computer chair that isn't being filled, a big empty gap in my email from where Dad would always send me funny videos or news articles, and there is big empty hole in my heart. I'm not an eloquent enough speaker or writer to properly express how much Dad will be missed, but I will express what I can, nonetheless.
My father was a wonderful man, full of random information that no one knew-or sometimes ever cared to know, kind words, humor, and of course, sarcasm. A few people have asked me where my whits and words come from, and more often than not, my answer is simply “my Daddy.” Most people don't bother questioning again. Some of my fondest memories of Dad include playful banter across the dinner table with an unsuspecting victim, either at home or after church at a Chinese buffet, or just standing behind him at the computer when visiting, being shown viral video after viral video.
How many of you has Dad helped move? I'm sure there are a few of you out there, after all, he fancied himself a semi-professional mover. While we were living in Alabama, Mom and Dad drove up to deliver a trailer full of furniture and a few small items. Not only did it take us almost an hour to untie all of his crazy knots, but then we had to unwrap the HUGE sheet of plastic that he had wrapped everything in, not once, not twice, but THREE times! We used nearly all of our energy just untying and unwrapping before we could even see what all he had brought with him. And then when we moved back home, he decided that he was in charge of loading the storage unit with our stuff, the same things that we had spent forever untying and unwrapping the year prior, and THIS time, the game was Tetris. Opening our storage shed, even right now, I can just imagine the boxes and furniture in different colors, and it's placed just so, so that there is no possible way that I can take out my box of dished without the entire unit falling in on me. But hey, it all fit, and it's not going anywhere, so long as I can live without that box of dishes, or any of my clothes.
Everything that I know about computers, I learned from my dad. There were many things that I just never picked up, but there were things that I picked up that shocked him, as well. In high school I tried to get him to teach me how to write in HTML (hyper text markup language) which is one of the most basic building blocks for web pages and internet design that there is. I most definitely was not a natural at that one. Then he started showing me PowerPoint. Yeah, I was at 2 and 0 for a while. Then one day he was touching up a picture in Paint Shop Pro 7 (the same one installed on his computer today) and I was watching him, and the next day I was making graphics and editing photos like I had done it for years. He also taught me how to type, and of course, how to browse the internet for hours on end, reading funny stories, web comics and articles, watching useless video after useless video, and never really doing anything. I am a pro at that one.
I overheard a conversation he was in once, about someone whose son was making a decision about his lifestyle that his parent didn't approve of, but couldn't really do anything about. That person asked my Dad what they could do, what he would do in a situation like theirs. Dad thought about it for a moment before responding. “There isn't anything that you can do, except just continue to love them.” And that was it, conversation over. This person had thought so hard about the choices that their child was making about how he wanted to live his life, they were so torn about it, yet in a simple sentence, Dad told them everything that they would ever need to do. He was right, and he knew he was right because that's how he chose to deal with my decisions at times. Chris and I ran off and got eloped, and Dad not only handled it well, he handled it gracefully. That, and he and Mom didn't give us much choice besides having a ceremony still, where he could walk me down the aisle and give me away, anyway.
Then when my daughter was born, my Daddy was right there at the hospital the whole time, just waiting to see his new grandbaby. He also had a super yummy Hook and Ladder sub waiting on me, just because I had mentioned it before going in to surgery. When my son was born, a month sooner than planned and with a cleft lip and gum, he was so frantic and worried, but you should have seen his face, holding his first grandson for the very first time, looking into those little eyes, seeing this helpless child that looked EXACTLY like he did when he was first born. I nearly cried when I saw how proud he was.
Dad was taken away from us much too soon, but I would like to offer this little bit of comfort by reminding you all that he lived a very wholesome life, was a God-fearing man who would have done anything for any one of us in this room, and just about anybody else that asked. He was healthy and happy until the day he passed, where he passed at home, with the woman he loved the most in this world at his side. He hated hospitals and Doctor's offices, so it would have been his wishes that he wasn't sick in a hospital bed for weeks before passing, or even for a day or two. He lived without pity from others, knowing that very soon now, it would be over. He was in no pain, and for that, I am ever so grateful. Instead, it is only us who are in pain, grieving, in this room. Dad spent Easter with his Lord, his mother, and so many others that have passed. God apparently needed some tech support, so why call on anyone but the best? I like to think that the sunrise on Easter morning was so beautiful because Dad was on visual effects up there. In closing I would like you all this scripture, one of Dad's favorites, and very fitting for all of who are in mourning today.
Philippians 4:10-13- I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
By the way, ;) Happy Rapture Day, everyone. lol.
"However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows."