In his footsteps

Last night I took my dog for a walk, and could not help but walk the same streets my dad and I walked just weeks ago.  Many a night he would come by and ask me if I wanted to walk the dog with him.  As you can tell by my good looks most nights I refused.  On occasion I would say yes and we would walk the half mile or so through the streets sharing about our day and our life.  Usually the conversation would turn to advice on how to be a dad, and he would tell me “words of wisdom words for life.”  But last night was different. There was a silence that was not there before.  It was just me and my thoughts, and my 100 pound great Dane panting over a squirrel. My thoughts turned to all the people that have inspired me the past few weeks.  My dad not only walked the streets of McKinney. His travels had taken him to streets all over the world.  He loved to go on mission trips and share the love of Christ with others.  To him they were more than mission trips they were adventures.

This fall he was scheduled to go to Latvia, but without him here the trip was not going to happen.  But a close friend has volunteered to fill my dads shoes.  Micheal Curl is going to taking the very message my dad was to deliver to the people God planned along for Micheal to minister to.  (pray for Micheal)

As I walked last night I thought of Micheal and I realized.  I can walk in my dad’s footsteps but I cannot do it alone.  I look around and am thankful for the countless people who have put me on their shoulders and carried me and my family through this tough time.  I also know none of us can make it through life together.  Who do you rely on and who do you need to say thank you to today?  Together we are all doing life together.  For some it is thousands of miles apart, but we are connected through technology and together we can change the world.  I think all along that is what my dad was trying to do, change the world.  He had a way of doing it one person at a time.  Thank you for helping me walk in his footsteps.

8 responses to In his footsteps

  1. Melba Jeffus

    Hi Mark,

    I’ve been catching up on your postings and have a couple of thoughts to share with you. In one of your messages you asked if life will ever be normal again. The answer is “no” it will never be the same normal again. You have begun a journey to a new normal.

    When I lost 5 close family members in a 4 year span, I decided that if anyone ever needed grief counseling, I certainly did. I learned so much in those 8 weeks of counseling, but the most important concept that has stayed with me is the fact that through grief/loss you will find a new normal. I kept wanting life to be the same again and I couldn’t or wouldn’t accept that it could not ever be the same again. At that point, I began the process of establishing my “new normal” for life. I will tell you that I still miss those 5 family members every single day and I look forward to our reunion in Heaven more than I can say, but I am enjoying family holidays and special events without being sad that those loved ones aren’t here.

    Your Dad was so unique and such a blessing to all who knew him. I hope it helps your grief to know that none of us will ever forget him or the wonderful stories he told us. We are about to start our new semester and I keep expecting to see him walking toward my office in his unique style of rapid, determined steps.

    You are all in my prayers and especially your Mom.

    God Bless all of you,
    Melba Jeffus
    Eastfield Marketing and Communications

  2. Pam Anderson


    You know you have been such a blessing to others just like you say they have been to you. You have tremendous ability to express yourself through your writing, just like your Dad. I know I told you at the memorial service, but thank you for sharing your Dad with us and for the blog. Your entire family is a special part of my family and I am thankful for you.

  3. Barbara Schneider

    Dear Mark,
    You continue to amaze, inspire and touch us.
    Life is hard sometimes, alot of the time isn’t it? I will say it has been a tough couple of weeks!

    It has often been said that God is on His throne, He knows all, controls all and plans all. I know we all believe and hold on to that but sometimes God has to speak that gently to our hearts as we struggle through what ever “thing” or “event” is hitting us at the time.

    My prayers will continue for you and all your precious family. May God speak to each of you in a unique and special way and may He whisper to you that despite the circumstances His love, grace and peace will abound and He will cover you and your hearts during it and through it.

    Thanks for continuing to share your inner most feelings and experiences with us.
    They will carry others through in their “events” in ways only our Heavenly Father knows……waves of courage, strength and trust can be felt far from the roads that lead you home.
    Loving all of you.
    Your friend,
    Barbara Schneider

  4. Mikelle


    Thank you for the continuing blog. I find myself checking it several times a week. I continue to pray for your family as they try to “adjust” to life without your dad. Your writings are a blessing as they always make me stop and consider how precious life is.


  5. Joanne Eaton


    Just wanted you to know I’m still praying for you, Mrs. Presley (especially tomorrow), as well as your entire family. I know it can be hard watching life go on after the death of a loved one. It’s almost as if you want the world to stop and really feel what you feel. Please know that even though things may appear to be proceeding as usual, Dr. Mark will never be forgotten. As the nearly 44,000 hits on this blog show, your father deeply touched many lives and we are all continuing to pray for all of you. You are so much like him. Thanks again for this blog.

    Joanne Eaton

  6. To All of You,

    I’ve been drawn to reading books about pain and suffering lately, and I’d like to share something I learned today from Philip Yancey’s book, Where Is God When It Hurts?

    Did you ever wonder why God restored to Job double what he lost in sheep, cattle, camels, etc. with one exception? His 10 children had died and he was given the exact same number, seven sons and three daughters, after his troubles were over. Why not double? Maybe because God wanted to remind Job (and us) that he didn’t really loose his original 10 children. They would all be reunited in Heaven where Job would indeed have restored double his children.

    Everything has its place,
    Janice Byrd

  7. Cathy Kelley

    You have already done a great job walking in your dad’s footsteps. I see alot of him in you and it is a blessing to see. You are an amazing person, part of an amazing family. I pray for you all in the journey you are still walking. You are an exceptional family and know that you have many supporters and friends who are walking this journey with you. We are there to help pick you up when you fall, to cry with you and to celebrate with you. I pray for the continued healing of your entire family. Whale was a great man and that will never go away.

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