I miss you dad

I know it’s been a while, but to be honest I have been scared to write here. Tonight I write this post from my iPhone in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma. I am at our annual church youth camp We are in worship and God is really here. The power just went off to the entire camp, so we moved to an outdoor venue. All that setup for this … I miss my dad. In the midst of an incredible worship set the sun started to set and my first thought was my dad. You see be loved sunsets. I still remember the call I got from him as he sat at the top of enchanted rock watching the sun set. Or the times at the cape working on the house watching the sun set. Or the days in the fly fishing. Watching the sun set.

It sounds like sadness but my heart is overflowing with joy. I miss my father but I love my God. If my dad never passed I would not have grown the way I have this year. If he never died I would not realize the power of technology. His life and death have inspired me to love my wife and my boys. He has become my inspiration to truly live. His death has become the purpose behind me living a life if joy. I laugh because all this is coming out through tears and an iPhone. Praise God…

Oh and 8 people just came forword during the invitation to make Jesus lord of their life.

Looking down on us

Please say a prayer today for my mother and my family.  Today is my parents 41st wedding anniversary.

Last night I took some time to look at pictures of my dad, and came across this gem.  I could not help but think this is what is going on in heaven.  Whale is taking time to look down on us and smile.  It has been a hard few weeks, but if good was to come out of this it is that I got to hear from each of you,  I got to see my Dad inspire others with his life, and I learned to count each moment with my wife and my sons a blessing.

Eli is doing great.  Two nights ago he slept for 4 hours which gave Melissa the much deserved rest she needed.  It is funny to see you in your son.  The way he sleeps and moves his mouth reminds me of me. More importantly it reminds me of whale.  He is a little whale, a chunker of a boy.  He is a perfect reminder of the best of my dad.  It was said at one of the memorial services, “good men always die to soon.”  My dad was a good man.

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.

Do Dogs know?

I am sitting at my computer tonight reflecting on the week ahead and all I can think of is – does Maggie, my great Dane, know?  Does she know that we have a new addition to the family, Eli, and that he is hear to stay.  Does she know that my dad is gone.  Does she know the pain in my heart for my dad, and the joy in my soul for my son?  I have heard from many that dogs can sense things, but does she know?  Looking back this has been a roller coaster of weeks, yet I can say Maggie is always there with her cold wet nose leaning on the side of my favorite chair.  There is a certain comfort that she brings to me and my family. 

Denny’s hand surgery went great, and Kari got moved in.  They are in the middle of reconstruction of their new home, and yes they are living right in the middle of it.  There are times i wonder if my family is crazy or is it just me. Recently, It is in those times i think of my dad and just laugh.  I think it is a little of both…  

The service at Eastfield, my dad’s college, was great.  The dean’s, administrators, and fellow professors shared stories with us about our dad.  Some were sad, some unique, and some funny, but all were special.  My dad was a great man, and he would be humbled by the remarks and comments, but he would love the stories.  My dad was not just a story teller he loved to listen to stories also.

Please pray for my mother.  She will be returning to McKinney this Friday, and her 41st wedding anniversary will be next Tuesday.  She begins teaching this Monday and is excited about the year ahead.  I truly believe this will be one of the greatest years she has ever taught.

A moment of silence

Today my brother and I are honored to attend a special service at Eastfield College.  My dad was an administrator there since the early 90’s, and it was a school that was always close to his heart.  My father loved to pour his life and soul into things.  He did into each one of his kids, he did into my life.  But he also poured his life into his students.  I can still see him now standing in front of a board waving his arms and making poetry from plate tectonics.  He was a man that left a memory, and he will be missed.  The service is from 2-3pm at Eastfield.  Pray for my brother and I as we share the legacy of my dad with the students and faculty of the school he loved.

A fight with the weedeater

Just when we think we are on a journey of recovery another crisis arises. My brother-in-law Denny is having surgery on his hand tomorrow morning. It seems he got in a fight with the weed eater this weekend and the weed eater won. He cut his hand severely and broke bones in his hand near his index finger. Please pray for his surgery and recovery. Did I mention that they are trying to move out of the rental house into there new abode by tomorrow night also. Pray for Kari and the entire Wood family. It is on Denny’s left hand (which is the one he uses.) and will take several weeks to recover.
At some point you start to laugh because of what God is allowing to happen in our lives. At what point does it stop. I am not sure if it does, because if it did this thing called Christianity would be easy. We all know a relationship with Christ is never easy, but it is always worth it.

Becoming a man

Whale and his grandson Denton

Whale and Denton (The Stingray)

I just got an email from my nephew Denton, and it made me think of my dad. Lots these days make me think of my dad.  Many of you says that will not change Denton is the oldest of all the grand kids at 12 and has the vocabulary of an 60 year old.  I see my dad in him.  The truth is as i read this blog each day I see my dad in you guys.  We are doing his favorite thing, telling stories.  as kids we could sit around the table or living room and here story after story.  Today, share with someone a funny story.  You never know it may change their outlook for the day.

This week you can pray for my family in multiple ways.  Kari just bought a house a few weeks ago and is madly trying to renovate and move in the next few weeks.  Kijsa is returning to life in Paducah after being at the Cape and then McKinney for 6 weeks.  Whitney is returning to life at the museum she works at.  Stephen decided to stay in McKinney rather than travel to Paris for a class.  And I am trying to help my wife with Eli, but that is not working out to well.  The biggest prayer is for my mom.  She is going to travel to Kentucky for a few weeks to try and pick up the pieces.  Please keep here in your prayers as the days and nights seem to move slower and slower as we get farther from my fathers passing.

Once again i am so thankful for the mini “whale” family we have formed here in Internet land.  Share a story today and you could make the world a better place.  Whale did!

Will life ever be normal?

Yesterday we had my dad’s service and it was one for the books.  My dad would be humbled by the kind word each of you whispered to us.  We are honored to share the last few days with you, and hope that you will keep us in your prayers as we begin to pick up the pieces and try to return to a normal life.  Although i have a feeling life will never be “normal” again.  There is one less person at our table, one less laughter in the corner, one less hug at Christmas.  Yet I know where my father is today, and his life will be far from normal.  He is praising God in Heaven living a much better life than you or i could ever imagine.
This morning i stopped by the church to see if i could help, and it hit me hard. If you have ever lost someone close you know what “it” is. It is the feeling this is all a bad dream, and that he will be right around the next corner. But it is not. We must move on, holding on to the past. Today my sisters head back to Kentucky and Austin, please pray for their trip. Monday I return to work, but I am not prepared for the heavy road ahead. Yet i know my father prepared me for it. Pray for us as we move on. Will life ever be normal again?

Thank you for your stories and words.  we continue to share them with each other as a way of moving forward in our grief.  Please continue to let us know how our father helped to make your life and our world a better place.

Home sweet home

we made it home last night and were greeted once again with the kind gestures of all of you.  On our trip one person made us lunch, another gave us a place to sleep.  When we got home a group of friends had cleaned my mom’s house inside and out.  Your kindness is felt through this blog and in our hearts.  Please pray for Kari and family as they drive in today.

We invite you all to the memorial service this Saturday, August 2, at 4pm.  The service will be at First Baptist McKinney in McKinney.  The address there is 1615 w. Louisiana. There will be a small reception after the ceremony in the gym.  All of you are invited to come celebrate the life of my dad. 

Some of my family is not able to attend, so i will also stream the service over the Internet.  My dad would laugh at all the technology being used to celebrate his life.  To watch the service using a PC, go to www.fbcmckinney.com and click on the watch live button on the right side of the screen.  Thank you again for all of your help as we take celebrate a life well lived.

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