“I’ve walked with God my whole life, I’m ready to go be with Him.”
These were the words my father spoke when the oncologist asked Dad if he knew what he was facing.
Three days later, my father passed on into the presence of the Lord. It seemed to go so fast for us, his loved ones. Dad died on February 10th and at Christmas, just two months before, he had been his vigorous self. He was turning wooden bowls, playing ping-pong, checking his plants in the hallway sunroom.
He was 91.
Dad walked with God.
I miss him most when I walk around our yard now. His handiwork is everywhere. The calla lilies Dad planted are blooming in their pure white glory. The butterfly weeds he started from seeds have spread and are full of orange tipped butterflies, just like the blooms.
“Gayle, you have to come see this.”
“Dad, you’ve got to come see THIS!”
“We must go get your Mother.”
These were the conversations we would have beginning in spring and continuing until a hard frost. We would walk around the yard, weed, deadhead, and glory in the beauty and handiwork of God’s creation.
Dad and Mom would count the number of different kinds of flowers in bloom at one time. He so enjoyed the variety and unique qualities of the various species.
I miss Dad.
Yet, I am left with wonderful memories and so many beautiful plants.
My father also left me with His greatest influence on my life – his love for his Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Dad quietly, yet openly, lived as a Christian.
He loved God.
He loved his family.
He loved others.
He loved God’s creation and was a steward of all living things.
As I tend the flowers, I am reminded of the lessons Dad taught me about life – botanic life, and more importantly, life everlasting.
I am my father’s daughter and I am so blessed that Dad led me to follow Jesus, just as he did.
May we leave this same legacy for our children and grandchildren.