The older I get, the wiser my father seems. Sure would be good to have him around to talk to my adult sons about long-term investing. That was his hobby and his passion. I wish I had recorded some of our money conversations over the years to play back to my sons.
Here's a blog I have been reposting every Father's Day for ten years...
"THANKS DAD, SEE YOU IN HEAVEN"
On January 28, 2002 at 9 PM, my dad breathed his last breath and slipped from time into eternity. He was seventy-four years old. His tired lungs just stopped working.
He died peacefully because he finally was at peace with God -- after a lifetime of resisting the gospel and running from God.
His journey to God hit warp speed when he flat-lined while in the ER on October 11, 2001. The doctors were able to revive him, but more importantly, the Lord visited him.
While laying on his back in the emergency room, he came face to face with the God of eternity and lived to tell about it. He told my youngest brother that when his heart stopped he had a vision that God was giving him one last chance. In the vision, as he watched the doctors frantically trying to revive him, he suddenly saw a whiskey bottle, a pack of cigarettes, a handgun, and a Bible floating around his lifeless body in the emergency room.
He knew he had a choice to make. He decided in that moment to choose the Bible rather than the things that were destroying his life.
Three months later, he would face God again, this time forever. This time, he was ready.
While on the plane trying to get to Mississippi to see Dad one last time, I wrote what would be my last words to him. I read them at his funeral a few days later. Here’s what I wrote:
Thanks, Dad, for never missing a baseball game, basketball game, football game, track meet, birthday party, or anything else that mattered as I was growing up.
Thanks for being there for me,
- every time I crossed the finish line at a high school track meet,
- when I fell through the frozen lake while duck hunting when I was nine,
- when Mike Croswell’s easy grounder rolled under my glove at second base, costing us the Little League championship.
You were always there for me, and I’m glad the Lord allowed me to be there when you crossed your final finish line.
Thanks for trusting me, accepting me, and supporting me especially when I,
- grew long hair in the ’70s,
- quit the football team in tenth grade,
- became a pastor rather than your business partner,
- moved to the other side of the world to be a missionary.
Thanks for teaching me,
- to ride a bike and drive a car,
- to throw a baseball and hit a golf ball,
- to fly fish and quail hunt,
- to work hard and save money,
- to write a check and pick a mutual fund
- to be a real boy and a real man,
- to be a good son and a good father.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I miss you and will see you in a few years.
"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." -Exodus 20:12