I have been thinking about this post for a while. My sister's post inspired me to put it into words. I guess dinner and that coffee on the screen porch will have to wait. We need a pilot and a plane in the family!
Fading memories are all I have left of the man whom I called dad for a very short 13 years. The sound of his voice is barely a whisper now. For my sisters even less. I sometimes wonder how different our lives would be right now if the choices he made had been different. But then again...we wouldn't be the women we are today if our past journey hadn't happened.
This post if for my sisters and my children.
This is the man I remember:
A Tucker High School graduate who held many records in track,football and baseball
Married his high school sweet~heart...I think she's the most wonderful lady that there ever was!
They had 3 beautiful daughters..He he!!!
His dad's pride and joy...only son
He loved his mama....We did too!
Welder by trade
Loved to have fun
Loved motorcycles and took many long trips with my mom to Gatlinburg. He even took us on many rides.
I think two of the funniest things I remember was watching him ride our go-cart around the neighbors dirt bike track late one evening...he had drank a few beers before that. I often share this next story with my kids and our youngest has found this to be her most favorite hiding spot. One evening we were playing hide-n-seek. My dad, who was maybe 5'11, hid while it was my turn to find him. I will never forget seeing him perched on top of our refrigerator with a big ole grin on his face! A smile I often see on my own two son's faces.
Played the guitar..mostly country and bluegrass
He liked Hank Williams Jr's music
Loved Pepsi... The highlight of our day was to get him a glass of cold Pepsi when he got home. And served it to him as he sat in his recliner. Often fighting over who would get to serve him.
Loved popcorn...and popcorn seeds
Gardened a lot with his dad(Grandaddy Melton) Not sure how much of this he enjoyed. But he was a devoted son. They did make a beautiful garden!
Let us work in the garden with him....well maybe a strong request. We hated picking green beans that were climbing on the corn stalks!
He loved boiled peanuts!
I remember hunting snapping turtles with him and grandaddy for turtle stew...it really wasn't that bad!
Those dirty work boots at the door...we all liked to step inside them. Especially Kathy!
Levis jeans were his pants of choice
Always had a hat on....to hide the hair he lost.
He used hair spray for ...yes he had a comb over! That explains the hat!
Kelly always liked to do anything he did. You could always find her by his side. I think she would have gone hunting with him had he let her.
He loved baseball and was still playing on a company team up until the day he died.
The day of his funeral I remember looking back as we drove down 78. All I could see were cars for miles and miles with their headlights on. Thinking... all these people loved my daddy!
I wish I could say so much more about him and the things he did that had eternal value. I wish I could say what a Godly man he was and what a strong leader he had been in our home. But I can't. The man I knew at 13, I loved. I thought he hung the moon. He worked hard to provide for our family so our mom could stay at home. For that I am very thankful! But I'm sad to know all that he has missed because of the choices he made. And didn't make.
Drinking,driving and no seat belt played a role in his death that last day. A choice that changed the lives of 4 women who loved him dearly.
My dad made many poor choices in his life. Many that cost him his family and ultimately his life. Had he known June 20th would be his last day...would he have chosen differently? Only God knows.
I do have a memory of him at the altar with my mom. Did he truly surrender his life? That's between him and the Lord. I guess his life was so much more than my earthly heart can comprehend. Because of his choices....I weigh mine much more carefully. My poor kids know my feelings and fears. They can thank their grandad for the warnings of what making poor choices can lead too. I guess in some way he has left an influence on the legacy I will leave. Also, my husband can thank him for my constant encouragement to be a better father and leader in our home. My family may see this as nagging but I see this as a road I never want to repeat. I don't have many memories of the man I knew as daddy. I wish I did. But I have come to realize that the weakness that I knew in him has become a strength that I otherwise may have never obtained. Learning to count the cost in every thought and deed. I guess in some strange way what he has left does have some eternal value.
I guess Fathers Day is a bitter sweet time in my life. But it is also a reminder of the mercy and grace my real Father has shown our family for the last 33 years. He has truly been that father that my heart longs to know.