This morning, I sat in worship with Gayle and Grace Napier and their youngest daughter, Marsha Burney. The Napiers moved to Houston several weeks ago from Valdosta, Georgia where Grace grew up and I had my first coaching/teaching job. Gayle and Grace were two of my folks' dearest friends. They had four daughters and we spent much time together as kids. In fact, I think it was Gayle who persuaded Dad to move from York to Texas. Gayle was teaching at Lubbock Christian University and he would call Dad and tell him how much warmer it was in west Texas that day than in Nebraska! Gayle gave me the first gift from a non-family member I can remember- his David Lipscomb College basketball jersey. It was a little too big! Here are a few more thoughts as I work through Dad's death in my heart.
Is is coincidental that STARBUCKS has fallen on hard times since Dad's passing?
The last thing Dad ate on this side of eternity was communion two weeks ago today. I think that was appropriate. (Thanks again to Jack Coffee for serving Dad in this way for nine months.)
One of the memories printed here yesterday was from Dad's good friend, Bob Lawrence. Bob's (and Ruth's) daughter, Melody, was my age. One time, we joked that our fathers would try to lead songs at church with the criterion being the hope that the other did not know one of the selections. If true, I doubt either one of them succeeded!When I received my driver's permit, Dad taught me to drive by taking me to the Reformatory Road outside of York and making me get behind the wheel of our station wagon. The first Saturday, I was all over the road. The next Saturday, I did great. When I graduated to the Karmann Ghia, that was another struggle.I am in possession of the tie Dad wore when he married Mom. It is brown, adorned with flowers, and short. In one of my York College yearbooks, my basketball teammate, Wayne Markus, is wearing it in the Sigma Tau picture. I can't remember why.When we lived out on the edge of town in York in a very small home, Dad added value to the house by building a cupola on the roof and a brick patio in the front yard. Both lasted. Dad was a perfectionist in his projects. When we were going through boxes of pictures in the recent weeks, I took every picture of our Nebraska houses that no one else wanted. I have lived more of my life in York than anywhere else. I was surprised at Dad's funeral with the realization that he and Mom lived in St. Louis more years than anywhere else.When Dad first came home from St. Luke's at Christmas, one thing he wanted us to take care of was to return his billfold and put some cash in it. It wasn't that he was going anywhere to spend it but he needed to feel like he was still a man and men need their billfold with some spending money inside. I will never forget that lesson.
I catch myself becoming choked up at random moments. I now feel a great empathy for elderly men using walkers.A number of people have called the phone with Dad on the answering machine. Feel free to call! The number is 713-772-2142. You know Dad would love that! Thanks!
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