Dad died one month ago today. I don't think I have ever lived through a time span that passed so quickly. My feeling is that the rapidity is due to my having so many things to catch up on. We marked the first holiday since his death with Mother's Day on Sunday. Dad always tried to make Mom feel special on Mother's Day, even when she passed the point of comprehension. Usually, at this time in May, Dad would be booking a flight for me to come to St. Louis in late June to spend time between basketball camps and my trip to Honduras. Southwest Airlines has lost a very valuable customer. Here are several more things about Dad that are rattling in my brain.
Scott sent me a design of a gravestone for Mom and Dad today. I never thought about granite memorials until all this. Uncle Bill said there are thirty-two plots for our family remaining in the New Corinth Cemetery. I probably need to get around to reserving a space for myself.One of the best sermons I remember Dad preaching revolved around Harry Chapin's classic hit, The Cats In The Cradle. Our WCS chaplain, Robert Farrar, featured the same song last night in our Wednesday evening Bible study, speaking in the topic of Influence. It brought back good memories.After class last night, I spoke with James Tandy, who like me is from York, Nebraska. In fact, the last place Dad spent the night outside of St. Louis was at the home of James' parents, Bruce and Sheila. Dad had developed back problems on a trip to Montana caused by an infection and Sheila drove Mom and Dad back to Missouri from York on Father's Day, 2007. Talking to James made me once again realize what a small world it is in many ways.Kathryn Thomas Phillips, one of my former players, sent me a sympathy card. She only met Dad once or twice but her favorite memory came when she and two of her teammates (Amy, Erin), her sister (Laura Beth), and my assistant coach (Nancy Tipps Reed), drove to St. Louis from Tennessee to see me at Christmas the first year I was in Houston. Kathryn recalled in amazement that for dessert, Dad pulled out five flavors of ice cream! He was an ice cream specialist!
Dad preached a sermon called The Blessing at churches across the country when he and Mom did marriage workshops for congregations. It was based on the approval that parents give, and don't give, to their children. It is my guess that this lesson touched as many lives as anything he ever said.Dad did a Myers-Briggs workshop for one of my girls' basketball teams at Friendship Christian School. Each girl was profiled and he came and talked to them. The number one question, of course, was "What kind of guy should I marry?" Dad also made several motivational tapes that my teams at Georgia Christian School listened to before games and practice. I am not sure if we played better...but we were relaxed!
One of these days, I am going to make a big pot of STARBUCKS COFFEE from the packages Dad had been given for Christmas presents last December. Then, I am going to drink about ten cups from the STARBUCKS mug I bought for him in March and read every update I wrote, going back to August 1st and concluding the day he died. I just don't think I'm ready yet.
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As you can tell, I am nostalgic today. Below, I am re-running the video Dad made to thank my students when they made cards for him. It was first posted on December 2, 2007. Immediately following is my favorite picture of Mom, taken at Harding College.