|Dad and Grandma Hawley at Nebraska Youth Camp.|
Life is returning to normal for me. I have been overwhelmed with love from my school and church family in Houston. Little children made cards for me and then asked innocently, "Coach Hawley, why did your daddy die?" The guilelessness of the very young astounds me. I hope you don't mind some more thoughts. It's therapeutic for me and if you are reading this, I suppose it has not become tiresome for you:
It absolutely devastated Dad not to be able to hold and bond with Harper before she died. He mourned deeply at the ending of her very short life.
The best sermon I ever heard him preach was about the providence of God. He tied it in to the moves our family made and how he felt the Lord led him and Mom to where they were needed. I have to admit I did not always pay great attention! Dad's sermons to me were more of the non-verbal variety.
I never went to a barber before college. Dad cut my hair.....and Dave's and Scott's. Dave and Dad did not see eye to eye on hair issues.
Dad loved to read. The last book he read was Mississippi Solo by Eddy Harris. He thoroughly enjoyed it. When we were growing up, we were limited to thirty minutes of TV per day so we could play outside or read. Our folks took us to the library and made sure we had a card so we could check out books. Mom and Dad always were reading and it rubbed off.
The overwhelming majority of my roughly 150 ties come from my students. At the visitation and burial, I wore one that was a present from Leticia, a former basketball player of mine. For the funeral, I used one given to me by Winston, a sophomore in my Gospels class. I told Winston- and he was pleased.
Dad would spend- and this is no exaggeration- twenty hours to prepare to teach a Sunday morning or Wednesday night Bible class which would last forty-five minutes. He knew the Scriptures backwards and forwards and could have winged it...but that would not have been Dad.
I stopped getting an allowance in about fifth grade. If I wanted money, I would have to work. Paper routes, shoveling snow, mowing grass, de-tasseling corn, being a carry-out boy at the Jack And Jill grocery store; those jobs taught me how to earn my own way and be content with what I had. I never go into debt and I owe that to Mom and Dad.
Dad made us get up for every early morning space launch. I hated that even though I was witnessing history live. And when I went to college, it was as a history major.
Dad had this rule that if you saved the frosting on your cake until the end, he got to eat it. It sounds crazy but he actually enforced it!
Dad loved being a director at Nebraska Youth Camp. It was a penciled-in part of the summer. Even when he was wearing the director hat, he never took off the parent hat....as I was reminded of numerous times!
When we lived on the edge of town and had four acres of land, Dad helped us build a baseball diamond and a high jump pit. Even though he and Mom were non-athletic, they supported us and we never felt any pressure to perform to their expectations. Perhaps not coincidentally, Dave, Scott, and I all grew up to coach for a living.
This may seem strange but I find myself listening to Dad's phone message several times a day. If you would like to hear his voice one more time, feel free to call at 713-772-2142. It's better to do it when I am at school; otherwise, I'll pick up and you're stuck with me!
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org