Today is the Memorial Service for my Dad. I’m taking a risk, a big one I feel. I’m going to read the following at his Memorial Service. I pray I can get through it, as I really want to do this in honor of him.
As most of you know, I am Julie, Richard’s youngest daughter. I was fortunate enough to be by his side most days in the last few weeks. I believe God placed me there to allow me to build my memories of Dad. As the youngest, I don’t have too many from my childhood, but I cherish what I do have, including the ones recently made. Today I’d like to share the things that I am grateful about my Dad with you.
That he had someone that loved him and he didn’t spend his adult years alone.
That he cared for Ethel and was able to show love to her and wasn’t afraid to do that publicly.
That he loved all things sports and especially the Denver Broncos.
His smile, although you wouldn’t expect it from this quiet man was bigger than life itself.
That he was human and made mistakes, but he apologized for them later in life on more than one occasion and received forgiveness.
That when he hugged you, he never let go first. EVER.
That he loved a good rare steak and mashed potatoes with butter and gravy, just like any good American would.
That he gave up drinking and smoking when he did, otherwise this day would have come a lot sooner probably.
That he had working man hands and they were large and would just engulf your hand when he held it.
That he was able to take the things inside of him and most of the time change them. He learned to refrain from yelling and being short tempered to become a man that showed patience and let things slide. That takes a lot and he deserves to be acknowledged for that.
That he taught us to be hard workers, to play poker, and pay you debt.
That his handwriting was big but quite legible and when I would see it in the mailbox I’d feel a delight as if I were a child again. I will cherish the cards and letters I have from him.
I am even grateful for the most ridiculous nickname anyone could have, because it came from him. As the story was told to me a few days ago by Dad, the day I came home from the hospital from being born, cattle were out at the feedlot, and they needed to be put in. So instead of celebrating the newest addition to the family, my parents assisted in putting cattle in first. Dad said he looked around and thought “What a bummer.” So hence, my nickname. Bummer. I kid you not, every feedlot hand, family member, and friend called me for as long as I can remember.
He wasn’t a perfect man, but he was a creation from God and without him, me and my siblings would not be who we are today. Although our lives were not Norman Rockwell picture perfect growing up, it was what it was. Whether good or bad, that is what created us to be who we are today, and I won’t be ashamed to admit it.
Dad took the “Big Ride to the Sky” as he called it, and I’m so thankful he was a baptized child of God. So I know he is in the presence of Jesus Christ our Savior. I look to the day I get to be with him and “the Man upstairs” as he called God.
So, we will take our memories, we will hold them close, and share them with our children to continue the legacy of Dad. Thank you.
Grace is a Gift,
Julie also known as Bummer