My Dad - My Hero, My Inspiration!
Growing up, we are taught that what will bring us happiness in life, is a good career, money, a beautiful family, a house and cars. My dad only had a grade 9 education, and his first job was working as a busboy at a restaurant, but he quit that same day. He knew he wanted to find something that he was passionate about. He had several other odd jobs but then he picked up roofing and started his own successful business with a partner. Everything society says you should have - my dad had it. He worked 24/7 providing for his family. As a young child, I barely remember him being at home, and when he was at home, I remember him always laying down, tired. But one day he was carrying me up the stairs on his back when he had a pain in his chest. I was only young but I remember thinking I hurt him. Badly enough that he had to go to the hospital. That is when we found out he was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. With not much time given to live, and being told to stop working, his world as he knew it was over. Stop working? Working was all he knew. Providing for his family was all he knew.
Laying in the hospital one night, a late-night prayer TV show came on. We were not a Christian family. He had never prayed before, but he thought what’s the worse that could happen? He called in, he listened, he received prayer and then he prayed. A prayer that would forever change his life;
“Lord, if you get me through this, use me in anyway you want”
He was released from the hospital and left with his new reality of being at home. He wasn’t sure if this prayer stuff worked, but he started having this sense of peace. He had to sell his share of the company and try and figure out his new purpose. He started attending a church near our home, and we would go with him. We weren’t sure when to sit, stand, clap, sing but we were there, and that’s all that mattered at the time. The life expectancy with someone diagnosed with severe heart failure varies. It could be less than 1 year - to less than 5. The night that my father cried out in prayer in the hospital was 21 years ago.
Yes, 21 years! Crazy right. Most doctors didn’t understand how he was still living. They put him in a few heart research programs, but my family and my dad knew the exact reason why. God was not done with him yet! I truly believe that every day you wake up, every new day you are given - you have a purpose. And my dad lived his out every single day.
He spent his days visiting the elderly, visiting people who were sick, making gospel CDs and scripture books to hand out, praying and encouraging people and being present with family, making memories. He gave people his TIME and he brought so many people to Jesus. He wasn’t making money like he was years before but he would tell me and anyone he spoke to that the contentment and JOY he felt now is priceless. Not just happiness, but joy!
On the night of Feb. 14th, my dad closed his eyes and went to sleep here on earth and on Saturday, Feb. 15th, he opened them in Heaven. He was 72.
Thank you, Dad, for instilling your morals and values in me.
Thank you for teaching me the importance of time and how I spend it.
Thank you for loving Mom and not allowing her to ever go to bed angry and making her laugh every single day.
Thank you for being the rock for our entire family.
Thank you for teaching me that to be a giving person, doesn’t just have to be money.
Thank you for encouraging and supporting me through any dream, idea or thought I had.
Thank you for teaching me the importance of a positive mindset.
Thank you for showing me the power of strength - for continuing to be active and not giving in to the pain of your body.
Most importantly, thank you for your faith. That one prayer you prayed 21 years ago changed the course of your life and our entire family's life.
You believed even when you didn’t understand. You forgave. You trusted. You loved.
My dad was a living testimony of God’s grace and goodness; a walking miracle and a true disciple of Christ.
Forever in my heart.