I’ve been blessed beyond measure to have been predestined by God to be called your daughter.
A dad can teach lecture or pressure their children into becoming who they want them to be, but often the best influence a parent can have on their children is when they lead by example, love unconditionally, share their lessons learned and model a life well lived.
Many a lesson have I learned from you Dad from the way you modeled your life.
Dad, my drive and work ethic come from you. From an early age, I observed how hard you worked to provide for your family. … Never were you lazy or complacent… Even in tough times, you did what you had to do to make ends meet in perhaps one of the most dangerous jobs at the time. …
And while you taught your children to possess a strong work ethic and to be self sufficient, you were more than generous throughout the years, surprising us with gifts just for the point of helping out or lending a hand in the time of our need. You gave selflessly of yourself without expecting anything in return. In your field of engineering they called you the “Professor” because rather than being afraid of what your junior colleagues could bring to the table, you selflessly mentored many of them along their paths to success. I was blessed to have front row seating in learning this lesson as I navigate thru my own career path.
For as long as I can remember Dad, you modeled a hospitable heart with an open door to as many people as could fit in your circle. And if a the room appeared to reach capacity, you’d find a way to extend it, making space for more to love and fit in. Growing up in an urban Queens neighborhood, our home was open to all the kids in the hood. They’d come over to play in one of the few back yards that was a bigger than s postage stamp, camping out in the tree house you built for us, swimming in the above ground pools that got bigger and bigger each year as you kept up with our growth spurts. Building snowman and forts, playing ping pong and billiards. You made sure we grew up in a home filled with lots of interests and fun where our friends would want to come back to. You also took the boys out of the city and up to our mountain cabin. You were a friend to our friends growing up, always with an empathetic ear to the growing pains of our youth.
Thank you Dad for being a man of organization, strategy and execution. God instilled that sense of order in you and I thank you Dad for demonstration those necessary life skills in which I am also a led to employ.
You always had a sense of adventure Dad. You were a man for collecting lots of things, you focused on quality instead of quantity and also to collecting memories through exploration of new places, visits with people, serving in your youth. So many wonderful memories you have captured through the lens of your camera. There are so few individual shots of yourself, as the act of “selfie” was not at your core.
Dad, you taught me the important lesson of how to forgive and forget, not to hold onto the past. You never made me feel inadequate for when I made my own mistakes; you looked beyond them, still loved me, urged me to learn from them and move on
You modeled for me that it’s okay to have a sense of solitude, time for oneself and how to be independent, yet how to compromise, work things out, meet in the middle or sometimes, just let it be.
And while there were serious moments in life, responsibilities that needed to be met, tears to be shed, you taught me how to approach life with a sense of humor, to be light-hearted, laugh and have fun.
But Dad, the most meaningful and far reaching lesson you modeled to me, that would impact my life forever was in the decision you made many years ago to surrender your life to Jesus Christ. And with that decision came the ripple effect that has impacted 4 generations in our family, fanning out to Grandparents, brothers, in-laws, your children and grandchildren who would also come to make that step in our faith….From all the things you have taught and shared in your life, this would be most important piece of your legacy Dad. And from the testimony of some of the youth in this very Church, I understand your legacy has reached this youth generation as well. In the book of Hebrews, chapter 11, it recounts of the many men of Faith that continued to believe and serve and to give to the Lord their best even though they could not or would not see the outcome of the promises made to them in their lifetime, but yet in the generation to come. You too Dad, held onto that faith of a promise of a healing, even to the end. We who remain and mourn the loss of your physical presence don’t understand why a healing did not come in your worldly body, but I know that I know, you have your healing now in your new body and are in the Presence of the Lord.
As I stayed by your bedside during those precious moments of our last week together, you continued demonstrating to me how to walk in this life as you presses on and into your Faith even though you did not know what was ahead in the days to come. You persevered in prayer; you called to the name of Jesus until the waves of pain subsided. I had the occasion to play songs of worship for you and caught a glimpse of you raising your hands to heave to offer praises to the Lord even in your time of despair.
And within your last 72 hours Dad, as I did my best to help you as you were in absolute agony from the pain, you made me the recipient of a desperate plea of inquisition about your loved ones. You asked me if they made the conversion. When I asked what do you mean? You responded with, ” Did they make the conversion to Christ?” Dad, even in one of the darkest hours of your flight, the love and concern you had for others continued to emanate from the depths of your heart to care enough for their souls.
You see my beloved, when one is close to going home, especially for those who are open to the Holy Spirit, some see things from a spiritual perspective that we don’t. I believe today, knowing where my father is, if he could come down from heaven and reach down to those who have not yet made that decision to accept Jesus into their life, he would be imploring you as Paul the apostle did in saying, ” I tell you now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation”. For my Dad is now experiencing the riches and the glory of those who surrender to out Lord Jesus… And he wouldn’t want you to miss out on that. And like one of the men of Faith discussed in Hebrews 11:4, Able, who gave God his best, although he is dead, he still speaks to us by his example of Faith.
Unfortunately, my Dad did not have the strength or the time to make his inquiry known. So how could I, his remaining offspring, go on in good conscious, to be the keeper of his one final and most important inquiries if I were to never share it on his behalf?
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only Son, whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life”. My Dad believed in Him. Will you?
Dad, I’m so thankful and proud of you for the good fight you fought, the legacy you leave behind. You played an important role in ushering me into this world. And with your loving wife Georgette, I was given the privilege and honor of ushering you out of this world and into your Heavenly home.
And with your final breaths, it was a bitter sweet moment that will forever remain in the memory bank of my mind. The nurse told me you were probably in the juncture looking down, hovering over your body, getting ready to make your final departure. So with that information, I felt a quickening within me to play the song ” I can only imagine what my eyes would see when your face is before me.” And I raised my hands upwards towards Heaven to wave you on, throwing kisses upwards, telling you it was okay for you to go home. I asked you to say hello to Paul and my Grandparents that would see you soon. Dad, you were well on your way in your new body to jump and dance for Jesus and to hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant…well done!”
Thank you Daddy for modeling a life well lived, Thank you!
Love, Michelle, your Belle
Michelle – South Shore of Boston Feb. 2015