You know, any fool with live sperm can father a child, but it takes a very special man to be a Dad.
My Dad was 97 when he shuffled off this mortal coil to his heavenly reward. He was a faithful servant of God, active in ministry of one kind or another for more than 60 years. There was a lot to like about how much closeness we had.
I remember the day when our roles reversed. It became the honor of my brother and sister and me to care for our Dad during his declining years. We owed him that for bringing us to adulthood. I hope our example will inspire our kids as well.
If you still have your Dad, be sure to honor him this weekend. You will not know the full extent of your Dad's struggles until you see it coming back to you from your children and grandchildren.
Thanks, Bates Ivey, for helping me know God, for teaching me respect for my elders, for making my handshake mean something and for keeping my word. Thanks for teaching me to throw and catch and for the hours you spent squatting down to catch my pitching when I didn't fully appreciate how hard that was for you when you were almost my age now. Thanks for teaching me to shoot and to fish and to drive. Thanks for teaching me the value of hard work and giving an honest day's work for the pay. Thanks for the sacrifices you made to see that we all got an education and for being there when we all graduated.
Thanks for caring enough to make a surprise visit to The Gorgeous Redhead before we married to see if I was making a wise choice. He approved then and everyday thereafter until his death.
Thanks for your faithful service as a US Marine in WWII and for flying your flags everyday of your life thereafter. Thanks for saving my life with your willingness to answer God's call on your life to ministry.
Bates Ivey, I want to be a dad like you when I grow up.
Dad was laid to rest in the Medal of Honor cemetery in Riverside CA in the spring of 2014, but he was absent from the body, present with the Lord.
Save me a seat over there, Dad. I love you...still.
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!