Today, Jared Moore wrote a tribute to his recently departed dad that was very good! It’s here: http://sbcvoices.com/dad-if-i-could-talk-to-you-i-would-say/.
It struck me as I read it how many of these things I could apply to my father and I was chagrined that I had not thought of all these things. So I'm using some of his headings and adding a couple myself, maybe they'll stir your own thoughts.
Now I know none of our dads were perfect. Some of us had less functional dads than others; some have no earthly father that they know. As sad as that is, I'm grateful for a father that taught me a little about my heavenly Father. And for those with horrible fathers, know that God is everything your earthly father wasn't.
If he wasn't faithful, know the Almighty is. If he wasn't generous, God has lavished His grace upon us. If he wasn't there, then remember, God is our very present help.
But dad, if I could talk to you, I would say. . .
Thank you for reading the Bible in front of me when I was a young boy. I don't remember it clearly, it’s a vague image of the family gathered in the living room. But I know it happened. I have your Bible now and know it wasn't unread.
Thank you for dragging me to church. I didn't often truly enjoy it. But I found that I was loved by folks, and looked at with favor because of the kind of people you and mom are. More importantly, I heard the gospel time after time. And God's word is surely a hammer that shatters the rock hard heart.
Thank you for teaching me that you need Jesus. You admitted to me your faults on occasion. I’m glad I don't have perfection to try to live up to! Your hard-working, stoically suffering, high integrity persona is hard enough. But I know, you knew, you needed Jesus.
Thank you for helping others in private. I know you were a faithful giver. I don't know what all you did for others. But I inherited this someplace! I can't help but think that you were free with your money as you were with the time you gave to others.
Thank you for teaching me the importance of honesty and integrity concerning vocation. You were a hard worker. You seemed to enjoy it for crying out loud! You worked at Randolph AFB as I was growing up and then you'd come home and work. I'm glad you liked to sit and watch football and baseball; otherwise I'd feel guilty about sitting around as much as I do! But also, you were an honest guy. Not just because you handled the church's money and their 'books' with integrity, but you always expected me to tell the truth!
Thank you for serving your country. To know that you were part of the military machine that brought an end to the holocaust, set Europe free and ended the scourge of the Nazi's and others, makes me proud of you. And I hope I too would rise to the occasion if it was required of good men to take up arms.
Thank you for demonstrating humility. Both when you apologized to me once when I was a kid - You weren't doing something right by the family but I didn't really know what you were talking about - but I know you felt bad about it and wanted us to know you did. But also when I stood behind you as a boy, when you walked into your boss’s office to ask off time to take me to the doctor, when I was having way too many doctor visits. I'll never forget that image. You were there in suit and tie, standing at attention in front of your boss's desk, telling him you needed to go a little early to accompany mom and me to my specialist. And the way he looked at you. There was interest in your explanation and what now seems to be a bit of deference on his part. I remember thinking at the time that you were older than him, why was he the boss? But you seemed to command respect and a certain gravitas there as well as at home.
And while I’m not going to thank you for your temper, I’m glad to know there were things that were important to you and you backed them up. I know you wouldn’t abide back-talk, and now that I am grown, makes sense! I know you didn’t want us back-talking or disrespecting mom, too. I’m glad you backed her up as well. I remember you giving a certain uncle some significant grief when he lit up a cigarette after you informed him that smoking was no longer tolerated in our house. Dude! I thought you were going to hit him!
And dad, I bet there are an awful lot of life lessons I learned from you that I don’t even know I did. But I will say, I don’t know that my older brothers share all these views. I think you mellowed with age. I think you were probably harder on them, less reasonable at times, and I think I was probably a tad too much afraid of you growing up. So, I didn’t want to my kids to be afraid of me. Maybe I could have used a bit more of that ‘fear’ factor, but so be it. I do know you were a bit ‘easy’ on your only daughter and to a little boy that hardly seemed fair. But now that I am older I know you were a lot easier on me, the baby of the family, than you were on my siblings. And for that, I am glad!
I love ya dad. I wish you could hear this. And say hi to mom and my big brother Paul. But I imagine the heavenly plane is so far beyond my existence it’s a faint memory to you. So suffice it to say. I've said my thanks, expressed my heart, and I’ll see ya someday, and oh what a day that will be.