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{Sent to my step-family in Arizona to read at the graveside service for my Father}

My feelings and admiration for my Father have never been a secret kept from him or anyone. There was never a time when he wasn’t my hero, my role model as a human being, a man, and a husband and father to my own family. He knew this, as I don’t have regrets of not having told him many times.

His prayerful presence has been felt through my entire life, and that has not changed. There is no question in the mind of anyone who knows him that he was destined for that ultimate Peace of the Spirit granted to such a true and faithful servant.

He did not see himself as significant, even though he touched countless people throughout a long and prosperous life. There is often no worldly recognition for the saints among us. We only have anecdotes of how he selflessly provided, supported, and was always willing to give or sacrifice for anyone around him. In every circumstance he showed the best possible way someone could deal with others.

These stories will be passed on, but it’s more than words. I have heard my own Father’s voice when I speak. My sense of humor. Mannerisms. Ways of doing things that embody the values he passed to me from his own father. My wife jokes that I couldn’t be anyone else but my Father’s son, and this has always been a compliment, and a comfort to me.

In real ways, my daughter knows my father through me, as will her own children someday. Even if stories are lost, or our family history is forgotten, a part of him will live onward in those most important ways that are invisible and cannot be adequately expressed.

And he was more than a man. He emptied himself as a willing instrument of the Holy Spirit, harboring a Light not often found in a world of dullness and darkness. As a lifelong student of Scripture, he embraced wisdom and truth however much he could be given. This example was another gift given to me that I follow and cherish.

I am eternally grateful for God’s gifting him into my life, as I am sure so many others feel. He gave me life in ways that could not possibly be measured in genes or worldly inheritance. I have received from him anything I could have hoped for. He is forever the brightest Star in my Summer sky, and I know that in any hour of need I can look to borrow a portion of his faith fulfilled as my own.