I have many, many friends whose Dad no longer lives here on earth. Regardless of how they died - expected or unexpected - regardless of their age (after all - at what age determines whether a person lived a long and fruitful life anyway?) - the loss is real, and it hurts because they simply are no longer around.
My Dad is gone, and I will not see him again until I get to heaven, but his mind is now clear, his body is now healed, and he is now in the presence of God Almighty! Wow!
On September 12 of last year, he turned 86. I posted the following words and photos about him. They have never been more real to me than now. Here is what I said then, and here is what I say now - this time on his first birthday in heaven!
(do they even keep track of those kinds of things there?)
Today is my father's 86th birthday!
For all these years W.J has lived and contributed to so many people's lives in a variety of ways. He has done so in what many would call "the old fashion way" - hard work, determination, and caring for others.
His dry sense of humor, his quiet spirit, and his work ethic have always impressed me, and anyone who knows him.
As a child, I remember him working 12 hours @ day - 7 days a week at the Gulf Service Station. I don't know how he did it.
Together we have built many things in and around our home. They are constant reminders of his ability to use his hands to create something of value. I love "constructing things with wood", and that love comes directly from him.
My favorite of all time is this deck that we built 20 years ago (in the summer of 1988). The people who now live in this house probably don't realize how special that "work of art" is to my family, but I will always remember that experience!
(Good grief, I hope I can build something like this when I am 66 years old!!)
So, thanks Mr. Worley for being around for 86 years. You really WERE a good man, friend, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
(The photo at the top is my Dad with my sister's grandson. I love the expressions on their faces!)