honoring my Dad, and wiping some tears

"Hi, I am Sarah, John’s daughter. 

First of all, I cannot express my gratitude to you all for being here to celebrate my Dad’s life today. Thank you.

As if you didn’t already know, being an Aggie was a huge part of my Dad’s life.  It quickly became a huge part of my own, because my Dad’s enthusiasm about anything Aggie was just infectious.

Literally, I think I was singing “Hullaballoo” and yelling “Farmer’s Fight” by the time I was 3, having no idea what I was saying. But I did it with all my gusto and all my pride…because I wanted to be like my Daddy.

I spent almost every birthday growing up at the Bonfire, as it often ended up on my birthday weekend. Dad and I would often travel after Thanksgiving dinner down to College Station for the big TU weekend. I remember sitting on top of my Dad’s shoulders to watch them light the bonfire, thinking I had the best view because my dad was so tall.

From a young age, he taught me the war hymn, taught me how to wave my 12th man towel, and that I couldn’t walk on the grass or wear a hat in the MSC. We have sat in the same seats my entire life, and it gives me chills when I sit in them each year, because of the memories I have there. My times at Kyle Field with my dad are some of my fondest memories in my life.

I want to point something out here though, about my Dad.

While all those things at A&M were so important to him, he never once “pushed” it on me.  

I simply wanted to do those things, be a part of all that, because it was important to him.

He made it easy to love what he loved, because he was so incredibly genuine about it.  

And to me, that is the theme of his life as a dad and as a man of faith.

I once gave my dad a Father’s Day card that I always think about, and have expressed to him again through the years. 

It read “You make it so easy to know the Father’s love so well, because YOU have loved me so well.”

Like his love for Texas A&M, my Dad’s love for his Lord was just something sweet and infectious to be around. It drew people in, and I believe will continue to draw people to God, even after he is gone.

My dad did a lot for me. 

Things and sacrifices I recognize even more so now that I am a parent myself.

He sat through countless, and I mean countless, dance recitals and competitions, drill team shows, and Friday night football halftimes.  

He had me in a bright orange vest at a very young age, taking me dove and quail hunting each year with our birddogs. 

(and I assure you Ags…that was the ONLY time I was really allowed to wear orange!) 

He drove our family to Colorado many summers to stay at my uncle’s place in Crested Butte, where we made amazing family memories together. 

And he always kissed my mom when he walked in the door from work each evening, 

which I loved so much.

But the greatest thing my dad did for me, was to show me what a relationship with Jesus looked like. 

A real relationship…not a religion. 

Not a have-to-go-to-church, have-to-do-good, have-to-appear-a-certain-way relationship…because that is not really a relationship. 

But what I saw in my dad was the intimate connection he had with his Jesus. 

With his Savior. A trust in a personal God who would not fail him.

My dad appreciated God’s mercy and spoke of it often, recognizing that he would not be who he was without Jesus’s sacrifice for him.

My Dad’s humble posture to the Lord is what drew people to him

And what people recognized at the sweet gentle spirit in my dad…It was Jesus in him.

My heart hurts…truly aches…that my dad wont be sitting in his favorite chair, answering the phone when I call, going to A&M games with me, or holding my little girls in his lap anymore. 

But I am assured that He is experiencing joy indescribable and amazing peace right now as he walks, with perfect, un-parkinson’s, balance with his Lord.

I want to end with this, some precious words my sweet Abigail shared with me during all of this.  Keep in mind she had no idea that her beloved Hop might be going to Heaven soon, and we really didn't know yet either.

One night while Hop was still in the hospital, I asked her to pray with me for Hop, to which she replied, 

“What’s Jesus saying to Hop right now?”. 

I said “I don’t know, what is He saying to Hop?”.  

She paused and thought about it, and then said “Jesus is saying for Hop to come Home.”. 

That took my breath away, but then I said “oh wow, what else is Jesus saying to Hop right now?” Abigail said “Jesus is saying that God wants Hop to come to His house in Heaven”.

Out of the mouths of babes, right?

Her little spirit was being prepared, and the words of a three year old have brought me more comfort, knowing without a doubt, that Jesus had been preparing a way for my Dad...

to come Home to His House in Heaven."



Those are the words I spoke at my Dad's funeral, just 2 1/2 years ago. I wanted to honor him again this Father's Day by sharing it here. (you can read the whole post about his funeral here. It was a beautiful and God-honoring celebration of my Dad's life)

My Dad was an amazing man. He was a man of integrity and love and service to others. He was the most humble man I have ever know. Not an ounce of pride in his bones.  Even through physical and mental deterioration, he smiled, kept going, and relied on God.

Father's Day stirs it up a bit for me, as I am sure it does for many who have lost their fathers.

Those feelings of grief and waves of tears seem to come a little more easily when holidays roll around, especially one that was made to celebrate them. This week has followed suit, and i have found myself getting a little choked up here and there. But that's ok. It's just part of missing someone you love.

I really didn't have much point right now other than to encourage others who might be missing their Daddy this week. Just to say "I'm with you".

so, I am with you, friend. I feel your heartache and hurt, and relate to the longing you have for just one more hug or conversation with your Dad.

My prayer is that you would feel wrapped up in your Heavenly Father's Love in those moments. And that you would feel so loved on and taken care of today.

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I am also sharing a post over on Thrive Moms today, about what a Good Dad we have. Go check it out, I hope you will be blessed.