No matter the situation, Dad usually had a funny comment or clever remark to make. Steve reeled me in at our first meeting when he told me he was "causing trouble." When I noted that he seemed to be sitting quietly at the bar, he said, "It's more of a civil disobedience thing, like Mahatma Ghandi." And I was done.
To my great delight, our 3 girls all have their own unique take on life and sense of humor, too. Katie spent her birthday dinner at Olive Garden serenading me with songs from "Les Miserables," as our poor waiter tried to squeeze in a quick question about whether or not she wanted grated cheese on her soup. This morning, as we were sleepily watching "The Electric Company" with Sadie, a character met with a minor setback, and Katie deadpanned, "Things just got real." And I laughed for the rest of the morning.
Ellen entertained me last week in the middle school hallways between conferences by performing bizarre and hilarious dances. I love her offbeat comments and goofy side. And Sadie has always had a sense of humor and comic timing well beyond her years.
Right up to the end, Dad wanted to move as much as possible. He walked laps around the house with a cane until he had to switch to a walker, and he went for rides in his wheelchair when he couldn't walk anymore. After 79 years lived at breakneck speed, I think one of the hardest things about his illness for him was the weakness and immobility that it brought at the end.
This weekend, Ellen has had me out to the tennis courts twice already, to practice for her last week of middle school tennis. She and Katie are both talking about spring track, and Sadie lives every day at full speed.
I see already that, since I listed this 3rd, I need to work on this one! Dad did an amazing job of doing a daily Bible study, memorizing verses and serving wherever God led him. This box was the one thing of all Dad's mementos that Mom moved to be in the casket with him, since he kept one of these verse packets with him nearly all of the time. We're guessing he'd memorized between 600-900 Bible verses over the last 30 years. His Bible study teaching director mentioned this in her teaching last week, commenting that he included scripture in nearly every conversation. What a legacy of faith to follow! So grateful for his example, and for Mom's godly faithfulness through his illness and passing.
Many people commented over the years how Dad would ask questions of everyone he met. Siblings or cousins who brought fiancees to meet Dad/Uncle Hod could expect to learn a few new facts, as Dad asked all kinds of questions about the guest's background, family, beliefs, etc. He showed a profound interest in all types of people, from all walks of life, and he was eager to learn more about each person he met. Not to mention, he traveled to every state in the union as well as many countries all over the world.
I love seeing my girls explore in the back yard or try new adventures. here's Ellen and Sadie trying out a new trick on their homemade rope swing. This looks like something less than a complete success, but I know they'll keep working on it. And they seem to be having fun, regardless.
I won't see my dad face to face until I join him in Heaven, but I can keep a part of his legacy alive by living out these values in my own family. So glad to have Dad and Mom's example to learn from and apply in my own life.