June 19, 2016
Here we are Dad – Stephanie and myself living the good life in the foothills of the calm, peaceful, and (remember) beautiful Ozark Mountains. This area truly is God’s Country!
The Pastor of our church Jamie Bilyeu lives at the top of one of those mountains. And Dad, I can picture you with the Bilyeu trio singing, and playing your guitar. You would have loved it here.
Not only that, but there is a man going to this church by the name of, George, who reminds me a lot of you. George has, and while alive – you had a penchant for work and both had been blessed with the knowledge of how things work. George’s hands are strong, hard and calloused much as yours were.
Stephanie says, “George reminds me of grandpa too. His words, actions and movements, the way he pats you on the back, it’s just like grandpa. His height and the way he looks.”
George is ninety three. He drives a Chrysler minivan just like you did. No doubt the two of you would have become great friends…in between jobs.
You made many remarks through the years but two that proved to be prophetic were, “People retire, humph, what the hell do they do all day?” And, “I’ll work till the day I die.”
Number one – you never found out what people do all day because you never retired. And number two – you opened a restaurant at age eighty one. You had two very successful businesses earlier but both were in the construction field. The everyday drama of the restaurant did you in, I think. You did work up to ‘til your dying day.
I know you and Mom would’ve loved to see me happy just one more time and I tried pretending that I was, but you knew the truth. If you could have sung that laughing song just one more time you would have at least gotten a chuckle out of me. But I guess you had no more laughter inside of you and I understand.
Strange, but my best friend now also comes from a large family of eleven, though, not the size of your huge brood of fifteen kids. You always taught me to think ahead to the next step whatever the job may be and I thought of you when the maintenance guy showed up a day after I was expecting him. He began his many items to take care of right behind me in the kitchen…the narrow kitchen…..
Stephanie and I love the area, the schools, Riverdale Baptist Church and many, many things about the entire area. We’re happy and you be also. It’s impossible not to be happy in heaven. You are there with Mom (the angel)…I love you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day!