I know you are probably thinking that this is some famous movie star like James Dean or a political legend like Ronald Reagan, but, no, that's my dad. He was an absolutely amazing man. I admired him so very much and I never lacked for his admiration toward me. He never did anything but help me and build me up. He never criticized me or let me give in to what I perceived as my limitations. He had a great sense of humor and it would make my day to make him laugh. He started from humble beginnings and worked his way up to own a very successful business. As I have said about him in a previous post, he was humble and unpretentious. His success never affected that. He disliked people who were phony, and who liked to show off what they had, or who liked to boast about their accomplishments. He was totally not impressed with it. I am just like him in that regard. There were just more important things in life than that. Like being a good daddy. And he was that.
My mom and dad were a very handsome couple. That era was so cool. Who nowadays would wear high heels or a coat and tie to walk out on a rock in the middle of a creek?
My mom was a precious lady. She was remarkably beautiful. She also had an amazing voice. She sang in school choirs and church choirs and could bring the house down with her perfect high notes. She sang from her heart and blessed many people with her voice. She was a stay at home mom and was very attentive to my brother and me. She was a great cook and seamstress, and she instilled the importance of leading a godly life in us. She also never criticized me or berated me, even when I messed up, and that was quite a few times. She always believed in me and was very proud of me.
I miss my mom and dad so much. There is no substitute for the unconditional love that comes from a parent. I wish they were both here now, because there are things I'd like to talk to them about. I just wish I could hug them and tell them how much I love them. As many times as I told them I loved and appreciated them, it still doesn't seem like enough. I owe them such a debt of gratitude.
This is Gil's sweet dad. What a great man. He was also a successful businessman. He owned a cabinet shop for 36 years and was a master craftsman. He could be a little gruff at times, but he never was with me. He would always wink at me with both eyes three times. He was a man of great integrity, like my dad, and the two of them really admired one another. Gil takes after him in so many ways.
This is Gil with his mom and dad. His mom was a really unique, generous, funny person. And very talkative. (So THAT'S where Gil gets it.) There was never a dull moment with her. She created many fond memories for Gil and his brothers and sister because she was so hospitable. She often had their friends over from out of town or for dinner. The stories I've heard about it always make it sound like they had alot of fun.
Gil went through a tough time for a few years, and what is probably the most memorable about his mom and dad was how they loved him through it. They never gave up on him and continued to pray for him until he came back to God. They didn't condemn or judge him. And he has done nothing but serve God since. Gil's dad was a perfect earthly example of God's forgiveness and unconditional love.
This is me with my mom. You can see on her face how much she loved me.
I encourage all of you, if you still have your parents, tell them you love them. Spend time with them. Enjoy them this Christmas. You will not have them forever. I would love more than anything to tell my mom and dad again what a good job they did. I will be able to one day.