At 1:15 am this morning, I had the privilege of being present as my Dad made his passage to the next life, after a battle with cancer. It was a peaceful, awe-inspiring time that I shared with my mom and two of my siblings. His breaths became shorter and less pronounced, in the way that the lapping waves on the shore — after the wake of a passing ship — become less pronounced and then fade entirely. His ship is now making a wake in other waters.
One memory I have of Dad is the way he began his day: in prayer. There was a room on top of our house called the “Crow’s Nest.” Early in the morning, that’s where you would find him… in quiet… with a Bible and a notebook, nurturing his relationship with God. From this “time apart” came so many of the riches he shared with us.
Dad was, among other things, a consummate teacher, whether it was identifying tree types on a hike, showing techniques on the tennis court, or explaining the patterns of haiku poetry. He had a passion and a gift for passing along the many things he knew, and he knew so many things because he took an interest in whatever he encountered. Most of all, he took an interest in whoever he encountered, and that was, for me, one of his greatest lessons.
God bless, Dad. Thank you for everything.