To Dad

Dad, this letter is being written just a bit late.  I hope you don’t mind.  You passed in January 1982, which will be 30 years this next month.  Mom is still with us, but just barely.  We expect she might be joining you soon.  It will be sad for us, but joy for you and her.

I’ve been saving this up for these 30 years, but it’s time I got it out.  As you might remember, we didn’t talk all that much and we certainly didn’t see eye to eye on everything.  But, the older I get the more I realize how much you taught me.  Not in words, but in action and living.  You took good care of Mom, and she has been fine these 30 years because of your careful planning and making sure everything was in order.  She hasn’t had to work any formal job, but was able to devote herself entirely to the work of the Lord, so you would be proud.  You supported her in all of her ministry work, and will be glad to know she has done very well.  She was devastated, as we all were, when you passed, but in time she picked up the yoke and marched on.

You did well in business, Dad.  Much better than I’ve managed to achieve, I’m afraid.  You set the bar high, and never wavered.  You never claimed to be a super Christian or super religious, but your faithfulness to God and His work was unfaltering.  When push came to shove you always came down on the right side, and that’s all that really mattered.

I don’t remember you witnessing to anyone or telling them about Jesus, but you did it in your own way, and, perhaps, that was all God intended.  Others knew you were different, and you didn’t need to explain.  It’s kind of amazing, but I think even after 30 years, the memory of your life and what you said and did are still affecting people today.

There was an unspoken bond between you and the men who worked for you.  No one ever talked about it, and I never heard it mentioned.  But, it was there.  It was if you had said, “Men, take care of me and my business, and I will take care of you.”  They knew it, and they were assured it would happen.  But, at the same time, woe be to the man who would cause harm to you, your family, or your business.

You lived by that old rule, “Speak softly, but carry a big stick.”  No threats, no warnings, no cussings, just doing what you had to do.  I’ve been thinking about how you started Mark Electric.  How you took a job shack and turned it into a make-shift office for the first year you were in business.  Put in a little space heater in the winter, and a window AC unit in the summer.  The shack was barely big enough for a table, a chair, and a filing cabinet.  Yet, you were able to create a going business from very humble beginnings.  And by the end of that decade you were running one of the largest electrical construction businesses in Austin.

But, times were not always easy, yet, you and Mom made a home and life for us children.

I remember the time when my family was in short supply of cash to make ends meet.  You gave us a washer and dryer instead.  I remember the time when you wanted to help us with our upcoming trip and relocation to California.  You said, “I want to load you up with all the overtime you can stand between now and then.”

I suppose if you had given us money I wouldn’t be talking about it now, so it was a wise choice.

I better close this letter, as I might begin to lose readers.  Just wanted to say, thanks, Dad, for the memories, and the lessons.  They were not in vain.  You did well, and left a lasting legacy to your family, and those who knew you.  In due time, I will be joining you, but I must still have some things on my ‘to-do’ list, so I need to get busy.  Bye, and thanks…

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2 Responses to “To Dad”

  1. John O. Says:

    Great post, Chuck. Sounds like your Dad was a great man.

  2. Bea McGuire Says:

    What a tribute! Thank you for this even though I have cried my eyes out! Blessings….

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