Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Best Friend

Dan Truett McWhorter
January 8, 1920 - March 10, 2010

Today I received the phone call that I have dreaded all my life, it is the call we all dread. I learned that my father had passed away. As I was growing up, my father never called me by my name. He always called me his “Little Buddy”. I can remember to this day how good that made me feel. From my very earliest childhood memory, to this very day, he always was my closest and best friend. Throughout my life, I always knew that there was nothing that could happen that he could not take care of. I was able to spend most of the last week by his side, and holding his hand. The first several days, he was speaking, and we were able to just sit and talk about old times. As the week went on, and his strength faded, we just held his hand and told him we were there. While I always knew this day would come, it is still such a hard thing to deal with. As I come to grips with this new reality, I would like to share a true story from my childhood. There is no doubt that many will be offended by it, yet it would give me comfort to tell it, and I hope that some would find comfort in reading it.


My Snake Story.


This is a true story of my childhood. It is a story of fear, faith, and hope. It is a story of overcoming your fears. I hope you find this story encouraging.


Whenever I face fear, stress, or crisis, I am taken back to the days of my childhood to a hot Saturday afternoon in West Texas. I grew up on a ranch outside a little town in West Texas in the 1960’s. Houses had porches and front yards, and in the evening people visited with each other, read, or perhaps took walks or worked in the garden.


Summers were special in West Texas. School was out, and you felt as if you would never have to go back, and things would never change. It felt like your entire life could be spent in that summer, full of exploration and freedom.


A special part of West Texas Summers were Barbeques. Typically, ranchers would butcher a calf, a lamb and a goat, and then slow cook them over oak coals. By late afternoon they would have a batch of meat like you have never tasted in your life.


Barbeques typically did not have an official start time, but usually got started about mid-afternoon. Some people would typically show up early, usually to help in the preparations, and some would show up later, perhaps because they had work to do. In any event, people would usually start showing up about 2:00 PM, and the crowd would slowly grow from there.


Of all the people that put on great barbeques, none could compare to those of Jim Cawley. He was renowned for his barbeques, and an invitation to one was an honor to be most treasured. I can remember one particular Summer that we were invited to one of Jim Cawley’s barbeques. He lived about 20 miles outside of town, so it was a little bit of a drive to get to his house over dry caliches roads. My dad had a little light green Volkswagen beetle, with no air conditioning. He would always make the trips in the country fun though, because when we got to the top of a hill, he would always turn the engine off, put the car in neutral, and then coast as far as he could. As the car would finally get to the point that it was about to stop, he would put it back in gear, pop the clutch, and get the motor going again. The object was to go as far as you could with the motor off, and never have to use the starter to get it going again. The Volkswagens had running boards outside right beneath the doors, and my dad would sometimes let me ride outside the car, standing on the running board, and holding onto the window post.


Anyway, after a typical fun drive, my Dad and I got out to the Cawleys at about 3:00 in the afternoon. The crowd was already starting to gather. Now at a Barbeque, the host provides the meat, and everyone else brings a side dish or beverages. We took our side dish into the house, and then joined the men who were outside standing in the shade of the oak trees. Women gathered in one area, and the men in another. Barbeques were definitely a family affair, and the yard would be full of children running every which way. At this time in our nation’s history children would run with sticks, would play with knives, would make improvised explosive devices out of black cat firecrackers, and could amuse themselves for hours on end with nothing but a gallon of gasoline and a few matches. Anyway, against this backdrop, my Dad and I made our way over to the group of Men. On this day, I decided to stand with the men, rather than run around the yard with the children.


Conversations at such affairs were always interesting. The number one topic was always rain. There was always a need for more rain. The ranchers depended on rain for the grass that would fatten the cattle that would then be sold. Without rain, there would be no grass, and the ranchers would have to “feed”, which would eliminate any hope of any meaningful profit, or income. So, there was always a need for more rain. In addition to Ranchers, there were also Farmers around, who were keenly interested in rain as well. Unlike Ranchers, who simply always wanted more rain, the Farmers wanted rain, but needed it at the right time and in the right amount. Rain after planting was a good thing, but if it rained too much right before a harvest, the mud would keep the tractors out of the fields, and all would be lost. So sometimes everyone wanted rain, and sometimes disputes would break out between those who wanted rain this week, and those who needed it to stay dry for a few more weeks. I guess the bottom line is that you never had everyone happy at the same time. Suffice it to say that on this particular hot July day, everyone was in agreement. We needed rain.


I will never forget this particular day, this particular barbeque, and specifically this particular moment. The discussion on rain, and the calmness of the afternoon, was broken by a woman’s hysterical shriek: . . . . “RATTLESNAKE”. A woman who was walking into the front yard with her children spotted an enormous six foot rattlesnake at her feet coiled at the gate post.


At this instant mass hysteria broke out. Terrified women ran through the yard, trying to find their children. Men turned about in confusion, trying to determine where the snake was. Children ran to the front yard, trying to figure out what all the commotion was about. To sum it up, it was mass pandemonium. Women were crying, men were confused, and children were moving in to try and get a better look.


In the midst of the chaos and terror, the front screen door of the Cawley house suddenly burst open, and out stepped Big Jim Cawley, and Big Jim was packing a double barrel 12 gauge, with an extra box of shells. The sudden appearance of Mr. Cawley, and his associated firepower, had a calming effect on the crowd. Immediately, the crowd was silenced, and they began to separate, clearing a path for Jim. It was understood he would be shooting the snake, so everyone scooted back to give him a clear line of fire and unencumbered view of the monster. Women were clutching their children to ensure no one ran into the line of fire. All was quiet. Jim came in view of the snake. He slowly drew a bead on the terrible creature, and right at the time you were expecting to hear the report of the shotgun, you heard instead a voice in the crowd say firmly, “Wait”. Then the voice said, “Wait, that is no way to kill a snake”.


The voice was the voice of my Dad. My Dad shocked the crowd by interrupting what was expected to be a simple and clean kill to suggest that there was a better way to kill the snake. While today killing a snake might be considered politically incorrect, at this time, there was simply no other consideration. Snakes were dangerous and if you found one you killed it, and you killed it in the quickest most efficient manner possible. Rattlesnakes were terrible creatures, feared by women and despised by men.


So, there was no small confusion when my Dad interrupted Jim’s kill. People were whispering and muttering, “what does he mean?”, “what better way could there be to kill a snake?”, “has he gone crazy?” Anyway, as people stood there in confusion and amazement, my father stepped out of the crowd and approached the serpent.


The crowd gasped as he made his approach. Carefully he walked closer to the snake than any sane man would ever even consider. The crowd was in complete amazement. Everyone held their breath. They did not know whether to think him brave or crazy. Why would he risk his life with such a foolish stunt? As he made his final approach to the snake, my Dad slowly crouched down, and then when he was about 1 foot from the snake he made one quick cat-like pounce, and snatched the snake up by the tail. He then swung the snake around and around in a circular motion by the tail. The theory being if you kept the snake swinging around fast enough, the head would not be able to come around and bite you. Once he had the snake going around in this fashion, he calmly walked over to a large rock, and slammed the snake down on it. He then dusted off his hands and said, to the amazement of the crowd, “that, my friends, is how you kill a snake.”


The people at the barbeque that day knew that they were in the presence of a great man. A man of courage, and a man of bravery. The rest of the evening was somewhat subdued. It was much quieter than a normal barbeque, and the evening ended much earlier than usual. I think it was because people were somewhat in awe of my Dad’s brave actions, and somewhat humbled by their own fear and panic in the face of the snake.


Over the course of time, my life has changed significantly from that hot West Texas afternoon. I left the ranch and saw the world. I became a successful researcher, executive, and entrepreneur. On this journey I faced many trials and challenges. Challenges, problems, and crisis that would terrify you, that would make you give up all hope, and that would rob you of your joy. Invariably when faced with such challenges, with such great fears, I would always go back to the day of that Barbeque, and remember that snake.


What I remember about that day more than anything else is the complete look of panic on the people’s faces. The terror in their eyes, and the fear in their voices. In my mind, the image is indelibly burned. It was the picture of utter and complete, undiluted fear. But in the crowd that day there were two people that were not afraid. There were two people who had no fear. The two people were me, and my Dad.


The reason that my Dad and I had no fear was that we had a secret. A secret that no one else knew. The secret was NOT that my dad had special snake expertise. The secret was NOT that my Dad was extra quick, or had ever done anything like that before. The secret that my Dad and I had was that we knew something no one else knew . . . we knew that the snake was already dead.


You see, in telling you the story of driving out to the Barbeque that day, I left out one critical fact, and that fact changes everything. Understanding that day, and understanding how I overcome fear requires you to know the fact. The fact is that about a quarter of a mile from the Cawley house we saw a huge six foot rattlesnake going across the road. My Dad ran over the snake right behind its head. It broke the snake’s neck, but did not break the skin. The snake was dead all right, but looked normal. My dad tossed the snake on the back bumper, and when we arrived at the barbeque, he discretely coiled the dead snake up by the gate post of the Cawley front yard.


Now one thing about a dead snake is that for several hours it will continue to twitch and move and rattle. The snake is dead, but reflexes and nerve endings remain active for several hours.
So, at the point the snake was “found” by the guests, it was big and ugly and twitching and moving and rattling and threatening, but it was harmless. The snake was already dead, the snake was harmless, it had been crushed . . . but the people were terrified.


So, my question for you is, what are you afraid of? What is it in your life that is robbing you of your joy. What is robbing you of peace? What is it that is keeping you from becoming the person God created you to be?


Maybe you are tormented by the cruel and hurtful actions of someone close to you. Maybe it is peer pressure, trouble at work, damaged relationships, or mistakes you have made. Perhaps you are facing a serious medical condition, or maybe facing the ultimate fear . . . maybe you are staring death right in the face.


There are many things that cause fear, depression and anxiety, but whatever the specific cause of our fear, understand that it all gets back to the snake. No, not the snake at the barbeque, but another snake, much craftier and much more sinister. The snake I am speaking of is that old serpent the Devil himself. The Bible says that the devil comes to Steal, Kill, and Destroy, and he is very busy in the world today. He comes to us to rob us of our joy, to rob us of our peace, and to keep us from being the people God created us to be. These problems leave us with a sense of hopelessness and no way out.


I hope you will learn the lesson of the snake. My Father faced down the snake, not because of his courage, his bravery, or his power. He faced the snake because he knew that no matter how terrible the snake looked, the snake was already dead. The same is true of that serpent the devil. You see the real battle occurred several thousand years ago, and the victory has already been won for you. God sent his one and only Son in the person of Jesus Christ into the world to save mankind from sin, and to save man from Satan’s sinister plans.


Satan, of course, wanted to foil Gods plan. Christ could not pay for the sins of mankind, if he sinned himself. So, Satan’s first plan of attack was to tempt, trick, and torment Jesus into sin. Jesus stood firm, and did not sin. With time growing short, Satan realized that his only option left was to kill the Son of God, and by killing him, having victory over Christ, and God’s plan for mankind.


Satan succeeded in his plan . . . he pulled the strings of the hearts of men to crucify Jesus. Jesus died, and was buried, and Satan thought he had won the victory. However, three days later, Christ rose from the dead. Christ overcame death, and overcame the grave. Christ won the ultimate victory over death, the grave, and Satan himself. Satan, and his plans, were defeated, once and for all, and for all times. Satan brought all he had, and it was not enough. Christ was victorious.


My prayer is that each of you has that same hope that I have today as I cope with the tragic news I have received. If you have never had a point in your life where you have put your trust in Christ, it is very simple, and can be done with a simple prayer like this:


"Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and can never earn my way to your acceptance. I accept your free gift of eternal life, and put my trust in Jesus Christ. I ask Jesus to come into my life and into my heart, and to be my Savior and Lord. Thank you God for this wonderful gift."


By praying that prayer, and meaning it, God promises us the free gift of eternal life. It requires nothing else, just trusting in Christ and his sacrifice. Accept Christ’s promise of eternal life in heaven with him, and the promise of a life of peace and hope while here on the earth.


I will sorely miss my Father and my Best Friend. I find hope, courage, and peace in knowing that there will be a day that I will once again be able to sit with him, and never be separated again.

Today the storm came. The winds blew hard, yet the anchor held.


Revelation 21:1-7


Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."


He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."


He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.


Until that day I am comforted by a lifetime of memories of a loving earthly father.

87 comments:

  1. Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your father and thank you for the blessings of your testimony.

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  2. This is a very touching piece. I'm very sorry for your loss. This is beautifully written and moving.

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  3. Wow.

    That was powerful. Thank you for sharing.

    How lucky are you to have had such a dad.

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  4. I have enjoyed reading your blogs and I send my deepest condolences to you for your loss.

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  5. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    Lindon

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  6. I am sorry for your loss.

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  7. Thank you for sharing. I know a loss like yours. When my Mother died it was the worst day of my life. I still miss her but the pain does ease. I wrote this and it seems right that I should share it with you.
    Once I read that even with the heartache of loss and broken dreams in this world, love and care are still alive. God's song of hope will again find its way into your heart and you will dance. As sadness washes over us in a time like this and loss seems to overwhelm the senses please know I share your sadness.
    I am sure that all the fans of this wonderful site and your wonderful stories feel the same.
    may peace be yours.
    lam

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  8. I am sad with you tonight. What a great loss, but how wonderful to have been his son. Thank you for sharing your life and your memories with us. It takes a strong man to bring encouragement to others at such a time. Thanks for your words of hope. I'll keep you and your mother in my prayers.

    With Love and Sympathy,
    Nate

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  9. Smokes. I've gone through quite a bit of Kleenex. Wonderfully written. I lost my father in February 2009. I understand. Your father did a wonderful job.

    How ironic as Easter approaches.

    Take care.

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  10. It's sad to loose your father, but I rejoice in hearing that you shared the eternal promise of salvation, which is in Christ.

    America is in a sad state today, because it has traded the eternal promise of the Gospel for a phony hope sold by politicians and popular culture.

    Thanks for sharing the light of Christ in the midst of dark times.

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  11. Please accept my condolences on the loss of your father. How blessed you are to have a best friend for a father! Thank you for the powerful story that you shared today. May God bless you and your family.

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  12. PJM, I am very sorry for your loss and yet glad to hear of your hope in Christ for both your father and yourself. I hope your other readers will take to heart your testimony. I believe that the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ is not just a truth but the truth. We all need to be forgiven and counted righteous by faith in the blood and perfect obedience of Christ.

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  13. PJM,

    I'm nearly 48; my dad's nearly 71.

    I'm a lucky man to have had him this long, and he's my very best friend.

    I understand.

    In paradisum deducant te angeli,
    in tuo adventu
    suscipiant te martyres,
    et perducant te
    in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem.
    Chorus angelorum te suscipiat,
    et cum Lazaro quondam paupere
    aeternam habeas requiem.

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  14. My deepest sympathy on the loss of your father. You've been blessed with an awesome dad. Wow. And thanks for sharing that wonderful lesson.

    As a fellow believer in Jesus, I will pray that your grief continues to be comforted through our Holy Spirit. I can see that He is already at work.

    Mary

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  15. I am sorry for your loss. I am glad that you have such great memories to encourage and sustain you.

    God bless you and your family.

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  16. Paul:

    My family and I extend our deepest, heartfelt sympathies to you and your family at the loss of your father.

    And . . . what a wonderful story - a good lesson for us all.

    We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

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  17. PJM:

    I think you know that I lost my beautiful, wonderful mother (the girl who christened the submarine) almost exactly a year ago.

    She was the same age as your dad when she passed away - 90. I left my job several years ago to take care of her (she had Alzheimers), and I was with her every day until the end.

    Although I miss her terribly and think of her every day, I do find comfort in all of the memories we have as well as knowing that I can still make her proud of me by trying to be as good a person as she was.

    Our loved ones may not be physically with us any more, but they will never be forgotten and are still watching over us. I hope you will find strength in everything your father gave you.

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  18. I'm sorry for your loss. Take care.

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  19. Sorry to hear about your Dad. It's such a tremendous void when you loose your Dad. My deepest sympathy.
    I was a pilot in the Air Force in Del Rio, TX in the 60s. Your story reminded me of the time my parents came down for parent's weekend and there was a big rattler sunning himself in the parking lot. My mother saw it about 20 ft from her and fainted right into my father's arms, but my fearless squadrom commander was just coming into the lot, a veteran of the Vietnam war with gobs of combat missions, drove right over it with his MG and offered to give us the skin. Dad and I kidded Mom about that for years.

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  20. Thank you for sharing your story. I have enjoyed your blog for a oouple of years now. What makes it unique is that you show through-stories, beliefs, the strength of charactor. I would be honored to meet you someday. You have honored your bunch with fun, and you now honor them with heartfelt grief and joy.
    We go on missing our Dads-wish I could say it gets easier..It has been 21 years for me...

    PJM, please share more stories. Bet you have a bunch.
    Linett Martin

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  21. My blessings to you and your family. Having lost my father at a very young age, the memories of having simple everyday conversations with him are not there. Tears flowed reading your story. You were blessed to have him on this earth as long as you did. We also stand firm of our promise of eternal life with our loved ones ! God bless

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  22. Sorry for your loss.
    The pain we feel when we lose a parent is the price o pay for all love received from them.
    El

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  23. You have, Sir, my deepest condolences at your loss. I am sure his memory will live on in your heart forever.

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  24. My deepest condolences on the loss of your father. He was a remarkable man.

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  25. So sorry for your loss. I am glad you were able to be with him in his last week. How lucky you both were to be so close throughout your lifetime.

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  26. I am reading your blog for just a couple of days, but I am very touched! I am sorry for your loss and I am thankful that you shared your snake-story. I've learned a lot from it ... my thoughts are with you and your family. Thank god, you could spend such a long time with your best friend! God bless you!!!

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  27. With deepest sympathy- God's Blessings on your entire family
    Sharon

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  28. I'm so sorry for you! STAY STRONG!

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  29. So sorry for your loss; sound like not only you and your father; but your whole family is very close. We went through the loss of my Mother a couple years ago but it is still fresh in my mind. I also appreciate your telling your story and giving your testimony; it was something I needed to hear today for other reasons.

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  30. I am very sorry for your loss and offer my deepest condolences to your entire family.

    Thank you for that wonderful story about your father.

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  31. PJM:
    May God's peace surround you & yours as you travel through this difficult time. You have blessed my husband & I with your snake story of hope & faith.

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  32. PJM

    Very touching, Sad to hear about your loss.

    An elderly friend, 88 years old at the time, told me that one never gets over the loss of ones dad. It has been 21 years now since my Dad passed and I understand his words more each day. It's the many beautiful and wonderful memories that make the loss more accepting as time passes. I wish and hope the same for you.

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  33. Sorry for your loss. I wish I had the same rapport with my Father. I never got to know him.
    You will cherish those great memories forever,
    R

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  34. Please accept my deepest sympathies and condolences on your father's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time. May our benevolent Lord sent His angels to comfort and protect you.

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  35. Pope George RingoMarch 11, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    Very sorry for your loss; may God Bless you and your family as he has already blessed your Dad.

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  36. With deepest sympathy. Bless you

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  37. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing here the hope that we can all have in Christ Jesus.

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  38. How fortunate you have been to have had such a great friend and father. You are indeed blessed.

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  39. My sympathy for you is great. I lost my mother last June and my reality now is a completely different reality from the one before. Time passes, and things slowly get easier, but it'll never be 'normal' again.
    I feel your pain. I'm glad you have great memories to get you through.

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  40. so sorry for your loss.
    thank you for sharing your very uplifting story.
    db

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  41. So sorry for the loss of your father. No one can know what a void losing a parent leaves until it happens. And no matter how "prepared" you think you are, when the time comes, you find you're not prepared at all.

    Your dad sounds like a wonderful man and a wonderful father. I'm glad you can find comfort in your memories and your faith. You never stop missing the ones you lose, but in time, the memories bring you joy instead of tears. Blessings to you and yours.

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  42. I'm sorry for the loss of your Dad. Thank you for sharing your memories and thoughts - very moving. He lives in your heart until you meet again in heaven. May God bless you and your family. My prayers are with you.

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  43. My very deepest condolences for your loss. I dread the day myself.

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  44. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. What a tremendous story- and a perfect allegory of our Father. The imagery of your Dad whipping that snake around will stay with me as a reminder of what God does with my problems! The love between a father and son is so precious and I thank you for sharing a piece of that with us!

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  45. I am very sorry for your loss. I have lost both parents, and know how deeply this hurts. I am glad that your father knew Christ, because with that, you have the knowledge that you will be reunited in a much happier place. This sadness will lessen with time. It won't ever go away, but soon in place of sadness, you will have just bittersweet memories. Please know that many people value you and the blog that you post daily. I will place you in my prayers tonight.

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  46. sorry for your loss, was my turn about a year ago,,prayers for you and yours.
    oldbear.

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  47. +JMJ+

    Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.
    Great story, btw. God bless.

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  48. My sincere condolences on your loss. Losing a parent is like losing a part of yourself.

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  49. Sorry about the loss of your father.

    Awesome story, though, and I love the way you tied it to the gospel.

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  50. Mr. PJM,
    It is sad the day had to come, and I am sorry for your loss.
    May God bless you and your family.

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  51. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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  52. Wonderful story well written. Sorry for your loss.

    "Now he belongs to the ages" - said by Edwin M. Stanton at President Lincoln's bedside. April 15, 1865

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  53. PJM,
    We are praying for comfort and strength for you and your family. Thanks for sharing the way of salvation. I was saved 30+ years ago and am so thankful for the peace of heart and assurance of eternal life.
    I very much enjoy your blog and check it first thing every day when I come in the house for lunch.
    God Bless You

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  54. PJM;

    My deepest condolences to you and your family on your loss. What a special and moving tribute to him.

    I'm sure he cherished his relationship with you as much as you did with him.

    Take care

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  55. I have heard many snake stories, that is one of the best. My condolences!

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  56. How lucky are you to have had such a friend, teacher, and role model. He sounds like a great man. Prayers for you and your family during this very difficult time.

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  57. I'm sorry this is late but my condolences and wonderment of your beautiful love for your father. He is in paradise for sure.

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  58. WOW! You tell THE story so well in such a different context - Your dad must have been "somebody"!
    My condolences to you and yours.

    This column will go into my journal.
    Safe travels

    ~Mad(elyn) in Alabama

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  59. Rejoice! God has called your father home in time for the Easter Celebration. Though you mourn his loss, know that he is at home with the Savior.

    Thank you for your moving testement.

    Beth

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  60. I am sorry for your loss. I enjoy your blog. This was a great post.

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  61. What a lovely, and loving, tribute to your father, and your Father.

    And ditto to what so many have already said.

    God bless.

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  62. Sorry to hear about the loss of
    your father.
    It's a hard thing losing a parent.

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  63. I love your story, fellow West Texan... and grieve with you about your father. As I read I pictured it happening at my grandparents' old ranchhouse outside of Garden City, in their front yard. Glad you shared this exactly as you did.

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  64. I love your stories, and your photos and blogs put things into perspective, so thank you for that. All the depression photos make me appreciate my life with my son and inspire me to be a better mom.
    I'm sorry about your father, he sounds like a wonderful man.
    Brie Shaffer

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  65. PJM,

    You have so many loving stories of your family; thank you so much for sharing your father with all of us here. What a wonderful father he was to you and your brother!

    Please accept my belated condolences for your loss.

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  66. Wonderful story and no doubt a wonderful man. We will pray for peace in your family and rejoice in knowing you will see him again.
    God Bless,
    California Believers

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  67. Your father was awesome! I can't imagine having someone pull that kind of trick here in our small "barrio"(town)in the PHilippines. If only I had a dad like yours.. p.s. I love your blog, so I followed you... this is truly a very moving piece..

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  68. Thank you for sharing your story. I am glad I had the opportunity to read it. It gives me hope in the mist of my storm. Thank you!

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  69. this is a beautiful story, with a real life lesson, I appreciate you writing it for us to read it. It is like a gift for someone who is having a hard time.
    I´m so sorry for your loss, hope you are better now.

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  70. WOW! Thank you for sharing your earthly father with us then lead us into our heavenly Father. What a beautiuflly written testimony and love that a son has for his father and the leassons he has left behind for a life time for his son. Thank you for the reminder that that old seprant it dead adn I need not fear.

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  71. I just ran across your blog this morning. I have fallen in love with it! I had a dead snake in my life until recently until my Heavenly Father took care of it for me! God bless you!

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  72. My snake story goes back to WW2 at Camp Roberts California. I was in training for the artillery. Part of the training is they take you out at night into the boondocks at Hunter Leggett reservation. Leave you with a buddy to find your way back to camp. My buddy and I were walking up a hill. Suddenly we heard a rattlesnake rattle. He turned an ran back down the hill but I had the presence of mind to run sideways so I didn't have to walk back up the hill. The rest of the trip was a little different from then on. My wife of 69 soon 70 years has dementia. It is like watching someone die. http://seniorobserver.blogspot.com
    Http://billswar.blogspot.com

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  73. I post this comment months after the original blog was posted, but I, nevertheless, want to say I was very touched by it and offer my condolences (which I don't think you really need at all because you've got your stuff together). Chas

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  74. I am so sorry for your loss. My father never calls me by my real name either.

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  75. Everyone should be so lucky as to have a father like yours. I'm glad you apprectiate him.

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  76. Very long and intense article but well worth the time spent reading it in it's entire length! Definite posting to F.B. network! Thank you for a great article!

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  77. I am so sorry that you lost your best friend. I lost my dad 14 years ago and I felt the same way - he was my very best friend. And he was every bit as great in stature as your best friend. My heart goes out to you for I know how bad it is. I still feel the emptiness and pain, for I will never have another friend that means as much to me. Thanks for sharing that wonderful story. I wish you all the comfort in the world. You deserve it.

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  78. I needed a Photo for a restoration Project and to color for a project. After reading this story I thought you may think it is a nice gift to see this photo in a newer light and I wanted to share it with you.

    http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/541935_399169536761190_100000044422814_1640917_916454096_n.jpg

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  79. I stumbled across your blog (or rather, God sent me) and reading this blessed me. As an author myself, I recognize a very gifted writer. I didn't know your father, but can tell he left an indelible legacy and was a man I would have liked to have known.

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  80. Not a day goes by that I don't think of my father who died in 1991 and realize how much I miss him, and what a good man he was. Much better than me. Thanks for posting your memories of your father. The older I get, the more I realize this. Would that he would have lived to meet my children.

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  81. I just read your post about your dad. It's very touching and I hope you are well. I was born in San Angelo & know just where Christoval is.There is no place like West Texas!

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  82. just happened in to this site ...been doin ancestry all day ...not been on the computer sence i had cancer n 2010 ...God is so sweet an blesses me all the time with thing like this ...He is an awesome God....glad u wrote an posted this for me 2 read this day an at this time...been trying to get back on track ....life after chemo is a drag.....GOD BLESS

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  83. Hallelujah! What a wonderful testimony. I have been touched, encouraged, and inspired by this post. Your words will lead many to a more personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you my friend and brother for sharing your love and wisdom with all of us today.

    Blessings,
    Faith Talk

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  84. Very well written, thank you for sharing a story with such vivid imagery that takes me back to my childhood and relating it so well to the "snakes" we all face. I can tell your father was a great man who is with our heavenly Father. God bless you!

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