I try not to share many personal items here and keep things strictly business (okay, perhaps with a little Auburn football thrown in the mix from time to time), but I feel compelled to share a little bit about the 16 month stretch from August 2013 to December 2014 and tie it all in with a word of thanks to you, the viewer.
It’s easy to look at the 16 month period as one of tragedy after tragedy, but instead it’s also easy to look at it as one that cemented just how blessed my family and I are. During the course of the past 16 months, we lost my Granddad, my Grandmother, my Dad, and my Mother-in-Law.
My Grandmother and Granddad lived an incredible life together of over 70 years. I say to myself often, “if I live my life half as good as that of my grandparents then I’ll be doing good.” Salt-of-the-earth describes them both and they had a unique ability to impact every one around them in a positive way. It’s rare when one has the ability to have a meaningful conversation with a 90 year old or a 9 year old, but that’s just what my Grandmother and Granddad could do. I often time heard my friends say, “man, I just feel better about myself after talking with your grandparents.” They had a unique ability to touch those they knew well, or a complete stranger, in a positive manner. I can’t describe in words here what kind of lasting impact my grandmother and granddad continue to have on my life today, and always will.
My Dad went home to be with the Lord in January of 2014. Perhaps fittingly, God called him home mere hours after the Auburn-Florida State National Championship. You see, there were two things my dad instilled in me at a very early age. First of those was that he loved me more than any human being on the planet could, but his love couldn’t even measure to how much God loved me. In what seemed like less than a minute later from that conversation he made sure I knew just how important Auburn football was to our family. Two priorities- having a deep relationship with Jesus Christ and Auburn football! Got it! Over the years, I’ve obviously added to that list, but don’t worry, my relationship with Jesus and Auburn football remain supreme.
If you asked 100 folks who knew my Dad you would get the same answer- a “southern gentleman” who cared deeply for those who he encountered. Similar to my grandparents, after having a simple conversation with my Dad you just came away feeling great!
My Dad travelled hundreds of miles during my athletic days to watch my football and basketball games- sometimes that required getting into town on Thursday evening only to leave on Sunday and turn right around a few days later to do it all over again.
My day would begin with a call to my Dad and end with a call to my Dad. Usually these conversations had to do with work, life, weather, and a lot about Auburn football- year round! Though I miss those conversations like crazy now, I have the peace and comfort knowing I will see my Dad in Heaven one day and we’ll pick right up where we left off.
We lost my wife’s mom this past December. My mother-in-law was a God-fearing woman who lived to serve the Lord through her many endeavors at Chapel Rock Christian Church, including, most recently, being the Director of the Discovery Days program. She took unbelievable pride in being a loving wife and mom and she was dang good at doing both. “Spoil” is a word that comes to mind that Paula loved to do to her family.
I’m blessed to have had many conversations around the dinner table with Paula that left such a lasting impact on my life and those will always remain. Godly guidance, leadership, and a focus on Christ are three key elements Paula instilled in all of those she came in contact with. She did it in a way that many cannot.
I wanted to share and celebrate each of these lives with you. Though it’s been an incredibly tough 16 months, it’s also been 16 months that have featured incredible blessings. The comfort God provided has been something that I can’t describe. These are four lives that have not only left a lasting impact within me, and my family, but left a positive impact on the thousands of lives they touched during their lives on this earth. I have a since of calm and peace in knowing that I will be able to once again share in those conversations and be in their presence in Heaven one day. In the meantime, we will continue to celebrate their lives here.
Lastly, I wanted to say “thank you” to the viewers of IndyWx.com. The relationships established over the years here (both from long-term followers and new, alike) and interactions talking about weather provided, and continue to provide, an awesome outlet in what was, at times, a tough period. Thank you for your support, and most-importantly, your friendship.