A legacy is an inheritance, something handed down by one’s predecessors. My daddy was not wealthy. He really didn’t have many material things at all to pass down to me. But, the things that he leaves behind are treasures that transcend any thing that can be bought.
My daddy was a Christian. He believed in God, loved God, feared God, and had a faith beyond measure. Everyone that knew him for more than 5 minutes quickly discovered this about him. For years before my mom and I found Christ and started attending church, this man went by himself. And, I am sure he prayed for us daily to know Him. I have no doubt that it is because of his consistent prayers and constant faithful example that my mom and I came to know Christ.
My daddy had a zeal and a love for life. He had just successfully completed 40 rounds of radiation treatment for prostate cancer. He drove himself to the cancer center at the beach every day for 8 solid weeks. He joked that he was going to live to be 100!
My daddy also loved people. It didn’t matter where we went, he found someone he knew. If he didn’t know someone, he’d talk to them until he found some connection. I credit my daddy with the ability to find someone to talk to in the grocery line, at restaurants, and anywhere else I find myself.
My daddy loved to work. I never remember a time when my dad ever just sat around or complained about his work. He worked 40 hours a week during my childhood at Atlantic Publishing Company. He always came home smelling like the ink that permeated his work area. After attempting retirement once, for a short period of time, he decided to return to work. Even at 78 years old, my daddy still chose to work at Ward’s Home, driving the limousine, greeting families, holding doors open, and anything else he was asked to do. I sometimes wonder why people don’t have strong work ethics. Maybe it’s because they didn’t have an example like I did. Thanks to my daddy, I started working at 13 years old, folding brochures at the printing company. I learned the value of a dollar very early and learned that working hard and doing a job to the best of my ability is the only option.
My daddy loved his family. He would have literally laid down his life for us. There were times when money was scarce at our house, but we never lacked because he sacrificed his wants and needs to make sure we were provided for. He also constantly checked on me, making sure my doors were locked, my seatbelt was being worn, that I was driving safely. I was my dad’s sidekick. I remember being a small child and riding in his Orange Ford pickup truck, standing in the seat beside him with one hand on his shoulder. We went everywhere around town like that. He’d take me to the store to get candy and always until the day he left this earth, bragged about me and doted on me like he was so proud that I was his daughter. When we were uptown, my daddy always held my hand to cross this street. You would think this would have stopped at some point, but even as a teenager, when we went to cross the street, he would reach down and grab my hand just like when I was a little girl.
In a world full of kids without daddies, I was lucky enough, fortunate enough, blessed enough to have a daddy who in my eyes was perfect, and I am thankful that God gave me such a gift.