special tributes to my father

I've heard it said that you really get to know a person after they've passed on. During my dad's illness and then after he left this earth, I was inundated with stories and special memories of how my father impacted men and women from all walks of life. Being away for so many years, I missed many opportunity to hear such stories and experience (firsthand) what others experienced. Nonetheless, once I began hearing story after story of how my father touched the lives of many in the most unique ways, I wanted to share some of them with you.

If you bend your ear closely and listen carefully, you'll hear buried beneath each word powerful statements about my dad, honest reflections of his character, or just stories of how others were touched by his life. Every entry is posted in the order I received them. Unfortunately, due to the severity of his illness and rapid decline in his health, he wasn't able to read these, nor did I get the opportunity to read them to him.

Also, I want to note that many e-mails came in from people who knew my brothers and I, but they never had the opportunity to meet my father. Any references to me, I apologize. I'm not seeking any form of recognition. I include them only because it recognizes my parent's influence on my life; it wasn't anything I did on my own. I stand here today only because of the great sacrifice they chose to make for my brothers and I. And more significantly, it was God's overwhelming grace for giving me such fine parents. So, any reference to me, please see it in light of my parents, not me.

I've reviewed these stories several times over, and each time, I'm moved with emotion. Because of the relationship I had with my dad, I can personally attest to this man's life, his heart, and his reputation. What you saw publically was the same man behind closed doors. Even where there are quotes around specific statements my dad made within each tribute, they are consistent with his character. Even when I was there to hear my father say somet of these things, I can "hear" my father saying such remarks. That's how real and special these testimonials are.

As you read each testimony, may you be touched as I have, and perhaps inspired to make a greater difference in the lives of others today. Enjoy!