Monday, June 16, 2008

Memorial to Dubbie

Today we laid my Daddy to rest in the Garden of Prayer, beneath a blistering Texas sun. His casket was covered with an American flag, which he earned. As Taps was played for him for the final time, I cried. As I stood over the bare casket that held only his "earth suit", I cried more while reciting for the last time:
The Lord bless you and keep you,
The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

From a "long lost cousin"upon being "discovered" by my parents:
My thought at the time was, Why in the world would they want to know me? I'm not important and they've lived all these years with knowing who I am. But I was curious as to who they were too. And I wanted to know as much as I can about who and where I came from.
I can't tell you what a wonderful journey I have been on since that day. I learned so much about family, heritage and what living a life that was completely sold out to Christ looks like. They have been there to encourage me, to help me think through situations, and to be the loving and accepting people that God knew I needed in my life. I have listened to 'groaners' on the phone and laughed till I cried, and I have called crying and had my tears dried by love and acceptance. Uncle Dub said he liked to make me laugh because I sounded like mother and as long as i was alive my mother was too.
One of the things I looked forward to at Christmas was my pecan brittle he would make for me. And I remember the first time i went over (when I lived in Dallas), and took my Buckeye recipe. We rolled buckeyes untill none of us could even look at one! We all know that one made history.
All of these and so many more memories hve been flooding my mind, but the most important example of all is the love and respect he and Aunt Evlyn showed for each other and the 65+ years they spent together.
I will miss him so much but, I have no doubt that he and so many others will be there to meet me when I go home. That is one of the promises I claim that God has given to us in his word.

From old friends who grew up with me:
Our hearts are hurting with yours and our prayers are being lifted in your behalf as we remember with gratitude the life of your dad, Joyce. I remember him very well and always appreciated his kindness and his gentleness while maintaining a strong conviction and a vibrant faith! I even had some haircuts in his chair!

You know that you all are very special to me and to my family and we will be keeping you in prayer as you make arrangments, tell the wonderful stories and enjoy the family that gathers to celebrate Dub's homecoming.

From Pastor Mindy:

As a pastor in my first appointment, I can't begin to say how wonderful it was to have Dub and Evlyn there to minister to me. They were so very kind and supportive and loving at all times. They gave excellent advice as needed but mostly they were just there to share the love of Christ with me just like they did for everyone else they came in contact with. It is rare to know one person who is so filled with the love of God that they live a life of ministry at all times and even more amazing to see a couple working together in this life of ministry.

Dub and Evlyn were a team in everything they did. It seems to me that their love for God could be seen in their love for one another; and their love for God and for one another spilled over onto everyone they came in contact with. I can't begin to name all of the things they did but a few include: visiting members of the church in the hospital and taking them a posy, visiting members of the church in the nursing home and taking them whatever treat they knew they would enjoy, inviting people for Sunday dinner after worship every Sunday and of course baking that delicious bread and making all kinds of jelly to share with lucky folks like me. I think they made eight loaves of the bread at a time. They would bring me a loaf of that fresh bread and say, "Here is our tithe." I love homemade bread; and I have never tasted any that was better than Dub and Evlyn's! I think the special ingredient was a generous portion of love that went into every loaf.

Dub played in the praise band while I was serving at Grace. He was a great musician; and the band loved having him play with them. Being a wanna-be musician myself, I truly appreciated the gift of music that the Holy Spirit had given to Dub. I enjoyed listening to Dub's music and listening to his stories. He was a gentle, kind and generous man--much like Jesus. I'm sure that Dub's arrival in heaven will bring an extra-special celebration as Christ says to him, "Thank you, Dub, for representing me so faithfully while you were on earth."

It seems to me that Dub and Evlyn have set for us an excellent model of how to love God with all that we are and all that we have and to love our neighbors as ourselves. I pray that I will follow their example and share the blessings that I received from them with others. I give thanks to God for teaching me how to be a pastor through the example of Dub and Evlyn.

From one of my friends whose father died young:

"I am so jealous of your great heritage"

From Dr. Will:

"Dubbie and Evlyn gave dignity to so many people in nursing homes who would have otherwise thought they had lost all their dignity". (He gave over 3,500 free haircuts in a span of over 30 years on his day off.)

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