Sunday, June 20, 2010

Poppa, I miss you more than anyone knows.

Two years ago today, my sweet Dad passed over from this life to his heavenly home. Today, I drove by our childhood home and saw the house we lived in, the flower beds he so lovingly tended and the sawed off pole from which an American flag once flew daily. When I came home, my eyes filled with tears, seeing that my husband had our flag flying in Dad's memory outside our home.

When he died, I, along with my siblings, spoke at the celebration of his life. I wrote the obituary and then the handout for the services. Since then, I've not been able to write anything further about him. When I try, I am overcome with emotion and sorrow, but not regret. He knew how much I loved him. I told him often. And so, today, I share what I wrote then. Someday I will be strong enough to share more about who he was and the reasons he means so much to me. But for now, this will have to suffice.

Raymond William Matthis

December 6, 1925-June 20, 2008

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. Psalm 116:15

A Tribute to My Hero

We gather today to honor Ray, a man who need not be esteemed in death more highly than he was in life. His life was an example to all who knew him. Galatians 5:22 says, "The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." These traits, or as the bible calls them, "fruit of the spirit" could easily be used to describe the man we honor here today; beloved husband, father, "Poppa", brother, uncle, neighbor and friend. His unconditional love for those of us who were fortunate enough to know and love him, and know with certainty how much he loved us, was unwavering. His generosity was unparalleled. We are quite certain that we will never know all the good deeds he did, all the checks he wrote for someone less fortunate, the pies he baked, the errands he ran, the help he offered, the quiet acts of service, the many kindnesses he extended. He was not perfect. On rare occasions he was grumpy and short tempered, but, his character was steadfast. He was quick to say "I love you" and just as quick to say, "I'm sorry" when he was wrong. His heart was soft as butter...tears sprang to his eyes easily and pride in those he loved was enormous. He was easily touched by simple acts of kindness and his wobbly chin was well known to his family and those closest to him. He was a strong, manly man with a work ethic rarely seen in our world today, but, he was also gentle and not afraid to be silly and to laugh with glee. He loved babies and roses and wood working and his tomatoes. But--most of all, he loved his family and all of us who are gathered here today to love him right back. He was faithful to his commitments, to his family, his church and his friends. If he made a promise, he kept it. He touched others deeply, whether the people he sat with at church or his favorite waitress, Angela, at the Early Bird Cafe. He had faith and he knew where his next stop would be. If he could speak to us today, he'd tell you "it's all true!" and he'd tell us to meet him on the other side. Because, just as you loved him, he loved you, too. "The gift of God is eternal life." Say yes to the gift. Be there. He'll be there to welcome you just inside the gate.

1 comment:

  1. So Looking forward to that meeting...thanks for sharing you awesome words of Poppa :-)