In the early morning hours of May 7, 1993 my father was promoted into the presence of Jesus. After being without him for over 14 years I still miss his voice on the phone, his stories, and his encouragement. And, on Father’s Day I especially miss him.
One of 13 children, dad grew up in the hills of Yancey County North Carolina in a pioneer world that I never experienced but only heard about from daddy, momma, grand parents and uncles and aunts. Life in the mountains was hard, the winters cold, the cupboard often bare, but a crop that seemed to flourish was character.
My father, (always called “Daddy” by my brother and I, and most of the time by my mom) was the most honest man I have ever known. He was always truthful, always generous with the little he had, always a faithful husband and he was always my hero.
We were not close during my childhood. My dad worked harder than any person I have ever known and he fished and hunted with the same intensity. Often, there was little time for me in those early years. By the time he seemed to want to have a relationship with me I had discovered fast cars, girls, and neon lights.
When I was in my mid 30’s I had been praying for and talking to daddy about Christ for almost a decade or so and seemingly to no avail. Finally, in a little country church on a Sunday night, my father made his peace with God and he was wonderfully converted to Christ.
From that day until his last day he was a faithful witness to the love and grace of God and my best friend. I experienced for the first time the love of my earthly father and it was consistent and worderful. I watched as my dad bravely and expectantly faced a terminal illness with never an obvious fear or hint of uncertianty. He was well prepared to die and had made every provision possible so that mom would be well cared for.
By any standard by which you can measure the greatness of a man, my dad was the best. He was a tough as they get but as tender hearted as any man I’ve known. His compassion for those who did not have a relationship with Christ was one of his most well known traits. His last known conversation before he went on to be with the Lord was to plead with tears with his cousin to take Christ’s gift of forgiveness and salvation and to meet him in heaven. I was happy to learn that just a few months later that cousin was born again and was full of joy when he told me personally about dad telling him about Jesus.
I have had a wonderful day today with gifts from my daughter and visits from my 3 grandsons and then a private dinner this afternoon with just Papa and Corbin, one of my twin grandsons. I had great conversations on the phone with my son and his wife and with my son-in-law, all telling me they love and appreciate me.
I have had a great Father’s Day but I really, really miss daddy today.
Grace to you,
Royce Ogle 06/17/07