Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Our Last Outing with Pey & Eric's Words

 I appreciate all the prayers and notes concerning Pey (my stepdad)... he did go to be with the Lord recently. We are so blessed with all the moments we had with him during his 2 year battle with colon/rectal/liver cancer. He fought hard and lived life to the fullest on the days he could;)

The kids and I remember well some of his words to us in mid-January.

We were wanting to get out one day and use the day exploring a "Civil War" site or local fort. Pey was determined to join us! He told Anna before we headed out for the day, "Anna, when I prayed and talked to God this morning I asked Him if I could have just another day to keep up with you guys! I am determined to enjoy the day with you."

It was an awesome day:)

To find out the specific role of this northern controlled Virginia fort was pretty cool:) An earlier station for General Lee pre-Civil War and then the jail where Jefferson Davis served time post-Civil War. And then the fort being a safe haven for runaway slaves and a school to many freed and escapee slaves. Fascinating but special because

and he did keep up with us and the kids...



but now that we know it was our last outing with Pey makes it priceless!!!

And even in the midst of last "moments"... it was only in the back of my head  that some of these moments were "last moments". I mean we knew.... but there was always hope!!

And Pey napped or slept in late... but he always pushed himself to do "one more thing".

In fact we were excited when Grammie and Pey came to our house for the day in February. The kids got to share some of their Civil War projects with them. They showed Pey their fort in the back of the yard:)

 And then clowned around on the couch before they headed home:/

It wasn't long after that visit to our home that Pey's care was transferred to Hospice. Thankfully for most of his weeks on Hospice he was home where we visited as many times!

We will definitely MISS our PEY! Definitely!!

My youngest brother's testimony at my dad's funeral was touching and fitting. And it definitely sums up all of our thoughts about Pey!

Hello. My name is Eric  and I have had the privilege of being one of Al ’s sons. I have been thinking about what I would say today for almost two years and I have been blessed to have that time to reflect about my dad’s life. I was honored to help edit my father’s obituary that he had written. He wrote it a few months after his diagnoses in April 2011 and he wrote that “Al B had died after fighting a short battle with cancer,” but we stand here and can be glad that he fought strong until the end and made it longer than any of us had imagined.
Dad was a good father and a good husband. He not only provided for my family, but he taught me a lot about being a man. Some lessons he taught through words, but most he taught me through his actions. He taught me the importance of supporting his children. He taught me to be truthful and honorable. He taught me how to drive, how to shoot a basketball, and how to make a fire. Dad wasn’t the perfect father, nor the perfect husband, nor the perfect boss, but he did what he thought was right and did everything with his full commitment and passion.
The most important event in my dad’s life wasn’t marrying my mom, watching his children be born, being friends with all of us, or getting a chance to see the world. The most important event in my father’s life was when he gave his life to Jesus. It wasn’t an explosive event after and no one asked him for his autograph, but it was a real genuine change in his life. Slowly God was molding and changing him and using my dad for God’s Kingdom. No longer did he look to money or a big house or a sweet job for his security, but instead he relied on Jesus to be his joy. My dad finally had peace in his life. He didn’t have to rely on his goodness to be his salvation, but instead he could rely on the goodness of Christ to be his salvation.
My dad had an impact on this world not because he went to my soccer games or because he built a family here or because he helped build a company on the other side of the world. The kingdoms we try to build will all eventually fade away. My father had an impact on this world because how God used him to build God’s kingdom. His mission trips in Africa, Asia, and Europe, his work with the boy’s home in North Carolina, his changed heart, and our changed hearts. These are all evidences of how God was working and how God was able to take a prideful and stubborn man and turn him into a tool to build God’s kingdom.
We will miss him, and his mustache, but please do not feel sorry for him. He had two years to say goodbye to his family and friends. He had two years to go on adventures, to travel the world, to watch movies, to see his children and grandchildren grow, to see two more grandchildren come into this world, to see me graduate college and get married, and to see beautiful things in this world. And although the last two years have been hard for him and for us, I am so thankful that we had the time to say goodbye. I am thankful that Al  is my father and that he is now at peace and able to be with his True Father.

 We saw the ways God works in timing of key events in my Dad's life and during his death. but also God's sweet mercy in the details. Even in a time when sad tears are shed, there are also joy and thankfulness tears. Tears of wanting him to call with details of another adventure and tears of sweet memories.
Thank you again for your prayers!!


Jenny said...

I am very sorry for your loss. These pictures are just wonderful and show how happy he was to be with all of you. I'm so glad you all have such special memories.

The obit was beautiful.

Grammie said...

Love you Kelly. Thank you for sharing about the last outing with Pey. You are right we have tears of sadness because we will miss him,and tears of joy because we know he is now out of his pain and suffering and with his Lord.
And I am crying both right now! Hugs