I still struggle with these things but since he has left this life I have spent a lot of time thinking about the man who was my father.

He was my hero.

To me I felt that honoring my parents was being here in their old age and helping them to reach to and transition into the next life. To be here for them and to help them any way I could. They were there for me when I was small and incapable of caring for myself. I was here when they began to fail in health and were not always able to do what they had done all their lives. Dad was able to care for himself pretty much until the end. The last few days he was unable to reach his feet and I was able to serve him much like Christ served the disciples by taking care of his feet. To be able to serve another human being on your knees like that is a very humbling experience. Especially when you love that person.

He taught me to serve others. Not so much by telling me how but by doing it. In looking back on his life I keep seeing service to others whether it was in the fire service, the Red Cross, the Rescue Squads and EMS. Taking blood pressures or helping a neighbor with a roof or building a building; if you needed something he had, he gave it or lent it to you. Friends were surprised when they had car troubles and he lent them a car. Not for a few hours but as long as they needed it. He loved people and sought to serve his fellow man where his fellow man needed him.

During the last couple of years he was one dialysis. He served the women who were his nurses by baking them cookies for their breaks at least once a week and once in a while twice. I would sit with him for part of his treatment time. The machines alarmed sometimes often and when his machine alarmed he would always say thank you to who ever came to turn off the alarm. He always seemed to feel like he was interrupting their day and time and was being a nuisance to them.

I over heard him tell on of the nurses this past year that he still had not met a man that he did not like. He always tried to see or find the good in everyone.

Yes he had his faults. I am not going to go into them only to tell you that I knew them, but like him, I have sought to overlook those faults and see the good.

He helped a lot of people; he encouraged a lot of people, and he inspired a lot of people.

The mark of a great man is a man who can serve others. That is the greatest lesson I have learned from my father.

I am sorry that I can not speak these words to you. My emotions are too strong. I have learned to love too deeply. I will miss him but he has left me a life time of examples the same as Jesus left us. No he did not walk on water, nor calm the storm. He left that to Jesus, he just met you, like Jesus, where you were and like Jesus he met the need you had at that time. He didn’t preach a sermon or tell you what you were doing wrong, he just met the need. Some times that need was laughter and he often brought a smile to a weary face and a soulful spirit. There was a joy that welled up in him that was infectious.

Word can not express the whole of his life. His life was full of gold and riches beyond this earth. Those who knew him have been blessed by his presence. He was not the Christ but he was a refection of the Christ that was in his life. If you have know my dad you have seen Jesus. I am proud to say this man was my father. Have you seen Jesus my Lord? I would not trade these past few years of anything. You don’t have to do great things to be a great man.

Randy Paisley