Two days ago I lost my dad. We called him The Wads. I know you’re thinking us kids made up that name when we were young and couldn’t pronounce words, but that is actually not the case. My brother and I were older than I want to admit when we developed a secret language that we were sure no one else would be able to speak or understand. Mostly, we started everything with “W” and ended up sounding a lot like the French chef muppet. That is when dad became The Wads.
You knew the minute The Wads walked into a room…and the minute he walked out of it. He was a loud speaking, big laughing, close talking, arms waving, fast moving, high octane, force of nature. He had a faith so big it left no room for worry, an optimism that plowed through every obstacle, a passion that sparked the fire of dreams, and a joy that swept up everyone in his path.
He taught me the value of prayer and bible reading. As a little girl I watched him go into his study every morning to meet with God before going off to work. He taught me not to forget the alone…the widows and orphans. I watched as he took care of them every month with his encouraging cards and gifts. He taught me to give to others until it hurts, then give some more. He taught me to show grace and love not only to my friends, but to those who would wish to harm me. I saw how he treated others in business even when they were unjust to him. He taught me to work hard, every hour of every day. And he taught me how to think big, dream big, and believe I could do anything.
His life was an adventure. Definitely not because he chose an exciting career…he was a businessman, a distributer…but because he chose to dream. He chose to allow God’s dreams to fill his heart, and he chose to pursue those dreams. He believed God could use a single businessman from
to change the lives of people across the world.
And he did.
My dad’s life was amazing, incredible, brave, and more powerful than he knew. But he would never say that of himself, only of the God who gave him life. In fact, Wads said this…”If Jesus can take a driven, impatient and religious Pharisee like me, and begin to change me, then he can do it with anyone.”
In a world full of people who are beat down, stressed out and depressed…going through the motions, but going nowhere…caught in the doldrums. Wads would say we can all have a different kind of life. We can all have joy and passion, energy and adventure, because we can all have the God who provides it.
I am proud, honored and eternally grateful that I got to be his daughter. And in his honor, I will take this life and I will live it to the fullest. I will allow myself to dream and to get swept up in the adventure God has for me. And when I come to my last day, I will be as happy and peaceful as my dad was on his.