Admired and Loved
A Giant of a Man As My Father
Last night, my wife asked if I had posted on Facebook anything about the passing of my Father. To be honest, I have been overwhelmed with so many emotions as I have read the many tributes to the godly man I called Dad.
Simply put: my father was a giant in my eyes and life. He taught me so much about life, the things that matter most: a relationship with God, loving loyalty to family, and how to nurture friendships. He had a way of making every one of his children and spouses, grandchildren and spouses, and great grandchildren feel like they were the most special people ever born. How he did that with 65 of us shows how big his heart was. They all loved him so very much.
To me and my brothers, he modeled how to treat our spouses, because he loved our mother so deeply in front of us. His heart was big enough to include his siblings and their children and grandchildren.
But he didn't stop with family, his heart was open to anyone he met. I have read and heard the tributes on Facebook, in emails, text messages, and phone calls, all confirming what I knew - my Dad was a giant. He had to be, to contain the size of his heart.
Personally, he helped me sort through my call to ministry, without calling me. He became my mentor, sometimes using words. He was my confidant when I faced issues that were bigger than me. He was my encourager when I was down. He was my rock when life was shaky. He knew how to celebrate life with me. Above all else, he was my friend.
The last few years, he bravely battled cancer, and on Wednesday afternoon (September 9th), our Heavenly Father graciously welcomed him home. I imagined quite a reunion with his parents, brothers and sisters, loved ones and friends who went before him. I have been a blessed man to have had a giant of a man as my father. I love you Dad, enjoy your eternal reward.
President Harold B. Graves Jr, oldest child of Harold B. Graves, Sr.