Today my Dad was laid to rest 82 years, to the day, from when he was born.
He did what God wanted him to do in his life and now he is done.
Because of the pandemic, I am not able to see my Dad, one last time.
I can clearly see my Dad as he swings a bat and hits a softball farther than any Dad had ever hit a ball. Over and over again as the sun sets over Sugarloaf Mountain.
I can clearly see my Dad tirelessly working his side business, after a long day at his full-time electrician’s job, to create the money needed to raise his family.
I can clearly see my Dad as he helped me learn how to build things, fix things, and even tear things apart & put them back together again.
I can clearly see my Dad when I worked alongside him learning about electricity, construction, welding, metalworking, automotive stuff, and plumbing.
I can clearly see my Dad as he said to me, “Don’t worry about stuff you can’t change.” (I relearned this later in life as well.)
I can clearly see my Dad as he drove an old topless Willys Jeep through the blinding snow to get a 55-gallon barrel of fuel oil for our furnace, never once complaining about doing it.
I can clearly see my Dad looking me in the eye after I wrecked his truck, and without raising his voice or getting mad he said, “Fix it.” (I did)
I can clearly see my Dad as he did what he could do to help others. I never heard him complain about anything he had to do or turn down helping those he could help.
I can clearly see my Dad as I held the flashlight for him while he worked on something that needed to be fixed. Yes, I too remember him saying, “Over here boy, I’m not working over there,” as I let the light drift away.
I can clearly see my Dad with what he needed to live a good life. No fancy new cars or trucks, no whiz-bang tools or expensive man toys. I never heard my Dad say, “I wish I had…” I learned the value of living a simple & blessed life from my Dad. It’s made a huge difference in my life as I strive to also live a simple and blessed life.
I can clearly see my Dad pulling a calf out of the frozen pool and back into the stable to recuperate. To me, he was a hero saving our calf. (BTW – some of the best hamburgers ever).
I can clearly see my Dad numerous times over the years, in the hospital, sometimes facing death, often in pain, maybe showing a little fear, but never complaining.
I can clearly see my Dad leaving the house every morning before the sun rose to drive to work, never complaining about the drive or the long hours on the construction sites he worked.
I can clearly see my Dad doing what God wanted him to do; raising and caring for his family, even helping his children once they were grown and needed his help. I never heard him complain as he did what he could.
I won’t be able to see my Dad as he is being laid to rest. But I can clearly see my Dad from all the memories I have and I know I’ll be able to continue seeing him as I continue my life.
Rest in Peace Dad.
Love, Teddy Lee Burriss Jr.