Getting married was not at the top of my list. The day I met Jim and we became friends, I knew there was something different about him. He had a love for the Lord that was genuine and real. I was extremely shy and he was the first guy that didn’t make jokes about my shyness or how I didn’t talk much. I felt safe when I was with him. He challenged me in scripture memory constantly and he prayed with me every time we went out together.
A group from our college class at church got together and planned a trip to Dallas to see the Cowboys play. Jim went on that trip and I didn’t know him very well at that time. I didn’t go many places without my brothers and I decided to take them on this trip with me. I barely had enough money saved for the trip, but I figured I could manage. My brother Burt was 10 at the time and when he met Jim he fell in love with him. Burt asked if he could ride in his truck with him and Jim said yes. I was a little hesitant because I had just met him recently. Burt was so excited, I couldn’t say no. Jim had his sister with him and Burt sat in the middle of the seat. I still laugh today when I think about seeing him with his cap on his head looking around so excitedly. When we got to our hotel, I instructed my brothers that I would meet them in the restaurant for breakfast the next morning. I told them to only order a cinnamon roll and orange juice because that was all I could afford. They promised they would. The next morning I came into the restaurant and there they were sitting at a booth with Jim and the entire table was filled with food. Eggs, bacon, toast, cinnamon rolls,etc. I was panicked. I went to my booth and ordered my cinnamon roll and juice and started trying to figure out how I was going to make my money last through the rest of the trip. Jim came over later and told me he was treating my brothers to breakfast. If that wasn’t enough, at the game he furnished hot dogs, chips, cokes, etc. That is one of my many favorite memories of him.
Today, after 29 years of marriage I wish I could write and tell all the amazing things about Jim, but since this is Father’s Day, I will talk about him as a daddy. I LOVE the word daddy. To me, Jim is everything a daddy should be. When Patti and Nathan were born, he changed as many diapers as I did. He would get up in the middle of the night many times with each of them and tell me to get some rest. Our kids have always loved and adored their daddy. He took his role as a dad seriously and I don’t believe our kids have ever doubted his love for them.
When I see even today, our 26 year old daughter hug him and he kisses her on the cheek, I get tears in my eyes. I can’t imagine how that feels to have a dad to care so much and show it like that. I love to see when our son and him interact and laugh together and tell each other they love one another. How blessed I am to get to witness a Daddy’s love.
If that isn’t enough, I get to watch him as a Papa to our three grandbabies. I believe the legacy will continue on.