My brother was the most excited man when he found out he was going to be a father! And boy, was he a great one! He doted on his little girls, even changing jobs so he could spend more time with them. He sang to them and talked about them constantly. When he died a terrible hole was torn in my heart. He was my music partner! Our last song together was a duet from "Phantom of the Opera" that we sang in our sister's wedding. I cannot hear that song without crying. How much more difficult it must be for his little girls (now young women) to never hear him sing to them again. I am truly hoping that my understanding of time in the eyes of those in Heaven is correct. Scripture says that the life of man is a mere vapor. I picture a quick, cold breath in our Wisconsin winters. A mere vapor in the icy air, quickly here then gone. I pray that is Ray's experience. He got to Heaven, turned a breath away and will have his little girls at his side within that vapor's length. I never saw a man more in love with his children. I miss him this Father's day... The tear rent through my heart will never heal.
My brother was killed in a car accident one Christmas Eve when his girls were quite little. Eventually their mother remarried a kind man named Joel. These are my thoughts today for him:
All day I have been wondering how to wish a "Happy Father's Day" to the man who stepped in and helped to raise Ray's girls to the wonderful adults they now are. It could not have been easy to raise another man's kids to be healthy and happy after such a tragedy. I want to express my gratitude and love to him. I know that Ray would be the first in line to say thank you. So I express it for him. You have loved those girls as your own. Thank you. Happy Father's Day.
My oldest brother is my hero. He struggled early in his adulthood and came out on the other side a strong and kind man. His two sons are so fortunate to have a man who takes his parenting seriously. He is always there for his boys, coaching them in sports, joking with them and agonizing over raising them right. He is funny and so intelligent. His sons are in that middle school/early high school phase where perhaps Dad doesn't seem so smart. They will see, just as Scout came to realize in "To Kill A Mockingbird" that their Daddy is one of the best men in their community. Happy Father's Day big brother.