In my father’s piles and stacks and squirrel-aways of belongings were dozen of legal pads. Boxes of ink pens. At least ten executive portofolios. Paper clips and gadgets and little staplers.
And a big stack of “From the desk of . . .” sheets. 5.5×8.5 inches. Unbound and unglued.
I grabbed the legal pads and the From the desk of . . .
I am my father’s son after all.
A stack of my father’s note pages now sit on my desk at the office.
My father, Richard Carter, is gone. He died today at 7.37 p.m. of complications from acute myeloid leukemia. He was 82 years old.
At the end, his wife and I were at his bedside. All was peaceful. A few final breaths, and he was in the arms of his Savior.
I’ll share details of services and his obituary later, once plans are finalized.
My sisters and I are truly grateful for the outpouring of support for us this week. An old high school friend said what so many others have said: “I want you to know that your dad (and mom) had a profound impact on my life as a youth and everything I do in ministry today, I know they get a little credit for. Your family has been a blessing in my life.”
My friend Ethan Edwards, who has seen more than one man’s share of loss and death this year, posted the other day on Facebook:
….finding ever more meaning in the ending words of The Bridge of San Luis Rey:
But soon we shall die and all memory of those five will have left the earth, and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.
Photos of my father from the last (nearly) 60 years–
Inside that home on Wingate, my parents are canoodling.
At Calvary Baptist Church, Columbia, Missouri, in 1964, age 29.
With Pop Christmas 2010.
With my sisters Karen and Beth, and Pop. 23 Nov 2017.
Pop with baby Lily. Standing: Blayne, the father; Karen, the grandmother (which still seems odd to say); Beth, the great-aunt.
Beth, Pop, Karen, JC. 10 June 2015.
With Pop and Karen.
My father with his father, Pop Carter, 1984.
My father, maternal grandmother, and maternal great-aunt Esther at G-ma’s house, ca. 1985.
JoAnne and Pop.
With my pop.
My father, Richard Carter, is 82 years old today!
Here he is 55 years ago, with a little first-born son: