I can hear his voice.
Dad speaks to me every day. It’s not an audible voice, but I can hear him just the same. I can hear him in my heart.
Dad left us four years ago. That’s four years of no nightly phone conversations. Four years of not talking about who would start at quarterback for LSU or how the ministry I am trying to lead was doing. No opportunity for him to give me advice about how to handle tough situations or how to fix almost anything that needed to be fixed around my house. No more, “Good night, Bud. I love you.” Four years. It seems like a lot longer.
But Dad still speaks to me. The truths that he lived out in front of me and my brother speak into my heart daily.
The ways that he worked hard to provide for our family speak to me. “A man should always put the needs of his family ahead of his own. Work hard, Son. No one owes you anything.”
The way that he took time to throw a baseball, shoot a jump shot, and watch me at football practice speak to me. “Actions speak louder than words, son. They always do.”
The way that he served in our local church by leading singing or working on the facilities or serving our pastor and church body as a deacon, those things speak to me. “Put God first, son, and everything else will fall into place.”
The way that he laughed. The way that he smiled. The way that Dad enjoyed life, it still speaks to me. “It never hurt anybody to have a little fun every now and then, son.”
The way that he set his life aside to take care of my Mom when the ravages of Alzheimer’s overcame her and, in the process, hastened their own deaths. “Your mom is my responsibility, son. I took a vow.”
Dad still speaks to me.
His life still speaks to my heart. He will forever be a large part of who I am. Thank you, Jim Parrish. I’m forever grateful that you were my Dad.