My Dad is in Heaven. The day he left me was the day my world turned upside down. While I knew death would come to all of us at some point, I wasn’t ready for the shock, and the change, of losing someone so close to me. 

He was my “partner”. We enjoyed taking walks around the block together, riding bikes together, and especially getting hot fudge milkshakes together! He was a soul-winning, Bible-reading (and living), loving, strong, tenderhearted man. He had been out witnessing the night before he went to Heaven. 

I have so many wonderful memories of him. I remember how we would spend most evenings doing things together. Sometimes, we’d go for a walk, or I might watch him clean his trumpet and listen to him play it. We might lie on his bed, with the window open and he would read to me, with my head against his arm. Other times, we might change the oil in the car, or wash it. I remember the wistful look he would get in his eye when he talked about his own Dad. My Grandfather died before my parents were even married. My Dad said “I grew up overnight when my Dad died.” I saw the mistiness cloud over his eye, and it broke my heart. I would chirp up and say, ignorantly, “But you have ME now!” And I would wrap my arms around his broad shoulders and hug him tightly. I knew he was glad to have me – even though I was quite a handful!  But nothing could take the place of his Dad. I know that now for myself. I know what he means to “grow up overnight.”

I remember how sad he looked as he watched me go more from “partner” to “woman”. Of course, he was glad I was growing up, and he was proud of me, but our days of fun together were coming to a  close. When I  found a man who would have me, I was thrilled that he and Dad got along so well together! They could talk for hours; they truly enjoyed each other’s company. Now that Dad is gone, I see some of my Dad in my husband. I don’t know how that could happen, but I’m glad it did. I see Dad’s wit and charm in my own husband everyday. I have a man who  truly enjoys being with me, and I him – we’re “partners”. I have a man who treats our children, especially our daughters. like “partners” as well.

I could go on for pages and pages and tell you about my Dad. My Dad was a lot more Christ-like than many pastors and preachers I know. He was humble. He was wise and hard working. He wasn’t rich, but he took very good care of us. He wasn’t perfect, but he was close. 😉 I’ll spare you any more – after all, I know I’m prejudiced. But, just to prove I’m not completely off on my opinion of my Dad, I’d like to share a poem that a man in our church wrote about my Dad, my partner.

His wavy white hair

His finely honed wit,

The strength of his handshake
His encouragement to never quit.

The height of his stature
Is just but a mite,
Compared to his example
Of a man who lived right.

And, oh, to hear him pray
That’s what I loved most
He seemed as though he were best friends
With the Lord of hosts.

No thee’s and thou’s
No strain of thought,
Plain spoken words
Not rehearsed or taught.

His head tilted back
As he uttered his prayer
I peeked I suppose
It seemed the Lord was standing there.

The words that he spoke
Still ring in my ear
I want to pray like that
And feel the Lord so near.

Into God’s presence
Now he’ll abide.
For today he went home
Leaving his children and sweet wife by their side,

But don’t worry, don’t mourn, fret or despair.
Ron Courtney left a heritage…
He was a man of prayer

Now you can see him in Heaven
As he talks with the Lord.
I picture it quite the same
As it was here before.

His head tilted back
Now Glory in his eye,
Face to face, praying and waiting,
For you and me to arrive. – Jim Payte

I hate that 26 years flew by so quickly – that’s all we had together. I hate that I can’t hear his laugh or see his smile. I hate that I was such a handful. At the same time, I have no regrets. I’m glad that I apologized when I did wrong. I’m glad I listened to him, and did what he said. I’m really glad that my Dad made his children his hobby, instead of golf or hunting or anything else. He enjoyed whatever we enjoyed. He was the best, and I hope to do his name proud till I, too, depart this world. My husband recently said that he wishes he had a whole church-full of people just like my Mom and Dad. Now that’s high praise.  

2 thoughts on “For Dad on Father’s Day

  1. Anonymous says:

    We were so Blessed to have Ron Courtney for our dad. He was the BEST!!!!!! I miss him everyday.

    Love you,


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