Just a few days ago my dad, David White, passed from this earthly realm into eternity. I wandered through my mind and memories and penned some of those here in his memory.
I remember snooping through some papers, finding an address, and sending a letter, sure that it would never reach its final intended destination, and not knowing if I really wanted it to or not.
I remember getting a life-changing phone call on a Wednesday night, while my parents were bowling and my grandmother was watching the kids. A man on the phone with an unusual accent.
I remember exchanging letters and calls and pictures.
I remember playing basketball at the corner hoop when a huge station wagon pulled up and five familiar faces piled out for a surprise visit. The first of many “Ice Cream Road Trips.”
I remember the turmoil as I sought to figure out who I was, and whose I was.
I remember that life, my life, began to make more sense, but also became more confusing. I had found answers but still had so many questions.
I remember meeting the love of my life in the midst of the chaos of my life. Another stabilizing force, but an equally confusing development.
I remember how well everyone fit together when all sides of the family gathered.
I remember the questions that continued gnawing in my mind, and the pain they caused.
I remember the years of wandering as I ran from everything, running toward nothing.
I remember the letter that dissected my heart and life after years of trying to shield it.
I remember that you didn’t give up, even when I thought that was what I wanted, needed.
I remember the birth of my son, named in honor of the heritage, and confusion of my past.
I remember another “Ice Cream Trip,” to meet grandchildren, and my in-laws.
I remember our first trip to “home” and discovering more than a slight connection.
I remember the decision to uproot from all that had become familiar and comfortable.
I remember the challenges and difficulties of making our way to where we belonged all along.
I remember hunting trips, and fishing trips, and rides through the mountains.
I remember long talks, and quiet walks.
I remember praying and praising together.
I remember projects and the smell of sawdust in the building.
I remember the head shake when I was messing up, and the smiles when I repented.
I remember football on the tv and food on the table, and laughter in every room.
I remember the pride when I began to follow God’s call in ministry at last.
I remember the sorrow when following that call meant leaving “home” once again.
I remember the church doors of various churches opening more than a few times on Sunday morning at the end of another “Ice Cream Road Trip,” leaving me flustered at the pulpit.
I remember toolboxes in the back of your truck, “Just In Case” — it was almost always the case.
I remember playing “Papaw Truck” with my kids as we traveled the interstates in search of Overnite Trucking rigs.
I remember cards, letters, calls, and pictures, all eventually giving way to digital media and computer e-communication, perhaps for the better, but sometimes at a loss.
I remember advice, assistance, and affirmations as life changed and I faced varied trials.
I remember celebrations, baptisms, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, joy.
I remember illness, cancer–touching so many seemingly all at once in my life.
I remember the assurance of prayer, of faith, of families who love and care.
I remember waiting for word following surgeries and treatments.
I remember calls to Lewis Gale, some answered, some not.
I remember the victories after each battle, and the faith to face the next one.
I remember your hugs, though you could barely get your arms around my at times, you always managed to.
I remember the call that your days were numbered, and the greatest victory would soon be yours.
I remember the sound of your voice, the grip of your hand, and the smile on your face less than a week ago.
I remember the call that you had left this earthly dwelling, bound for something indescribable.
I remember, and those memories bring smiles, sometimes tears, but always gratitude.
I remember, and I thank God for those memories.
I will miss you Pops. I will still wait for the doors to the church to swing open on Sunday. I will still wait for the warmth of that loving embrace in your hugs. I will still wait for the wry smile to cross your face when you got one of those ideas. I will still wait for morning coffee, and trips to the store together before anyone else was up.
Thanks for this ( and for bringing tears to my eyes). His “wry” smile and the twinkle in his eyes is what I will remember. That, along him always referring to me as his little sister are special to me. I’m sure he’s dancing and singing the Lord’s praises now.
He loved so many and especially Jesus…he will be missed. Love your memories! TAMMY KNOTTS
David, what a beautiful tribute to your dad and so glad that you became a part of our family!
Dave, we are so glad that you became a part of our family. I had sooo much fun with your children when they were young. Our prayers are with you. Love, Uncle Mickey and Aunt Libby.
Wow. How wonderful to love and been loved like that. God bless you Bro David