by Pa RockGail and I have spent the day digging through Dad's financial records, going to banks, his stock broker, and the funeral home. Friends have dropped off food at the house and stopped in to talk. We have heard funny stories and learned things about our father that we never knew.
A wonderful Hispanic couple who have rented from Dad for five years stopped by yesterday for a chat. Juan and Alma Garza and their daughter, Clarissa, live a few houses up the street. They told about bringing fireworks down to Dad's house this year on the 4th of July and setting them off so that he could watch. They said he enjoyed that evening and wanted to stay outside even after they left. Juan said that he had driven Dad to Wal-Mart in Neosho just last week and had enjoyed some of his stories during that trip.
Ricky Farmer, an area businessman who is eleven years my junior and who also grew up in this area, came by this evening with a bunch of food. Ricky told several stories including one about how our dad had staked him to a bicycle (sold it to him on credit) when he was little and starting a lawn mowing business. He and Dad remained good friends throughout the years and had other business dealings.
Darby Green, one of my former co-workers brought by a huge roast with veggies while Gail and I were out. Darby and I recently got to see each other in Lubbock, Texas, when we each testified in the sentencing phase of the Levi King murder trial.
Dad's cousin, Cloyce "Chubb" Macy, who himself is eighty-nine, called tonight to recount the many good things that Dad had done for him. Chubb has failing eye sight and has trouble getting out of the house to run errands. Every other weekend Dad would pick him up and take him out to breakfast, and then they would go shopping and take care of Chubb's errands.
Mertie Harmon, our oldest and dearest family friend, brought a ham and some other groceries yesterday. Mert sat and talked about Dad and Noel and this big old house where he spent the last years of his life. Mert and her late husband lived in the dining room portion of the house during World War II.
Today people at each of the banks that we visited came up to us and shared a few memories. The common theme running through them was that he was such a nice man. The stock broker's assistant said that he read the financial news and watched the stock quotes on television constantly, and that he would often call her during the day and give her information that she hadn't received yet through her agency. The Methodist minister who will officiate at the funeral told Gail that when he announced Dad's death in church on Sunday, that some people started crying.
It has been a very daunting couple of days, but we are meeting so many nice people and hearing great stories that help to round out the character of our father.
The worth of our lives is measured by the numbers who truly mourn our passing.