On March 26th my Dad, Eddie Max McCoy Sr., passed away. My husband and I drove from Wisconsin to Washington state to be with family for the funeral service, in the town my parents retired in. A “Celebration of Life” memorial is being planned for a later date. So on the long trip over, I had time to think about the things we could celebrate about my Dad’s life.
My Dad wasn’t perfect. He had his flaws. He was just a tad stubborn, sometimes he lacked patience, and his temper ran on the warm side. His life was full of mistakes, bad times, and some wrong choices (like most lives). He did have his shining moments. There were successes as well as failures, mountain top experiences as well as the valleys, and many, many good times.
Dad wasn’t the perfect parent, but he loved us all, was a good provider, and genuinely wanted our lives to be better than his was. That stubbornness also came out as tenacity and he never gave up. Through every bad time, he stuck it out. He showed us how to fight back and to expect things to get better. He had a peculiar sense of humor that all of his children and grandchildren will remember forever. God gifted him to be a story teller and we grew up hearing stories about his life. (Some were great examples of what not to do!) Dad also was artistically gifted. He loved to paint and sculpt. I am thankful for that as we will always have his artwork to remember him by. If Dad ever saw someone needed a hand, he was quick to step up.
Though patience wasn’t always one of his virtues, there were times he had the patience of Job. Some of my fondest memories are from when we went camping as kids. He patiently untangled lines, unhooked snags, and for me, baited my hook (I couldn’t do the worm thing). To this day I still love to fish (my husband still untangles my line and baits my hook). He left all of his kids with so much. Yes, we tend to be stubborn, and some of us tend to have a bit of a temper, and we are still learning to be patient, but we also all have some artistic ability, we can all tell a story, and like him, we all know how to help out in a pinch.
The most important thing my Dad ever did was to put his trust in God and give his heart to Jesus. Two times my Dad had died and was brought back. Both times, though his body was going through terrible issues, his spirit experienced something totally different. One of those times, as my Mom drove him to the hospital, his body convulsed and it was all she could do to drive and keep him on the seat, but later, by Dad’s account, we found out that his spirit was in perfect peace. He experienced no pain, worry, or regret. Just perfect peace. I too have had one of those experiences and can confirm the peacefulness of the passing of our spirit. So I am confident that though his body has passed away, my Dad still lives, in peace, with the Prince of Peace, where there is no pain, sorrow, or regret.
So, my Dad wasn’t perfect and his life certainly wasn’t. But his life was full and is most definitely a life worth celebrating. He will be sorely missed by many.
I firmly believe that his hope, for us who are left behind, (and my prayer) is that you would follow his example. Place your trust in Father, and surrender your hearts to Jesus, so that when it is our time to give up these mortal bodies, we too can be with him in Heaven.