|Bill & Ruth Hutto|
I still have the mental videos of Dad and I fishing. Even though he was not the world's foremost fisherman, he loved to fish. To him "just getting out" was the most important part of fishing. We spent vacations on the Jorden river near Bay St. Louis, MS fishing. He used to tell us kids that a "Gasper-Goo" would come up out of the river at night to get us. To tell you the truth...we didn't believe him, but we went along because it was so funny.
Dad was a great artist and drew and painted many pictures. He would draw caricatures of us kids doing crazy things. To illustrate my sweet tooth he once drew one of me literally sucking all the candy out of the candy counter in Standard Drugs. In later years he really, really got in to computers. He loved to "doctor" up pictures by superimposing funny things on them. Quite often he would place his own head on a muscle-bound body to make himself look like a body-builder. We've all been recreated as aliens, superman, superwoman, animals, some infamous scoundrels I'd better not mention, and more!
Dad would throw the football with us. He took me out in the front yard one cold winter night after dinner. Along with me he took a small propane torch and a light, clear plastic clothes bag. He lit the torch and filled the clothes bag with hot air. I watched in awe as he released the bag and it floated up into the dark sky...out of sight! Dad liked to spend time with us even though his life was filled with the busyness of owning a small-town pharmacy.
Connie and I had been in the ministry for many years. We left my stomping grounds in 1976 and had been away ever since. But about this time last year, God began to speak to both of us to relocate to be closer to her Mom and my parents. Due to our location and the ministry we could see them only once, maybe twice a year...and then only for a few days. It was a big decision, but we knew God was directing us. Last December I resigned from my church in Jefferson, GA, and in January we made the move back to the area of my up-bringing. I went to work full-time for a major retailer in Meridian, MS. We relocated to Newton, about 30 miles from my parents. Little did I know we would have only 8 1/2 months with Dad. But what a blessing it was! I constantly thank God for these past few months we had with him. An even greater blessing is to know how much it blessed his life to have us around!
I could make this really, really long but I won't. Let me finish by thanking God for the way Dad left us. He simply left us in his sleep. There was no pain or suffering. It took us by surprise, but I find comfort in knowing this, and in knowing where he now is. Dad knew Jesus as his Savior. I saw him draw closer and closer to Him in the later years. Even after he had slipped away there was a peace on his face. In my opinion, there's no better way to make the transition into glory! The way he went was a demonstration of God's grace and mercy to we his family. Again, thank you Jesus for that.
Cherish your family. If you still have your parents...cherish them. Spend time with them. Don't wait until they are gone to wish you had spent more time with them. No amount of work or ministry is more important that the family God gave to you. Love them enough to have to trust God to take a big step in their behalf if He directs you to do so (like He did us). I am so glad He spoke to us, and I so glad we obeyed!
Dad, we miss you...a lot. But we will see you again. Thank God for that.