I Thought He Would Live Forever ( Part 2)

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read part 1 here: I Thought He Would Live Forever ( Part 1)

I became a star cross country runner in high school.  I was state champion my junior and senior year and I owe all that to my dad. He gave me a passion to run and the work we did running and the lessons he taught made me the runner I am.  I once remember asking him why he always started downhill.  Wouldn’t it be easier to go up to Big Culver a half mile and go around the peak or something so that you end going downhill to Little Culver instead of finishing every run with a half mile uphill?  He told me his runs are a lot like life. The flat roads of life are easy son, and the downhills are even easier. You can coast along and everything is alright. Your marriage is good, your kids are healthy, your successful at your job, your faith is strong. But what happens when you hit the uphill. When life gets tough. When your marriage is struggling, when your kids are sick, when you lose your job, when your faith starts to waver. That’s when you find out what kind of person you are. Are you going to quit? Are you going to walk away from your wife, your kids? Are you going to get angry and think everyone is out to get you? Are you going to yell at God and tell him you don’t need Him anymore? Or are you going to push on, are you going to persevere? You know that even if you feel like stopping and you feel like quitting that if you keep on going that you will get through it, you will make it to the top.  Tough times don’t last son.  Tough people do.

2 Timothy 4:7 #christianquotes #scripture #inspirational #quotes

I can hear his voice telling me that right now.  I take a deep breath and stare out the window, blinking a million times a minute to keep the tears from coming.

I remember it was my thirteenth birthday the first time I made it up the half-mile hill without stopping.

More memories flashback as I remember the days of my youth. I remember the friends I haven’t talked to in years.  I remember my high school sweetheart. I remember my mom’s kindness to everyone who came into the diner. I remember my dad’s hard work. I remember the day I told my parents I was choosing to go to The Ohio State University instead of The University of Colorado.  They were heartbroken but they knew I needed to get away.

I remember the last time I ran with my dad before I took the plane east. We didn’t say a word, just ran in rhythmic breathing. He had slowed down as he became older and I had become remarkably fast but we stayed together. 

Sometimes more is said in silence than words could ever say.

The pilot comes on asking us to buckle up as we start our descent into Denver.  The Rocky Mountains come into view and my heart skips a beat. It’s been a long time, too long. We land and I pick up my rental car and drive the hour plus home to Little Culver.

It’s July 19th, so there isn’t much traffic.  I approach the Culver Pass Tunnel and a million emotions sweep over me.  It doesn’t seem as big as it did when I was ten years old and they have added more lights to it, but I can still see it as I did all those years ago.  I come out and head uphill to Little Culver.  I pull into our driveway and have to sit in the car for a minute. What’s going to happen to mom now?  Will she stay here by herself? Will she come back to Ohio with my family?  A thousand things I had not even thought of before now. I was numb and in shock, I believe.

I thought he would live forever.

I walk into my childhood home and give my mom a hug.  It’s funny how everything seems big when you are little. Everything seems so small now.  Our front door, my bedroom, our living room, our one street town even seems smaller. My mom even seems smaller. So much more fragile than I remember. She holds on to me longer than I thought she would, she has always been so strong.  I don’t let go. She pats me on the back, signaling it was time and grabs my cheeks and looks me in the eye and tells me we better get to business.

It was a long, sad day. We made all the arrangements, had hundreds of well wishers offering us their condolences. My dad touched more people by the way he lived than I ever knew. At his funeral, there was a line that went out farther than our little funeral home could hold.

I knew I had to go for a run before I left. I had to get the stress and the emotions out of me. I just needed to get out by myself. To run, to be free.  I laced up my shoes and ran down the hill like we always did. I hit the Culver Pass Tunnel in full stride. It felt good to feel the Colorado air in my lungs again. I was in the tunnel and the emotions overtook me. I sprinted as fast as I could and when  I came out of the tunnel I broke down. I fell to my knees as tears streamed down my face.  I yelled at no one in particular. I hit the ground with my fists.

I knew I would never run through that tunnel with my dad again.

I gathered myself together and started to run again. I looked out at the beauty God had made and remember my dad telling me to always stop and look at the beauty around you. Life will get busy but don’t forget what really matters in this life. I’m sorry dad for not coming home more often.  I’m sorry for not calling more. I’m sorry for….but then I remembered dad telling me that life goes on no matter what happens to you. Respond with kindness, react slowly, forgive always, and always, always be a man that keeps his word, a man of integrity and character.

I turn around and head back home. I run through the tunnel and hit the hill with a smile on my face. I am heading up the hill, feeling strong. I think I might just go all the way to Big Culver. A slight breeze blows to my right and I look over and I swear for just a second I see my dad running right alongside me. I’ll make it through this struggle It’ll be all right. Life goes on but a part of me will never be the same. A part of him will always be in me. I make it up to Little Culver and stop. Thankful for this town, thankful for my mom and thankful for my dad, all who made me who I am today. Sometimes it takes a loss of a loved one to remember that we are alive and that we will be okay.

I thought my dad would live forever and he will, a part of him will always be in me, in my children, in their children,  always. Image result for I thought dad would live forever

Song For Dad by Surrender The Crown –

Miss You All The Time by O.A.R.-

Fishing With My Dad by Bobby Bones-

What I Wouldn’t Give by We The Kings-

Chevy and Daddy by AJ Sanders-

Hold On To Memories by Disturbed-

While You Still Can by Brothers Osborne-

Time Machine by State Champs-

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I Thought He Would Live Forever ( Part 1)

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Little Culver, Colorado.  That’s where I am from. It’s a Mayberry type of town, one main street, two lights, the old school that was there before they built the new one in Big Culver, that’s now a bed and breakfast, a small cafe that my parents own and one gas station.  We are exactly a half mile from Big Culver, which is exactly one mile high from the rest of the world.   We are approximately one hour and twenty minutes from Denver.  At least we are now, but we weren’t always.  It used to take almost four hours until in 1970, the year I was born, Culver Pass Tunnel was made.  They blew up part of the mountain and made a tunnel that was a smidge over a quarter mile long.  By doing that, the trip to Denver became a lot less time-consuming.

We are on the west side of Culver Peak.  The first major peak as you enter the Rocky Mountains from the plains.  If you go east from Little Culver and go up the mountain to Big Culver, you will find the best world-class ski resort in Colorado. I believe that is why they made Culver Pass Tunnel. No one is going to drive four hours from Denver to get to it when they have so many other options. But now, book your reservations early because, during ski season, there will be no rooms available. If you go up the rest of the mountain east of Big Culver and cross over the peak, you would swear you could see Ohio.  My dad once told me when he and mom were missing me, they would go up there and pretend Ohio wasn’t so far away. Once you get down from Culver Peak, it is almost all flat lands as far as you can see.

I moved away when I was eighteen to go to college to go to The Ohio State University. I am now forty-eight years old and this will be my fifth time back in the last thirty years.  Life gets busy, school, job, wife, children, finances, etc.  I can make a million excuses but if I really wanted to go back, I could have found a way.

Why do I find a need to write all this down and tell you? I don’t know. I think I am trying to get my mind right, get my thoughts out. I’m on Southwest Airlines flight 447 from Columbus, Ohio, where I currently reside with my wife and four daughters, to Denver Colorado. I stare out the window, thirty-five thousand feet above the ground but my mind is a million miles from this world. 

Last night I got the call from my mom, dad had passed.

The only thing I could think to say was I thought he would live forever.

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In about five minutes, what I am writing now will be in the future as we cross the central time zone.  Another hour from that and the rest of what I write will be in the future as I keep losing time.  I wish life was like that and I could go back a few hours, a few days, a few months to see my dad one more time but time, and life, doesn’t work like that.

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My dad is, was a truck driver. Mostly he would drive from Denver to Kansas City and back. Sometimes he would go from Denver to Salt Lake City Utah.  Usually out and backs so he was home often. My mom is the best cook in the world. She owns the Little Culver Diner.  It seemed like almost everyone from Big Culver would come down the mountain to order my mom’s famous home-cooked meals.  On days when my dad was gone, I would help mom set up the diner in the mornings, she would make me a ham and cheese omelet and then I would catch the bus up to Big Culver to go to school. After school, the bus would take me back home and I would help mom out in the diner as well. I believe I am a fine cook myself but I do not compare to my mom. On days when my dad was home, he was an avid runner. He said it helped clear his mind and free his soul.

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I remember the first time he let me go down from Little Culver to the Culver Pass Tunnel. I was ten years old and my dad let me ride my bike with him. For a ten-year-old to look down a half mile road that was all downhill and curves, it was quite intimidating. I rode the brakes all the way down, I think I used all the rubber off the brakes that day. My dad was patient with me. We finally arrived at the pass and it was scary as well. Imagine a quarter mile tunnel that had very few lights. Parts of it, I could not see my dad ten feet in front of me.  He wanted me to ride in front so he could watch me but I was having no part of that. After we appeared on the other side of the tunnel, I was awestruck from the view.  Amazingly, the road was mostly flat but to either side of us, it looked like you could fall off the face of the earth. We would go anywhere from one and a half miles to three and a half miles before we would turn around and head back home. I had to walk my bike up the half mile back home.

One last view of the city below

As I grew and got older, I started to run with him. I ran on days when he wasn’t home so I could get stronger and faster and he wouldn’t have to slow down and wait on me. There were days when he wanted to run by himself and I was heartbroken.  I didn’t understand the need for him to be alone. Of course, now that I am older and a parent, I totally understand. Days when I run are the only time of the day I am alone with just me and my thoughts.  Running is my sanity.  Looking back,  I am actually surprised he let me go with him as much as he did. Being stuck in a truck all day, that was his time and he let me share that with him. That’s the kind of man he is, was. 

It’s hard to think of him in the past tense.

After all, I thought he would live forever.

To be continued….

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Dad by Tyler Wood –

Dad’s Old Number by Cole Swindell-

Hey Dad by Matt Stilwell –

Heaven Bound Balloons by Granger Smith-

Killing Me by Luke Sital-Singh-

Why God by Austin French-

Jealous Of The Angels by Katherine Jenkins-

If Only by Escape The Fate –

January 11th, 2017 by Mike Posner-

 

 

 

Four Years Ago

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Four years of school seems to take so long

But I blinked and four years have gone

Seems like just the other night

The last time I held you tight

Seems like just yesterday

In my rear-view, you waved

I can hear the drums you played for me

You could play them all, George Strait to Bon Jovi

I get my work ethic from you

A piece of you in everything I do

If you could, ask God to give me a break

You know from fishing I don’t do well having to wait

Tell our loved ones hello

And that we miss them so

I had to laugh the other day

When I remembered something you would say

Funny how things like that pop in your brain

Life goes on but it’s not the same

Tomorrow I will watch the sun rise at dawn

Can’t believe it’s been four years since you’ve been gone

dad

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My Old Man by Zac Brown Band – 

Not All Heroes Wear Capes by Owl City – 

The Other Side by Colton Dixon –  

You Should Be Here by Cole Swindell – 

From Where You Are by Lifehouse – 

What Will You Look Like?

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I often wonder what you will look like

When I see you at the end of this life

Will you look like you did in the days before your last song was sung ?

Will you look like I remember you from when I was young?

Will there be lines on your face?

Will all the blemishes I loved be erased?

Will your legs be old and weak?

Will you be able to dance with me as we speak?

Will you be rocking with the musicians that are there?

Will you still be confined to your wheelchair?

Some of these things I don’t wonder as much

Like the wheelchair and the weak legs and such

I know in Heaven all things are made new

But sometimes I wonder if I will recognize you

Will you look like how my mind remembers?

When through those gates of pearls my soul enters

Will you jump for joy when you see my face?

How many hours could we sit and talk about God’s grace?

When I first see Jesus I wonder what I will do?

I wonder how many times He has sat down to talk with you?

Will the grass always be green and the flowers always in bloom?

I wonder if it will be years before I see you or if it will be soon?

Sometimes I wonder if all I do has even mattered

I know one day all my questions will all be answered

Today I will live with joy knowing I will see your face again

But I still miss you my love, my parent, my child, my friend 

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Christmas Prayers by Neil Diamond – 

I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe-  

What Is Heaven Like by Robert Rogers – 

 

I Remember…

I remember…

Going to the baseball all-star game in Cleveland

Gary Carter hit two home runs

The balls landed in the section beside us in the stands

I was hoping we would’ve caught one

I remember…

Going to see the Bengals play

Pete Johnson scored twice carrying the ball

But Earl Campbell ran all day

To the Houston Oilers the Bengals did fall

I remember…

Going to see the Big Red Machine

A doubleheader, two for the price of one

The Reds had one of the greatest teams

Dad, that was a lot of fun

I say these three things

Because as I’ve gotten older I realize

Sports weren’t your dream

But you took me because sports were big in my eyes

I remember….

Trying to take me fishing

Trying to have a conversation

All I was doing was wishing

So bored I was thinking of other temptations

I remember….

Teaching me how to change oil in the car

All the words that were spoken

My mind always drifting afar

Another ten minutes, you got to be joking

I remember….

The selfless acts you taught

The lessons you tried to teach

All the balls you caught

Times  you were there and I was just out of reach

I just wanted you to know

That all those things you said

All those words spoken so long ago

That I can still hear your voice in my head

I know I didn’t say it then

I’m sorry if I made you sad

I wish I had the time to spend with you again

I just wanted to say thank you dad

I remember….

dad

Through My Prayers by The Avett Brothers – 

While He’s Still Around by Florida Georgia Line – 

I Remember Her by Ingrid Michaelson – 

Keep Breathing by The Isaacs – 

Dash Between The Dates by Austins Bridge – 

In Memory of My Father – Two Years Today

CAM00466I don’t even know where to begin. I guess I will start with being honest. I think about dad now more than when he was here. I feel guilty for not visiting more the last year or two when his health was deteriorating. I felt frustrated that he didn’t take better care of himself. He had the opportunities. I didn’t like seeing him that way knowing he could’ve avoided some of it. I was disappointed for the times him and mom were supposed to come up to visit and something would happen and he wouldn’t come up. That’s visits we will never get back. The times I didn’t go down are times we will never get back. Lessons learned too late. We never know when your time is up, take care of it during the living years so you will have no regrets.

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Ok, enough of that. My dad wasn’t perfect but he was what I would call an old school dad.  He did what he had to do to provide for his family. He wouldn’t go to the store to get femimine products, which I don’t think is a big deal but.. got to laugh. As I mentioned in the fathers day post he missed alot of us growing up. He was on the road as a truck driver and he played drums on some weekends when he was home. All to provide for his family. To top it all off, he didn’t have to be. He wasn’t our biological dad but he was our real dad. He adopted us when we were little. He didn’t have to be any dad at all but he was a great dad. I have my work ethic from him. Probably have a little of my stubborness from him also. He was always caring and always gave his unconditional support. I always knew I was loved and that he wanted the best for me. I always knew even when I messed up, he was still there- with a belt or with a hug. Either way, I learned. I turned out okay, can’t say the same for my brother. lol.  I reckon he is okay too if I have to be honest about it.

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Things I learned from my dad: 1) strong work ethic 2) unconditional love 3) unconditional support 4) be honest 5) don’t listen to others about what they think of you because what matters is what you think of yourself- self-confidence and self-esteem (things I have written about) 6) believe in yourself because he believed in me 7) stand up for what you believe in 8) take care of your health and your body, you only have one 9) don’t miss out on something over anger or your pride 10) the choices you make determine the life you live 11) strength- strength to hold on and strength to let go. He had quadruple bypass surgery when I was in college and then with everything else I didn’t think he would last as long as he did but he was one tough guy that I looked up to and admired. I love you dad.

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See, I learned good and bad from my dad. We all have good qualities and bad qualities. You can learn from everyone so give everyone a chance. They may be in your life for a minute or a day or a month or a lifetime, but you can learn from them.

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Tonight, whatever you drink, raise a toast to my dad. Remember the good and the bad but remember the love most of all. Then raise a toast to other loved ones that have left this world for a better place. Then raise one more toast to the loved ones in your life. Appreciate they are here. Love them every minute because the next toast may be in remembrance.


There are so many songs. I made 3 cd’s to help in the grieving process and I can’t put 60 songs on here. Maybe I will do a 3 part series….

The Living Years by Mike & The Mechanics – Dad picked out his own music for his funeral and I was ok until this one played. I tried to be tough but I couldn’t on this song because I know how true it is. 

Drink A Beer by Luke Bryan – I had just got this cd and was listening to it on my way to my hometown for the funeral. First time I had heard it and it hit home at the right time. 

Drive Your Truck by Lee Brice – 

Best Seat In The House by LoCash Cowboys –  

If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away by Justin Moore –  

Welcome Home by Michael W. Smith – 

Knowing What I Know About Heaven by Guy Penrod – 

I Have Just Begun To Live by Blessid Union of Souls –  

One More Day by Diamond Rio – 

Save A Place For Me by Matthew West – 

That Home by The Newsboys – 

Clouds by Montgomery Gentry – 

Alone In This Bed by Framing Hanley – 

It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday by Boyz II Men – 

What Is Heaven Like by Robert Rogers – if you want to hear a testimony, listen to his. He was at our church once and brought me to tears. Wow. 

One More Time by Gary Allan – 

Torn To Pieces by Pop Evil – 

Saving Amy by Brantley Gilbert – 

When I See You Again by Wiz Khalifa – 

The Car In Front Of Me by Luke Bryan – 

The Dash by Scotty Mccreery – 

Dash Between The Dates by Austins Bridge – 

Mama’s Arms by Joshua Kadison – 

In Memory Of by Hazen Street –