The words I was hearing rang familiar, I listened in awe: The words were flowing, he was saying, “I was so confused, my life seemed to have turned upside down. Where could I turn for direction? To Daddy! I had to see him! He could make things right for me”. Arriving home, I packed a few things and got into my car for the eight hundred mile drive. I drove all night and when I arrived home the following morning, mother met me at the door. She did not know I was coming and was clearly surprised. Almost at once I asked, “Where is he Daddy?” She said, “He is over in the back field doing some planting”. I headed for the back, he saw me coming and headed toward me and instantly I knew he would know the solution! (This was brother Bo-Jay).
On another occasion, I heard words from another’s voice saying, “I could do anything if he were there”. “I remember him teaching us boys to dive, and he would say ‘Jump’ and I would sail through the air like a bird without fear or doubt because I knew there was no way anything could happen to me with him there”. (Brother Ruben we call Jabow).
He fathered twelve children and he has twelve separate rooms in his heart. Each child left a love so deep and binding that he/she thought, “I am the special one”.
Only once did I see him in real pain, when he lost his first-born son John Charley! He was like the old oak tree with all its leaves stripped from it, standing stark and bare against a stark and cold sky. He dwelled in a space only the two of them could shard! HIS GRIEF WAS SO INWARD NO ONE DARED TRESPASS! The only time I can remember him leaving us totally!
Then one day the word came, someone saying to me, “Ruth, I have to tell you something, be strong, your father has made his transition”. I could not contemplate it. No! No! I felt myself falling, it seemed into a dark bottomless pit of nothingness—I hear another voice speaking, “I had only two friends and Daddy was number one. I look out the kitchen window and I see him and he’s gone”. (Brother T. Warren G.). The voices go on and on, all eleven of them. “Daddy said this, Daddy said that. Daddy did this, Daddy did that”. Every experience uniquely different, yet so similar.
I hear his voice early mornings, “Baby Ruth, rise and shine, the early bird gets the worm”. The joy in his voice, the sparkles in his eyes watching a new day break forth. I certainly thought I was his favorite, the special one of his brood that is until I started to listen.
My buddy, my buddy, so kind and true, My buddy, your buddy misses you.
Oh, mine papa, you were so wonderful. Oh mine papa, you were so grand!