This I believe . . .
When my father was told he had six inoperable brain tumors, cancerous, he went from hearing the news to immediate acceptance. Faith in his God was so secure and unshaken, even with this news, he never questioned “why me”? His response – to visit with every family member and every friend to be sure they each knew how much he loved each one of them and how important each had been to his life.
My father was a quiet man, but there was never any doubt where one stood with him whether you were one of his seven children or a friend. It will be ten years since his death this December and I miss him even more now than before. My heart aches for words unspoken even though I never doubt his love for me nor mine for him.
As he was making funeral arrangements, he requested that the following be included in the handout at his service. It was what he believed and how he lived his life. I believe this was to let his children to know concretely how he lived. I have carried this in my wallet since that service and often pull it out to remind me what is important how to be a better person – to be more like my father.
– Above all, cherish your family, friends and faith in God.
– Stand up for what you believe. Life is not a popularity contest.
– Earn the trust of others. Everything in life starts with it.
– Be willing to take on new adventures. Don’t torture yourself with what you might have done.
– Move forward decisively, and don’t leave yourself on the shore.
– Do your best, no matter how modest the task. Be all you can be everyday. You never know who is looking up to you as a mentor.
– Be an encourager, especially to those without hope.
– Be optimistic in everything you do. Attitude is far more important than talent.
– Celebrate diversity. We are a nation of minorities, and will become more so.
– Serve others. The spirit of volunteerism is uniquely American and the key to our future.
– No matter what chapter of life you are in, no matter what your age, start strong and finish strong. Never tolerate half-baked efforts.
In Christ’s love, Nelson L. Purk
This my father believed . . . and lived, and I believe in his words and attempt to follow his footsteps.
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