Rest, Daddy

Daddy and I after my graduation in 2012 with a PhD from Louisiana State University.

Daddy and I after my graduation in 2012 with a PhD from Louisiana State University.

I have not blogged in quite a long time. Writing usually comes easily to me, except when deep emotions are involved. Even now, pausing between these three sentences causes my mind to drift. I am still not completely focused. I don’t really want to write what I am called to write about today.

My Daddy. Norwood Francis Blanchard. Born on February 26, 1935. Died January 9, 2015. Four years and one month after my mother’s death. Reunited in death. Eternal rest grant unto him. And may perpetual light shine on them both.

There is a certain sense of consolation I receive knowing my father is at rest, and reunited with the souls who departed before him, most especially my mother. There are other consolations as well, including how as siblings we were able to surround my father in a circle of love during the moments of his last heart beats.

As a woman of faith, I know earthly death is not an ending, but rather a beginning of eternal life. I know that my father rests in the Heavenly realm, and is gazing on the face of Christ. I also know that as he is on that side of the veil of Heaven, he is praying for me and my family.

As his daughter, I miss my Daddy.

I miss him with my whole heart.

I miss his quirky jokes. I miss his little smirky smile. I miss hearing him say, “Get tough, girl.” I miss how he gave our youngest daughter a bag full of chocolate kisses each time we visited. I miss his advice. I miss changing his Bandaids.

I miss everything about my Daddy.

Daddy was an incredible man. He never tooted his own horn (too much), but he truly lived the Gospel read at his funeral.

Jesus said to his disciples:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when di we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you drink? When did you see a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’

And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food. I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’

Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’

And he will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’

And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25: 31-46)

Every person Daddy encountered was impacted by his kindness. From coaching little league baseball to changing air conditioners, my Daddy invested his heart and soul into people. Daddy served others completely – without complaint, without permission, without hesitation. His example taught all four of his children to give EVERYTHING in service to others.

He also taught us family comes first. At his funeral, Fr. Matt, our parish priest, said Daddy lived a complete life: he saw his vocation of taking care of his family, he worked diligently, and he gave completely to others. In the end, he had a good death, thirty minutes after his last anointing. He said many would think this an ordinary life – which it was – but it was complete and he finished the course of his vocation valiantly. My Daddy – the bravest most wonderful man I ever knew. He truly took care of us. Even in his death, he has taken care of us.

Rest, Daddy.

You have earned your reward and your rest. You have given everything in service to your family, others, and ultimately to God. Thank you for your example, your love, and your support. Until we meet again…I love you.

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Comments

  1. Absolutely beautiful tribute to your Daddy, Mary. What a man. It has been an honor to pray for him!

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