March 24, 2008
Family and Friends.
Brothers and Sisters;
I have prayed that the Holy Ghost would attend and comfort each of us during this difficult time. I have pondered upon how I should present my words to you and what my goals or intentions should be. Like many of you I went to Church last Sunday and listened to talks from a pulpit on the resurrected Lord Jesus. One of the brethren speaking told of the burdens placed upon the Lord for our salvation. He spoke of Heavenly Father’s plan that through the atonement of Jesus Christ we can return to his presence when our life is over. He spoke of the pain and suffering for us that the Lord endured so we can have our disobedience to God’s laws forgiven us. He spoke of the tomb where the Lord’s body was placed after the crucifixion being empty when it was visited. He spoke of the times when Jesus was seen; first by one person, then two, and then by the apostles in a room with no windows and the door barred. He told of the Savior being seen by 500. And my friend testified that He Lives. He lives who once was dead.
My Father crossed the veil Saturday afternoon while someone with a sweet voice sang to him. I am grateful to that person for the time they took to be to be with him. As the message of my fathers passing reached us, we were celebrating the marriage of my son John to his eternal companion. We were in the process of cleaning up after the reception and trying to get John and his bride, Sara out of the building, and on to what newlyweds do. But he forgot this, she forgot that, they had to talk to so and so about whatever. The Herrington clan with the exception of Alex who was unable to attend were gathering to leave. William and his family, Elizabeth and her family, Darran, Greg, David and myself, were called in to the Chapel area where my wife was waiting, she then broke the news of Fathers passing. As the news of this registered my wife declared to us and my son John that this was a day to rejoice and not to let my fathers passing interrupt or take away from the wedding. As the tears started to flow my wife spoke of how sick Dad had been and how he was too weak to travel to John’s wedding in the body, that he attended literally in the spirit. How John was the last of my kids that Dad knew well as he had held him and fed him while my clan was living with him in his home.
As many of you know, even better than I, my Father was a man of great energy. (I see this energy in my brother Bob) I know of few times before his stroke 20 some years ago, when he was idle. As a kid I remember my dad would come home from work and take a nap while mom prepared supper. I got stuck with waking dad up for supper so I would sneak into his room on hands and knees, and reach out arm extended and touch his foot. It was the only safe place. He would jump half out of the bed as if I had struck two pan lids together. After supper dad would disappear in to the garage to work on something or other. There was a T. V. show one night that dad had said that he wanted to watch about the birth of an island. Before the show started I went out to the garage to tell him. His reply I will be in in a minute. At the commercials I would go out and tell him his show was on, His reply I’ll be in in a minute. It was a good show and he never saw it. Did you know my dad made his own weed eater? Yep he took an old electric blender and added a broom handle to it. Did you know that dad loved Ray Price’s music or that he had played snow bird so often that we all have it memorized.
My dads favorite comment to me was some form of “Do you ever think before you do something? What were you thinking?” When I was very young mom had asked me to help her wash the dishes after supper and my responses was that was women’s work. My dad got up without a word to wash the dishes. When I was 17 my dad came into my room crying he said it was because he had bought me my first bicycle and had planned on buying my first car, and he could not do it. I had joined the same branch of the military in which my dad served. He is a hard shell,while I am just a pollywog. My dad is a war hero, there is an article on the front of the Kalamazoo Gazette with his picture. I served during peace time. Because of what I was taught as a kid I get teary eyed during the national Anthem. I think the greatest program for young boys is scouting because where else can they learn how to handle the nations flag properly.
If you notice I am wearing an old coat. It has some holes in it. It is worn from years of use and has served me well. The prophets have taught us that there is a purpose and a plan to why we are here. It is not just an accident that we are here. We came here to earth and a life of mortality to gain a body among other things. It is part of the plan that we die. That we take off this body and lay it down even as I take off this old coat and lay it down because I am done with it. My father has laid down his body for a time and because of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s we too will be resurrected. I cannot imagine how it must have been for my father to be trapped in a body in which the mind and body were both damaged and difficult to control. Can you imagine driving a car that shakes all the time as you drive down the road and once in a while the engine just stops on you. How frustrating it was for him not to go out and work in the garage and putter with things.
I lost my father. He has stepped across the veil. As a father; would you not want to see your kids after being separated for some time. My father when he stepped across the veil was greeted first by his mother, then by his father, with his brothers and sisters, and loved ones who have crossed the veil. I have lost my father but he is with his family. I rejoice in my fathers passing and his freedom from bondage to his body.
I mentioned the marvelous talk I had heard on Easter Sunday, which was preceded by the congregation singing the song “I Believe In Christ” with words written by Bruce R. McConkie. While listening to this musical testimony of Christ’s love for us I felt his loving spirit fill my soul and I looked down and read the words on the paper I was holding, an auto-biography written by my father, Allow me to share the words I heard in my ear even as I read them “ and to both you boys, thanks for not giving me a lot of troubles like some fathers and mothers have had to go through and thanks a million for marrying and giving your mother and me two of the nicest daughter-in-laws, we could have ever expected and the grand kids that has and will bring us a lot of pleasures in our older years.” Having read this as prompted by the Holy Ghost during a hymn on Easter Sunday I broke into sobs that just shook me and it was with difficulty that I even heard my friends talk on the resurrection of the Lord. I know that Jesus lives and so does my earthy father’s spirit in the paradise of our Lord. In Jesus name Amen
William C Herrington
In honor of his Father,
William L Herrington