If I had a nickel for every time someone said "you are just like your dad" I'd probably be one rich gal. :o)
Growing up I remember him apologizing to me for that, I guess because some of the reasons that would get me in trouble or some of the crazy things I would do or think up would be very characteristic of him. I always wondered why he was apologizing… I wanted to be like him and thought that him or others saying I was, was one of the greatest compliments. I still think that today. :o) I'm so glad I took after him. Now, mind you the more I grow as a wife and mother I see more and more of my mother in me… which is also a very good thing. But My dad is the larger than life role model that I've always admired the heck out of. I look very much like him… and have his strong will running through my veins. (thus the aforementioned apologizing) However, I love that aspect about him.
He didn't have a traditional childhood, he lost both parents before he was 10, he served in the military for our country, he fought against racism as a police officer… even when it meant losing friends, he left a successful career to go into the ministry, he took 4 small children 4 thousand miles away from everyone they knew to carry the gospel to Alaska, he loved and served a small church for 18 years there, He raised his daughters to love the home and to love their mom and all she stood for, he taught his 6 boys how to be masculine men and men of God. He has showed so many what the meaning of loyalty and faithfulness means. He has loved… sometimes not being loved back… but he has always loved.
His life hasn't been a walk in the park. He has walked through suffering, rejection, confusion, violence, betrayal… and has responded to those things as one who trusts a loving God, responding with forgiveness, humility, kindness, courage, and compassion. I remember calling him when we found out about Asher's diagnosis and we just cried together but he said to me, "Casey, this is the time to cling to your faith and your theology… it's not just words in a book…. it's your strength and your life…. you hold fast!" And we did. And he did. And he led my family to do so.
He has led a full life already….. and I think that's just the beginning. Having 9 kids is a lot… but being a grandpa to all the grandchildren those 9 will Lord willing bring into their families… That's a lot!! I can't wait for my babies to be able to learn from him and be able to go on all sorts of adventures with him. I know he will keep them laughing and loving.
Dad…. You're amazing!! I really REALLY love you so much. I'm so glad God has brought me to where I'm near you again. You're my hero in 1,000 different ways.
Today I know doesn't just celebrate MY dad. I'm so blessed to have a loving and very loyal father in law, that I'm still getting to know more and more each year. Dan's favorite things to say about his growing up was that his dad was there for every game of his…. every one. Still to this day, his dad will come to the games Dan coaches to show his support. My daughter has great taste in people and at the very top of her list is "Bampa" He hung the moon in her eyes. I mean, if grandma walks in the door first she will almost immediately get a confused look on her face and start demanding where Bampa is. It's so funny. But I just love watching them play and bond together. I love Mr. Chappell's readiness for adventure and desire to experience and see new things…. part of which made him able to pick up from his life long home and move here to Texas.
I love you Mr. Chappell. I do more than you know. I'm so grateful that you're here in our lives. I know the world has so many pressures and images of what success is and looks like. But you love the Lord and still seek to understand all sorts of aspects of your faith, you've raised 3 children and loved them and gave them opportunity in life, and you've been in a loving marriage that truly is for life, and you have a magical touch when it comes to your grandchildren. That my dear father in law… is Success. And have I mentioned I love you!!!