If you read the Teary Traditions post, you may remember the little blooper we shared as a family when we tearily went to watch my dad's very special surprise video message and realized that we in fact, had the wrong DVD.
Well, we finally got all our ducks in a row and since all of us girls were together this last weekend, we sat down to watch it. We were equipped and ready with a full box of kleenex and we situated ourselves where we could easily console one another as the floodgates opened.
Just as quickly as the tape started rolling, the tears started streaming. My dad videotaped this little segment last December 2nd, 2008. He speech was still understandable to the family, but barely audible to the general public. You could see how it was a struggle for him to make out the words but how at the same time, there was an urgency and sense of importance in what he had to say.
He started out talking to Emily- and to her future husband who (bless him whoever he is) will have many layers of brother-in-law to penetrate through one day and, the "dad talk" via DVD.
He had specific words of wisdom for all of his girls and son-in-laws, reminders of his love and appreciation for my mom, reminders of his love for his present and future grandchildren and the admonition for all of us to live out our faith, walk with God and teach our children to do the same. And of course... several reminders of just how much he loved watching us all play basketball and how Emily is going to be the one to go all the way! Surprised?
It was the perfect mix of dad. He filmed this video when he was still in the uncontrollable laughter phase of the disease. He'd be in the middle of a very heart-wrenching sentence and then break out into hysterical laughter. This of course, allowed the very emotional viewers a few brief intermissions from crying in exchange for laughter.
It truly was and will always be a treasure. I'm thankful that he took the time to do this. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to sit down and record a video that you know your loved ones will only watch once you have passed on.
The theme of his message was no surprise as it's the same thing he lived out and encouraged us to do when he was still with us. Now I feel as though he has joined the great cloud of witnesses found in Hebrews 11 and is saying, "Run with perseverance the race marked out for you." I'll be cheering you on.