In Memory of Pa

I was privileged to get to read this at my grandpa's funeral yesterday and I thought I would share it here as well. It is encouragement to me to live a life worth talking about.

Arnold Hyde was referred to by his kids as “Daddy” and by his grandkids and great grandkids as “Pa”. That’s how I knew him. He was my Pa. When I was young I don’t think I ever knew what Pa actually did for a living. I just knew he worked outside and he was always around at church. Outside and church: those are the two big themes I think of when I think about Pa.

Growing up, I lived on a big hill by these big fields. At the bottom of our hill was a barn. Pa was at that barn a lot. My parents would make me work outside in the landscaping spreading mulch or pulling weeds out of rocks or something along those lines. I frequently had chores given to me to be done outside. I wouldn’t be out long before I would look up and see Pa walking up the driveway. I would always think, “Oh no… here he comes.” Pa had a knack for watching you work or correcting how you were doing something. Let’s be honest, teens aren’t the hardest workers anyway so I sure wasn’t looking for correction. But Pa was a hard worker and he wanted others to work hard as well.

That reminds me, we had a dog named Sam and he sure didn’t like Pa. Pa would poke fun at him and Sam would growl and bark at him. Given their whole time around each other, I’m not sure if Pa ever once got to pet him.

I loved Pa though. He was always giving me things. I’m not sure how, but at one point Pa ended up with a goat. He kept it down at the barn and he told me it was mine. I would go down and pet the goat and look at it. I’m still not sure what happened to that goat. I just know one day it was gone.

As far as I can remember, Pa always had a white truck of some sort. I took many rides with Pa in various white trucks. When I was young, sometimes he’d buy me McDonalds. As he got older and lived in the nursing home, I got the privilege of buying him McDonalds.

As I got older, I’d ride with Pa just hoping he’d ask me one question. I’m not sure if any of the other grandchildren heard this question much so I’ll apologize now if you didn’t, but Pa would often ask me, “Do you need some green?” He was talking about money and more often than not, I thought I needed it. I truly lived a richer life because of Pa.

I am far richer because of Pa spiritually as well. Pa raised his kids in church and because of that, my dad raised me in church and because of that, I will raise my kids in church. Pa left a spiritual legacy that I am proud of.

He wasn’t perfect by any means, but none of us are. We’d always joke that Pa was the church security. He’d always keep tabs on everything going on. He’d walk the hallways and he might scold a kid for running. He’d make sure the lights were off and he’d know if someone was misbehaving. That was just Pa, though.

One thing we talked and joked a bit about growing up is that Pa wouldn’t eat at a restaurant that served alcohol. It didn’t matter how good the food was or who was going, Pa did not want to support that business. I remember I thought that it was ridiculous and that Pa was missing out.

What I realize now that I’m older is that Pa was a man of conviction and he kept those convictions. Pa was a follower of Jesus and he wanted to do what he thought Jesus wanted him to do and he wasn’t willing to compromise.

Pa was a Gideon. He handed out many Bibles to kids at schools and placed them in hotels. I can’t imagine how many people had access to God’s Word because of Pa.

He went on mission trips to Russia. Looking back, I wish I had asked Pa more about those trips and heard more of his stories. Pa loved the people of Russia.

He was also a big supporter of me when I felt like I should go to Sudan on a two month mission trip.

Pa knew the secret of life. He knew what it meant to truly live. Pa loved Jesus and wanted to tell other people about Him. He wanted other people to know what it means to truly live. He stood on his convictions. That’s why we celebrate his life today. Pa isn’t suffering anymore. He is finally with the One whom he lived for and I am a part of Pa’s legacy.