Today we celebrate the life of the greatest man to influence my life and the lives of many others. My father, who died unexpectedly just a little over a year ago, was a man of enormous stature--not only physically, but spiritually, and in heart and love. There is absolutely no way I can tell anyone who didn't know him just how wonderful a man he was. His love for his family was strong and total. His love for his wife was...legendary. If all women were loved like that at some point in their lives, this would be one amazingly happy planet. He was absolutely besotted with his family of girls, and then his daughters' children, one for each of us, a grandson and a granddaughter.
His name was Zane, and I loved him with a ferocity, and miss him more than I ever could have imagined possible. He was my Dad. If you'd like to join me in celebrating the life of this remarkable man, then do one, or more, or all, of the following things:
*Pray for someone who has mistreated you.
*Perform an act of service for someone who needs it, and expect nothing in return.
*Watch the German film, "Das Boot". Preferably the Director's cut, all 209 minutes.
*Smile genuinely at everyone you see for an entire day.
*Make up ridiculous lyrics to popular songs, and sing them loudly.
*Thank God for the blessings in your life.
*Thank God for the tribulation in your life.
*Reach out to someone who is going through a hardship that you yourself have endured, even if it is painful for you.
*Speak the phrase, "I hope I don't get crazy and fall in that cactus!" to a complete stranger. This is most effective in the waiting room of a doctor's office.
*Watch the entire mini-series (available on DVD) "Shaka Zulu."
*Make an anonymous donation that will help people in need in your neighborhood/town.
*Whether referring to the cartoon or the fried chicken franchise, pronounce "Popeye" as "Pie-Pie".
*Embrace a child, and feel its goodness in every part of your heart and soul.
*Lean in and tell someone conspiratorily, "Confuscious say, 'Man who fly upside down have crack up'." An acceptable alternative would be, "Man with hole in pocket feel cocky all day."
*Share your chair with a good dog.
*Play cards with friends or family. Utilize these crucial phrases during the play of others: "Think long, think wrong," "Are you sure about that?" and most importantly, "UP jumped the devil!" This last should accompany any trumping or winning play of your own. At various points in the game, slap a card to your forehead, so that it sticks (its face to your face), while you wait for others to make their play. Make clear the insinuation that no matter what they're about to do, the card on your head will slaughter them all. Be right.
*Tell your entire family exactly how much they are loved.
*Startle a loved one half to death, by whatever means is most effective. In the aftermath of their shock, look innocently surprised, and say, "Look out, now!"
*Show your family through your deeds exactly how much they are loved.
*Prepare a giant portion of a favorite food, preferrably ice cream, which you will refer to simply as "cream." When onlookers are astonished at the size of the portion, look shocked and say, "A monkey could eat it." When people look at you in confusion, simply explain, "Well, I'm a LOT bigger than a monkey!" Upon finishing your dish, lean back, groan, smile, and say, "I feel sooooo unneccessary!" as if that makes sense.
*Most of all, make certain that you are available for hugs, love, and support at all times. Never miss an opportunity to warmly embrace one that you love.
*Leave everyone with absolutely NO DOUBT about who you were, how well you loved, and that God's love shone through you.