This Man I Call Dad

Posted: December 17, 2013 in Random Rumis

This man I call Dad.

This man is Omer Gwen Reaves, born 9-24-31 in Lloyd, Arkansas.

Humble beginnings for an exceedingly humble man.

I call him Dad, sometimes Pop.  And I will always call him the most gentle and tender-hearted man I have ever known.

December of 2013, this man I call Dad was diagnosed with Mesothelioma.  Cancer.  Incurable and virtually untreatable.

In the early ‘Sixties this man served his country on the U.S.S. New Jersey.  His service came after the Korean war, and just narrowly ahead of the Vietnam war.  You could say he dodged a bullet.

Point of fact: One of Mesothelioma’s main cause seems to be exposure to asbestos.  Asbestos exposure is common among servicemen aboard ship.

dad navy

Some bullets you just don’t see coming.  Some bullets can find you 50 years later.

That silent gun was fired, and the damage has been done.  This man I call Dad is still here, serving his time, serving his country, serving his God.

Everything I know about love and life and music I learned from my dad.

Many of my childhood summers were spent traversing our nation’s roads in a camper as we journeyed from one country church to another, where my folks would set up their limited equipment and sing about that “some glad morning” when they would “fly away, oh glory.”  My dad sang of Too Much to Gain to Lose; how “somewhere up ahead there’s cool clear water, and defeat is one word I don’t use.”

From an early age Dad showed me harmony, in his music and in his relationship with my mom.  By his simple easy presence he inspired harmony and calm in our family.

This man.  Soft-spoken, mild-mannered, slow to anger and quick to lend a hand or offer a smile.

If I am a good father, I owe it to Dad.  If I am a good husband, I owe it to Dad.  Anything I have achieved as a writer or musician I owe to my Pop.  If I am any degree of man at all…I can only point back to my dad.

This man, whose tongue lay still more often than not, has the heart of a poet.  From his writings:

SERENTIY (an excerpt)

~ I looked upon a scene so grand

Nothing moved across the land

But somewhere out there hid from view

Was life so full yet ever new

Low clouds had overhung the sky

Almost no breeze at all passed by

Then as I looked and listened long

The silent Nature breathed a song

My heart once troubled felt relief

The years of toil seemed oh so brief

Within my soul there welled a song

Almost, I thought, there is no wrong

Then I was made to understand

As I touched Nature with my hand

The mighty tree that stood alone

Was strong because the wind had blown

I would not know if I could win

Were there no trial without, within

For even as the mighty tree

Without the storm I’d weaker be

Within my heart now lifted more

I felt a song unknown before

At first a bubbling melody

Then words burst forth in victory ~

We don’t know (and the doctors can only guess) how much time my dad has left.

The world is richer for his step upon its skin, and will be poorer for his absence.

Low clouds had overhung the sky

Indeed.

As we count the months, and eventually the days, it becomes ever clearer that this man I call Dad is near his final gate.

Stormy waters in this life come rage around me every day
But I am near the gate
No evil fate can come and tempt me off the straight and narrow way
For I am near the gate

I’m near the gate that leads to glory
That narrow way I’m passing through
A band of angels stand to greet me
I am near the gate
.  ~ Shawn Lane

I’ll take your hand, Dad, and we’ll walk together to that gate.  But not too soon.

First, another song or two, okay?

VLUU L210  / Samsung L210

Comments
  1. Terrina Zackery says:

    Stay strong Omar…love from the Zackery family (Terina)

    Like

  2. I love this man dearly. He showed me that a father can be soft and gentle, patient and kind. He showed me what a true Godly man looks like. He will be sadly missed, but sweetly remembered XO Please don’t go too soon Uncle Omer ❤

    Like

  3. Jim Finch says:

    Very nice tribute Marty, True words, Omer is a great example of what a Christian man should be every day.

    Like

  4. […] via This Man I Call Dad. […]

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  5. Lionel Maurage says:

    It lets me speechless…

    Like

  6. KATHRYN HATFIELD says:

    A very nice tribute to Uncle Omer. He truly is a very wonderful man, a man of honor, a wonderful Christian man. A true example of what a Christian should be. I have always had the greatest respect for him. He will be Heaven’s gain and earth’s great loss. I love him so much and the tribute was beautiful.

    Like

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