15 Years Ago…
On this day 15 (!) years ago, my beloved Dad escaped the suffering of lymphoma and left the boundaries of this earth to enter heaven’s gates – to touch the face of God, and to return the embrace of the Lord Whom Dad served his entire life.
In a departure from my usual format, because of this day of remembrance, I thought I would share the WHY behind this blog – which I also have stated on my About page:
Welcome to Words of Encouragement!
I decided to revise this blog, which was originally my very first blog several years ago, and dedicate it to my beloved Dad, Ben Willis, who lost his battle with lymphoma on Sept. 2, 2002. He was a giant of a man, loved by all who knew him, and one of his greatest strengths was his ability to encourage people. At his packed memorial service–standing room only–his gift of encouragement was the most often repeated tribute to his life.
That, therefore, is the goal of this blog – to encourage others through stories, verses, thoughts, and other bits of inspiration.
The header, created by my wonderful friend Becky, is symbolic of several things.
First, the brick background represents the fireplace that stood at what used to be the family homestead and the site of many family occasions as we gathered in front of that fireplace in the livingroom.
Second, the photos in the header all represent special moments in his life and our lives with him:
*The blue chair – identical to “his” chair in the livingroom at that childhood home in New Hampshire; the chair from which he shared many of his words of wisdom and encouragement.
*Dad’s photo – on the left, this was from happier, healthier times, during one of the many camping trips he and Mom enjoyed (taken from the photo below).
*Our photo – in the center, this is my Dad and me; I edited this photo from a much larger family photo from about 20+ years ago, to create a new one specifically for this blog.
*The rowboat silhouette – on the right, this picture was from another camping trip; this one has my Dad and my oldest daughter in it, fishing at dusk.
This blog is my attempt, in some small way, to honor my Dad’s memory and carry on his legacy of encouragement and inspiration, to help others as he helped all of us in his family, extended family, church family, and so many others during his lifetime. This is for you, Dad – I love you and miss you.
So What Are YOUR Thoughts?
Do you find this blog helpful?
If you have lost loved ones, do you have special ways you reflect on their memory?
*NOTE* I also wrote my first book in his honor in 2012 for Father’s Day, entitled Fatherly Reflections. It is available as an ebook and printed book at Amazon.