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Friday, November 13, 2009

For Dad


The first time I met dad, he and mom were already living in Oklahoma. They had dropped kids off all over the nation as they moved around. The last 2 were still at home with Dad and mom.

I remember the drive up from Texas, being so nervous. It is always nerve- wracking meeting your new family, but even more so,when you come with 4 little boys. :) I was a whole package deal! What would he say? What would he think?

After a few minutes, my heart was relieved. He said, "Do you know how to play spades?"
"No, but I can learn. :)"
He said, "very good".....
and I learned.

After that, it was 20 years of discussion, interesting debate on everything from the Reformation to Politics, to the Ottoman Empire. Maybe politics wasn't so pleasant.:) But our most pleasurable conversations of all revolved around family and kids.

He LOVED kids. He gained energy from being around them. He loved the challenge and enjoyed the things they said. He laughed at all their jokes.

Mike said that when he was a kid, they would all pile in a van and drive to all sorts of places. They went to the lake to live during the summer and water sports were synonymous with Minich.
Mike said all 6 kids saw things like Niagara Falls, traveled to Michigan, the mountains, went camping, water skiing, visiting Aunt Judy and Aunt Noelle, and all the cousins, and many, many, places.
I remember so well, when we first became familiar with email, he and Joseph would write letters back and forth in poetry. It went on for weeks. And they were so clever together.

He taught the kids how to "snipe hunt".... unfortunately, he taught me how to snipe hunt too.
I got drawn in without even knowing it.

He was famous for his silly songs and camping songs and would love to introduce them to whoever would listen.

He and Bob took 2 of our guys on a 2 week camping trip to the 4 corners. They had a blast of a time and it was a REAL guy time, because the truth is, they came back wearing the same clothes and underwear they started out with. But before they came home, they stopped at a nice restaurant on a Sunday afternoon to have steak. My mind still cannot go there. =)

He took our youngest son Marcus and his cousin Tim to Arizona, and on the way, killed Bambi in the desert. That meant they to be towed into town, but he took it all in stride.

He was an amazing encourager and the biggest cheer leader for all of us. He always had something good to say.

It wasn't uncommon for him to call to find out what we were learning in History. We loved to talk about our history lessons. He said he had developed a new love for history and would read the same books.

He took the girls for a walk and they came back rather wet. He said, they sort of swam with the ducks. LOL

When we were in Ukraine, we called and he talked to Erika and sang with her on the phone.
She loved him the minute she felt his embrace. He made a musical slide show of Erika and sent it to us. I was so touched.

If I were to come up with a word for him, I think it would be accepting. He accepted everybody just as they were. He didn't have any preconceived expectations of anybody and enjoyed being with other people just because. You never felt that you had to impress him, or be anything, other than yourself. He made you feel comfortable in your own skin.

And I think that is what He was. Comfortable in his own skin.
He was happy just because. Not because life was easy or special or wonderful, but just because HE was happy, and his happiness was infectious.

Dad we are really going to miss you. You left HUGE boots for us to fill.
Thanks for being our dad.
Here is the slide show from the funeral.

5 comments:

Diana said...

What a beautiful tribute. May you all be blessed with peace and strength during this difficult time.

Hevel said...

At the end the only thing that matters is love. And he had plenty of it to give. I pray that you will continue to experience his lasting love for the rest of your lives and beyond.

Melissa E. said...

A gem. You were blessed. Still are. Great memories and a wonderful example--what a legacy.

mommajeane said...

I am so sorry Christie for your loss. I have been praying for your family. He does sound like he was bigger than life and I know the ache you all will feel now that he is gone... but praise the Lord you will meet again. Loving arms around you and your family.

Susan a.k.a Lucy said...

I am so sorry to hear about "Oakie Grandpa" passing. I didn't really know him but I enjoyed snippets of him via his blog and comments on our blogs. He will be sorely missed. Give Mike our particular condolences.

Susan and Glenn

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