That one simple word…..what does it conjure up in your mind? It is often just attributed to that one man in your life that brought you life. The one you grow up adoring and hoping you’ll find a mate just like. Growing up I was not blessed with that kind of dad. My father left when I was two and caused trouble until I was 21. No, God had another dad in mind for me. His name … John Henry Schultz, my husbands’ dad. He is the only person I called “Dad.” He is the only man who truly fit that word.
Dad went home to be with the Lord, June 13, 2012. It was sudden. It was unexpected. It is heart wrenching. My mind is boggled by it all. My heart is raw and and tattered. My kids are completely heartbroken. Daniel’s (6) first words after hearing the news were “But he can’t be gone…he was my best friend!” And he was. Pop Pop “knew” Daniel and was crazy about him! They went on walks together, played checkers, and spent many hours at the swings while Pop Pop pushed Daniel high into the air.Matthew (15) just cried when we told him. The very morning Pop Pop went to glory he sent out his daily e-mail about living each day for the Lord. Matt responded to that e-mail immediately saying thank you and that the verses he sent out helped him a lot that morning. Matt’s parting words in that e-mail were, “I love you, Pop Pop! Have a great day!” He DID! It was the rest of us having a lousy day!Sarah (13) was Pop Pop’s princess. Never a visit went by when Dad didn’t tell her how beautiful she was. He always encouraged her to do her best. I remember we were visiting and Sarah had a spelling test the next day. Sarah HATES spelling. He sat with her and went over each word until she knew them by heart and encouraged her that she could do it.Drew (2) doesn’t understand much of what is going on. He’s confused as to why we are laughing one minute and crying the next. It breaks our hearts that he will never really remember what an amazing Pop Pop he had. Drew was the light in Pop Pop’s eyes! He laughed every time he was with Drew. One of my last pictures of Drew and Pop Pop is Drew playing peek-a-boo in the stroller. You don’t see Pop Pop as I was focusing on Drew – but the smile on his face says it all – he LOVED his Pop Pop! One of Drew’s first words was Pop Pop. He misses him, too.Andy’s parents have always displayed a strong faith and love for our loving God. Both have always been amazing followers of Christ. They ALWAYS pointed us to the truth and ALWAYS prayed for us. During the funeral, Matt commented on how it was Pop Pop’s prayers that carried him through passing the 9th grade…and all the previous grades! He’s right! Now half of that prayer team is gone. It’s going to take many more to replace those prayers.Though we are completely broken by this event, we are not crushed. Though we are perplexed, we are not in despair (2 Corinthians 4:8). Dad knew his Savior and served Him with his whole heart. We KNOW he is in heaven worshipping his Lord. We KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, we WILL see him again. I know the tears I cry are completely selfish. I want him here with us, praying for us, my children, giving us words of wisdom, loving us the way only he could, helping us navigate this thing called life. But he is no longer in pain, no longer dealing with the craziness of this world. And I praise God for that.
I am so thankful I had a Dad. I may have waited 24 years, but I got the best one out there. And, yes, I married one just like him! I am so blessed.The above picture is the very last picture I took of Dad. Mom and Dad had come down to our annual block party to see Matt and Sarah participate in ministering to the people in our neighborhood. He was so proud! He witnessed the legacy that he and mom began so many years before with their own sons. I was disappointed that I didn’t get a picture of them with the kids but didn’t want to call them back as it was so hot and they had a long drive home, so I quick took this snapshot as “proof” that they had been there. I always thought there would be a “tomorrow” to take that group picture. Never wait until tomorrow….be intentional. Dad was and I’ll never forget that as long as I live. Thanks Dad! I know you have heard the words, “Well done! My good and faithful servant!” We miss you!