Today's cheesy sentiment is devoted to Gary Holland, I like to call him Daddy.
[Oh good gracious, my eyes welled up when I typed out the first sentence! I have a strong feeling that this is going to be the case when I write my Schmaltzy Sunday posts. Note to self: 1) write when no one else is around, 2) keep a box of Kleenex handy.]
I know that I will never give an accurate description of my daddy; for who he is, what he stands for, and the strong foundation where he is firmly planted. But if I can give a slight glimpse of what he is to me, I know in my heart that you too will think he's just as wonderful as I do.
Gary was the firstborn son to a miner and a homemaker in the early 50's. He grew up in the mountains of North Carolina where he went to school and worked to help his family.
Sometime in the mid 70's he met an outgoing city girl named Nancy with whom he fell in love. In 1977, Gary and Nancy were married. They built a great little home nestled in Eden Valley where they started their family. In 1979 they welcomed a little boy, named David. In 1981, they welcome their first daughter, Yours Truly. Then in 1984, Gary welcomed another daughter, Nancy. (Being that I was born by this time, I will now refer to Gary as Daddy.) Not only was Daddy celebrating a new life into his family, he was also mourning the death of his wife, who died during child birth.
During this time, Daddy was working as a Sheriff's deputy. He was doing a fine job of taking care of his home and three children with the help of family and friends. While working as a deputy, he met a snazzy little redhead who worked for the County, enter Edith. In 1987, Daddy and Edith's sparks of interest turned into a marriage.
By now, Daddy had left the Sheriff's Department and went into business for himself as a rock mason. For the next 20+ years he had his own business building foundations and turning hard cold stones into masterpieces.
In the mid-90's, Daddy had an opportunity to assist with drilling as well in Honduras with a team from Western NC. After spending countless hours in prayer, he felt led to go. Thus started a missions wildfire in our home. Thank you Lord!
Since the 90's Daddy has led, participated, and prayed for countless mission trips to Honduras and Alaska to build churches, Sunday School rooms, soup kitchens, etc. He has also been an active member of the NC Baptist Men Disaster Relief where he has responded to countless natural disasters throughout NC and other states where he has gutted homes, cut brush, fed the ones who lost homes, etc.
In 2005, Daddy and Moma (Edith) were called to Gulfport, MS along with two other couples, to lead in the clean-up project after Hurricane Katrina. They spent the next 28 months aiding in the rebuilding/repairing of over 700 homes and touched many lives --- all in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
In August 2006, while Daddy and Moma were still in Gulfport serving the Lord, they welcomed their granddaughter, David's first child, into the world. Less than 5 weeks later, they were mourning the death of David who unexpectedly passed away.
I've given this brief history to say this: over the last 26 years, regardless of whether Daddy was celebrating birthdays, a win for a ball team, a child accepting Christ as their Savior, a baptism, graduations, marriages, anniversaries, new grandchildren OR whether Daddy was mourning in the loss of loved ones, a hard time in life in general -- REGARDLESS, he ALWAYS thanked the Lord for the blessings He has bestowed upon him, and rejoiced in knowing that He will always meet his needs and He will never forsake him.
I'm sure that some of Daddy's greying hair is partly due to raising me, I was one of four, so I'm not taking all the blame. Plus, I like to think that I was "the good child" hahaha. I will cop to the fact that I'm sure I made parenting difficult at some point.
Daddy has taught me so many different things, particularly: to be a hard worker, be thankful for things I have, work for the things I want but don't need, thank the Lord in the good times and bad, to give back to others who may be less fortunate than myself. He's been my go-to with any math or word problem I've ever had or will have....he's smart like that. He's taught me to drive a car, swim, and how to wash dried scrambled eggs from pans he brought back from the deer camp.
He has tried to teach me to drive a stick shift, how to throw a softball and to get in position for batting. He was not successful. However, I believe it was more of the student's fault than his.
I believe that my Daddy is the perfect example of a Servant of the Lord. My prayer is that my (future) husband will be the mighty fortress and foundation of the family as my Daddy has been in my life. One thing that I hope to show to my family, friends, coworkers, and the random stranger is that if I am only 10% of the Godly Christian (wo)man that my Daddy is, then I know I will make a difference in someones life; maybe even be a blessing to someone.
I don't care what anyone says, my Daddy ROCKS MY SOCKS OFF!
back row: Yours Truly, Brandon (BIL), Natasha (SIL), Nancy
front row: Moma (holding McKenzie), Daddy (holding Lucas)
Day out with Thomas. Daddy, Lucas, McKenzie & Moma
(Schmaltzy Sunday is where I write with "cheesy sentiment" about a person, place or thing that means a whole-heck-of-a-bunch to me. More than likely this person, place or thing has helped to mold me into the person I am today. To find out more on what Schmaltzy Sundays are about, read this post. )