Writing stories to pass values from one generation to the next

No One to Call: A Call to Legacy

No one to call

The following guest post came to me this weekend in the form of an email. Stan Buckley is the founder and executive director of But God Ministries. I encourage you to click here to see the outstanding work his team is doing in Haiti and in the Mississippi Delta.

This email was not a ministry letter but a personal one. Like several other people I know, Stan lost his father during this past year. Like my other friends, Stan faced his first Father’s Day with no one to call.

No One to Call

I have no one to call. I know I’m supposed to call. I always have. But not anymore. I have no one to call.

This Sunday is Father’s Day. It’s a day to celebrate fatherhood. It’s a day to call your dad and check in and let him know you’re thinking about him. But as of March 27, I have no one to call on Father’s Day.

March 27 was the day he died. It was the day a man with an outsized personality and a zest for life left this earth. He breathed his last and now he’s not here.

A Call to Legacy

Because he’s not here there is much that is missing. His laughter is gone. His planning-of-trips is gone. His enthusiasm for life is gone. His recollection of people and events is gone.

His commentary on sports is gone. His preaching is gone. His support is gone. His encouragement is gone. His stubbornness is gone. His can-do attitude is gone. His optimism is gone.

But maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s not all gone. The more I think of it, most of it’s still here. It’s just here in me. And my brother. And my children and my brother’s children. And hopefully, it will be in their children as they live their lives to the fullest and pass on those traits they saw in their grandfather.

As they rear their children, hopefully, they’ll remember a grandfather who was not content to sit passively by while life happened around him, but instead embraced life and its challenges and opportunities. Hopefully, they’ll be stubborn enough to do the right thing and hold firm and not bow to the passing fads of culture. Hopefully, they’ll have fun and work hard and stand for the truth. Hopefully, they’ll love God and His church and serve Him faithfully for a lifetime.

No, it’s not gone. His good traits are alive and well. But still, this Sunday I have no one to call.

Stan, I am grateful for your allowing me to re-publish your letter. I once heard it said that a pre-requisite for being a good father was learning to be a good son. Thank you for being a good example in that regard. May all of us readers use your letter as inspiration to intentionally build our family legacies.

About Al Ainsworth

Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell. Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel, Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and the Coach Dave series. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.

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