Please excuse this self-indulgent post to pay tribute to my Dad on his birthday. His birth name is William M. Chastain but all his friends knew him as Bill. My dad passed away in 1975 when I was 12 years old. He suffered a major heart-attack and never fully recovered.
The thing I remember most about my Dad was his gentle and loving affection to my mom and to us three kids. My brother, sister and I were never shorted when it came to Dad’s hugs and kisses. I am very fortunate for this since I know that in the 50’s and 60’s, fathers could sometimes be distant from their children. It was a time for “tough men” but I am so glad my Dad wasn’t one of them.
The other thing I loved about my Dad was his passion for people. He enjoyed being around people so much. He liked to make people laugh, he relished in telling story after story, and he never wanted to leave a place as long as there were more people there to talk to.
Finally, one more thing Dad enjoyed was teaching. He taught a Sunday school class at the church and would spend much of his time on Saturdays preparing for that class. It was an adult class and he would spend time creating flip charts (his version of Powerpoint) and writing everything out so he was ready to share the lesson and get people involved. I used to like watching him work so hard to make everything just “perfect” for his class.
My Dad wrote me a letter before he died. He had the foresight to share with me on paper his love for me so that I could remember it forever.
Well Dad, although you will have been gone 30 years in September, I just want to let you know that your impact on my life is not forgotten. I am hoping that I am able to fulfill your legacy of love through your grandsons (I wish you could’ve have met them). Many times I miss not having you to guide me through some of life’s challenges. I certainly could use your wisdom in my life now. But the things I learned from you in just twelve years were the foundation for a life that I hope, in the end, will be pleasing to you and to God. I love you Dad.
WILLIAM M. CHASTAIN
b. August 12, 1927
d. September 25, 1975