Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dad to some,Grandpa to others

I am taking Dad bury him along side Mom and my brother Rich. This will be a journey of faith and healing.
Before I start my road trip, let me tell you a little about Richard LaSalle Reneau, my Dad.

Dad was not a perfect man. He would be the first to tell you that.
But the thing I remember the most is that he was a man of prayer. He prayed daily for his children and grandchildren. He was not the most gentle man, but he believed God wanted him to tell the 'good news' of Christ, and he did it the only way he knew how...straight out. He didn't know how to do it any other way.

Before Dad came to Christ, I often  heard him wonder aloud that God could save such a sinner as he was.
On Dad's 90th birthday, we had a family reunion and all but a few grand- kids and great grand- kids were there.  Dad had a burden that his family should know Christ, so whenever we were together, he would take the opportunity to "preach' to us. This time was no different, but God had mellowed him over the years, so he said he only wanted to tell us the two most important things in life. One, was that we know Christ as Savior, first and foremost. Second, was that we love  and be faithful to our families. God has given us both, he said...our Savior and our families. I guess it hit home, because one of his Grand-kids, Patrick I , reminded us all of that very thing at Dad's memorial service. He challenged us to live for Christ and take care of our families. Patrick has picked up the mantle.

 Dad loved the outdoors. He never missed a chance to 'go to the hills.'
 He and mom could always be found in that old blue van somewhere in the hills...Big Flat, Ship Mtn Road, the Go Road, French Hill, Bear Basin...

You name it, they had been there. What a blessing  and example it was to me to see their love for each other and how much they enjoyed being together.
After Mom was gone, he didn't go to the hills much anymore. Just wasn't the same. 

Dad also liked to golf. Not because he was especially good at it,and he was pretty good, but because it gave him a chance to talk to his friends about the God he loved and served. Dad golfed 3 to 5 days a week until he was 90 yrs old.

That's when he began to feel the effects of the cancer that had been growing in his body for several years.

 Another thing Dad loved was to walk on the beach. He and mom often went to Fort Dick beach to walk, look for agates(well mom did), and just sit and have a cup of coffee together. Even when mom was too sick to walk anymore, they would drive up the coast for the day, get something from Mac Donalds and find an  ocean overlook to eat their lunch together, or to their favorite place...the hills.


Dad was proud of his service in WWII. He was proud of being a Marine, and he would tell you that he knows God's hand of protection was on his life. Before Dad came to Christ, he was a drinker and a fighter. He spent many a night in a military brig.  But God saved him out of that life and sent him to men who needed to know Christ and what He could do it for them. That's why he believed God spared his life and sent him to preach to prisoners, which he did for over 50 years.
 He said he spoke their language, because he had been in their shoes.

When Dad came to live with me in October of 2015, his body was filled with cancer. He was in a lot of pain and needed help getting around. I know he was sorry to leave his beloved Del Norte County, and it was a sad time for him leaving his youngest son Pat,as it was for Pat, but I loved having him here. I will always be thankful God allowed me to be there when Dad was ushered into the Kingdom. 
His last few months here were not easy. I often heard him praying at night when he could not sleep, asking God to take him home. He longed for his heavenly home and to see his Savior, but I would also hear him say, "Father I know You know best." He often wondered why God was leaving him here so long, but as I heard him talking about Christ with his hospice aides,nurses and even the doctor, I knew why. God still had work for Dad to do, and he was faithful to the end. Just one day before God took him home, he told the doctor that he had nothing to do with how good his children turned out. God had done it all, along with his "dear,sweet wife, Mary".

So, thank you Dad for teaching me to trust, 
even when I cannot see around the bend in the road. For teaching
me the importance of prayer and of being in God's Word every day.
I will always remember our times together and 
thank God for you.

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