My Dad Died Twelve Years Ago


Yesterday marked twelve years since my dad’s home-going at the age of 71.

Calvin (pictured above) and I spent the afternoon on the golf course, and much of it was quoting Dad’s (Papa’s) sayings that he used to tell on the fairways and greens, like when I took too big a divot: “Hit the wrong ball first!”; or when our scramble foursome actually had to take a bogey: “This is a very humbling game!”

Richard Chanski was a mighty man of God.

“Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me” (Jeremiah 9:23-24a).

Dad knew his God, whom he called his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  He lost his left eye in an automobile accident back in 1973.  But he always said it was a bargain, because the LORD used that calamity to bring him to Christ.  “Lost an eye, but gained a Savior!”

Dad was once sitting with Calvin on the living room chair (as pictured above).  He said to his adoring grandson: “Calvin!  You’re my favorite!  But don’t tell anyone.”  Calvin responded: “Even if I want to, I won’t!”

Austin, whose firstborn he named Richard Chanski (after Papa), well summarized his Papa’s life while all were reminiscing on Dad’s funeral day.  Austin said: “Papa was always there.”  That nailed it.  He was always there for us!

Edgar Guest’s poem “Only a Dad” nailed it too regarding my dad.

Only a Dad

Only a dad, with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame,
To show how well he has played the game,
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come, and to hear his voice.
Only a dad, with a brood of four,
One of ten million men or more.
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.
Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd
Toiling, striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent, whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.
Only a dad, but he gives his all
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing, with courage stern and grim,
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen,
Only a dad, but the best of men.

My Dad WAS the best of men, a mighty man of God who held his integrity to the end.  He finished very, very, well.  He is my hero.  I want to be like him.  I want my sons and daughter and grandchildren to think of me someday, as I think of him today.

Praise God from whom my father came!

About savedbygrace1976

Mark Chanski (author of Manly Dominion; Womanly Dominion; and Encouragement: Adrenaline for the Soul) has labored as a full-time Pastor since 1986 in churches in Ohio and Michigan. He has been Pastor of Harbor Church in Holland, Michigan, since 1994. He has also been elected as Coordinator of the Reformed Baptist Network. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Cornerstone University, and a Master of Divinity degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He teaches Hermeneutics for the Reformed Baptist Seminary in Sacramento, CA. Mark is married to his wife Dianne, and has fathered their four sons and one daughter, whose ages stretch from 36 to 26 (born 1983 to 1994).
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