He’s been in heaven for 23 years now and I still miss him. I miss his deep chuckle, his home-made chocolate milkshakes, the way he wore a baseball cap and drove an old pickup, his love for our family and how he wanted to keep all seven of us close, and how he would kneel down to talk to children. Born Roy Calvin Blakeley in Fresno, California, in 1918, he met our mother Opal Presnell at Southern California Bible College and talked her into eloping during Christmas break. He had several interesting roles in life—a farmer, a soldier, a pastor, a ventriloquist, a builder, an encourager to many, and a fixer of most anything. But, most important to me, he was my daddy.
In the 1980’s I decided to compile a little book of his comments on life and mother’s recipes. He had a lot of wisdom and I wanted to capture some of it. Here is some of what he said when I asked him what he thought about heaven:
“I personally believe that the greatest carpenter that ever lived on the earth was Jesus. I think that all of the joints He fit were perfect and I doubt seriously that He made any errors of any kind in His building. And I believe He is a fantastic overseer. So I simply take Him at his word. One of these days, He’ll have our houses or our mansions—or whatever you want to call them—prepared for us and, at that particular time, He’ll send one of His angels down and tap us on the shoulder and say, “It’s time for you to move to a different location.”
Now that he’s moved to that different location, I wish I could talk to him and ask that question again.