My dad, William Robert “Smooth” Warren, passed away on May 3 from melanoma which had spread throughout his body over the last year. I was blessed to know that he knew Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, and went home to be with Him. I’ve been reflecting a bit since he died on the things I learned from him. His funeral was held in Palatka, Florida, this past Saturday. The church was packed with people he loved and people who loved him. It wasn’t your typical funeral gathering . . . most of those gathered wore jeans, black t-shirts and boots, and the roaring engines of Harleys announced their arrivals.
My dad taught me to never judge people by their appearance, by their past, by their situation.
He taught me that family is family, regardless. Family means forgiving, loving, accepting, looking ahead and not looking back to hold onto grudges.
He taught me to stand up for the underdog . . . and to never give up on your favorite NASCAR driver.
He taught me to be generous with what you have, even when it’s not very much.
He taught me to stand up for what you believe in and to stand up for freedom.
He taught me that when you make mistakes, you learn from them and move on.
My dad wasn’t perfect–I’m not either. It warmed my heart, though, to hear story after story at his funeral of how generous he was, of how he made people feel as if they were old friends when they had really only just met, of how he seemed totally at peace even just before the cancer finally took his life, of how much love he gave and how much he was loved. My dad and I didn’t have a traditional father-daughter relationship while I was growing up, but I’m so thankful for the time we had together after I was an adult. I think he was proud of the person that I grew up to be, and I know I am proud to say that he was my dad.