I just listened to it again, late in the evening for, and I don't know how many times since I think God compelled me to look at Wal-Mart to see if you had a new album out (I guess I have them all). I wanted to tell you that this song on your latest project was truly meant to minister to my family. My dear wife is presently up in north Arkansas on the family farm (near Mountain View) helping to take care of her precious daddy who has terminal cancer. We figure he may just have weeks to live. We've all started to talk about and think of the things we'll want to do during the funeral service to honor him. For instance, one song he's asked to be played will be 'Far Side Banks of Jordan' as a farewell to his beloved. I tell folks my mother-in-law is one of those persons in which you see and really feel the love of Jesus. I know she'll want to hear and consider 'I Will See You Again' to be played as her tribute to him. He's a cattle farmer, and they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary (not the 60th) last December. It would please mom to share, in this song, the message of eternal hope through our Savior Jesus Christ, and heavenly reward we're all striving for! I cannot wait for my wife to get home later this weekend to play it for her! Since my own dad passed away when I was 12, my father-in-law became a real father figure here on earth. I married his oldest daughter, and he always referred to me being married to his 'Ol #1' I came to love him SO much, and it just came natural for me to call him 'Dad.' I guess I'm pretty much a city boy, and we never had a lot in common. . . except for a love of bluegrass music. His favorite group is Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and I grew to especially love their music too. Their gospel songs, and A Capella renditions are awesome! I just wish I learned to play. However, I do have a good friend here in Conway who does, and I get an invite to come to every pickin they hold at their house (2-3 times a year). I'm pretty proud of my friend, in that he is the reigning Arkansas Old Time Fiddle Champion! And, I guess people think I'm a bit strange for having my own, special cell phone ring-tone of Ricky Skaggs version of, "How Mountain Girls Can Love" when the little lady calls me. But, it's all in fun! I've always wanted to hear you and your band live, and I'll get my chance, but will have to wait about 8 months until you make it to Conway. I lucked out to be able to get 2nd row seats when they opened up general ticket sales, and am looking forward to that April 30th date! Thanks for letting me share with you from the heart! Sincerely, Mike
Well. . . dad left us for heaven around midnight last night. I came back to Conway yesterday afternoon, knowing we needed to be ready to make travel plans to get our twin daughters back to Arkansas. We got news that dad's vital signs were getting weaker Friday night, and my wife wanted to get right up there to the farm, especially to be there with her mom. I played 'I Will See You Again' on the way for her in the car (may not have been the best idea). She flooded over with tears, but later, when she regained her composure, she simply said, "you can play the song for mom, but just not until dad is gone." The remnants of hurricane Ike were passing through the state last night, and particularly hit hard up in the north part. My wife said the power was out up there, and lots of tree limbs on the ground. I think dad just wanted to go out with a lot of hoop-la (it would be just like him!). The pastor @ Timbo Valley church said he would set up a power generator for the visitation & service later in the week, if need be. I really felt a need to be in church, and go ahead and sing in our choir. My choir director was kind enough to allow me to play 'I Will See You Again' before we started rehearsal. I just wanted my church friends to get a real sense of what a wonderful man my father-in-law was. I had forgotten that there was a young lady in our group who had just suddenly lost her 55 year old father within the past week (just 3 years older than I am). I looked over, and she was really teared up. I called my brother from NW Arkansas to tell him the news about dad, and mentioned the song. He recognized the song right away. He said you sang that @ Tontitown, and told the story of how it was written. Said it was very moving for everyone in the audience. As today concludes, I think it was a particularly sunny, mild, late-summer kind of day around here. The storms had cleared out, and a fine piece of weather was ushered in. The sunset was beautiful! I couldn't help but think that God was letting dad ride out on a high note! Again, thanks for letting me share on your message board! Sincerely, Mike
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Please give our best to everyone there.
We just got back home from dad's funeral. Mom decided to play 'I Will See You Again' and we all especially lost it for a moment then, because it really told the story of my father-in-law, and my mother-in-law's love for him. We think there may have been over 600 folks at the visitation & funeral who paid their respects. Several men told us that dad really was their best friend. He touched SO many lives in his 74 (short) years on this earth. We hated to leave mom alone at this time, but that's what she wanted. She wanted some alone time to pray and reflect. And, we know that, over time, things will get better. There are SO many good people in the community who will help us help try to heal her heart. I think hearing your song helped to begin that healing process, for she knows she will see her forever best friend again someday in heaven. See you end of April next year, Rhonda!