June 20, 2004

Happy Father's Day To All Of Our Dads!

DMG's Family in 1984Happy Father's Day to Dads everywhere!

My own father, Madison J. "Bud" Green, passed away at 71 on November 20, 1987, so it's been a long time since I last got to wish him a Happy Father's Day. The family photo on the left was taken at Thanksgiving of 1984. That big tall guy on the right is now my brother-in-law, Ernie "Pyro" Vallas, and he's the dad of my nieces Lacey and Rebecca, so Happy Father's Day to Pyro! (Ever a rebel, I'm the one wearing stripes in an otherwise plaid family!) I shot the picture below at Lacey's 2nd birthday in July of 1987. I believe it's the last photo I ever took of Dad, and it shows him helping Lacey blow out her candles.

I wrote a tribute to my father that was read by Deacon Bill Vasquez during Dad's memorial service on November 25, 1987. I'm including it here to make sure people keep remembering Dad.

DMG's dad Bud and niece LaceyWe are here today to honor Madison J. Green, Bud to all who knew him even slightly. And Bud was the right name for him, because he was an instant buddy to everyone he ever met. There will be few amongst us today who can't recall at least one time when he went out of his way to do us a favor, or said something silly to make us smile, or paid us a compliment when we needed it most.

Bud left the way he would have wanted to go if the choice had been his to make, with a fishing pole in his hands, and a five-pound catfish on his line. And he went out a winner, too, having picked five correct lotto numbers only six days earlier. His only regrets would have been that he missed by one day the wedding of his cherished daughter, Diane, to the man Bud loved so much, Pyro, and by two days the 46th anniversary of his union with his beloved wife, Helen.

Naturally, those of us who remain behind will miss Bud, but he isn't really gone, just out of sight, because he holds a place in each of our hearts and memories. He will live on as long as even one of us is around to think about him from time to time, because good men and women can never die, not as long as there are other good people around to remember them.

Bud Green will live forever in our hearts, because he was one of God's best men. He was a simple man, with simple wants and needs. He gave his family everything they ever needed or wanted, he never asked for much from anyone, and he always gave in return much more than he was asked for. He had felt pain for years, but he seldom complained and he never once asked, "Why me?"

We will all miss Bud Green, but we should not be saddened by his passing, but rather should rejoice in it, for he has gone on to a better place, where he will feel no more pain, where every lake is free of snags, and the fish are always biting.

When Our Lord was on this earth, He called several fishermen to walk with Him. He must have needed one more in heaven, because He has just taken home one of the best. As Diane plans to tell his beloved and treasured little granddaughter, Lacey, Bud Green is fishing with Jesus now.

For my dad,
with much love,

Posted at 5:00 AM in DMG's Family, DMG's Friends, Holidays