Yesterday was my dad’s 71st birthday. I didn’t even realize it was November 18th until about 6 p.m. here, which meant that I found myself calling him at 10 p.m. his time. I never forget these kinds of things for my family and all I could think was that my days are flying by too quickly in this season. I’ve found myself going from before sunrise until well into the evening every day for the last few weeks.
Albeit late now, I wanted to honor my dad here. He was born as the 7th child of 7 children in 1938 on November 11th. Only four of the seven children survived infancy and his mother died at the age of 39 just a few years after he was born. Today only he and one sister, Mary, still live. Their dad died at in 1980 after living more than 80 years. My grandfather Riley was born on September 19, 1897, and his given name was Halbin Laverne Riley. He served in the Calvary and was a veteran of WWI. My dad’s oldest brother, Bob (also Halbin Laverne), was a veteran of WWII, and Dad (born Lucius Wayne but now Billy Wayne) was a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Most importantly, Dad taught me integrity and generosity. These character traits are strong values of his and he consistently exhibited them. I remember asking if I could use a pen of his (he always carried them in his shirt pocket) and he said, “This is a pen from work and you shouldn’t use it for personal reasons.” I remember him always working hard to provide us huge Christmases even when we had very little. And I remember his smiles when we opened our gifts. I have thousands of other memories (praise the Lord) and I look forward to many more in his remaining years. He is an amazing father and I love him greatly. God blessed our entire family through Dad.
Posted by: Bryan Riley