Mon 20120528 1406hrs
My brother-in-law Donald just informed me that on this day of honoring our fallen heroes, my Father-In-Law, Mr. Hugh Bateman Impson, Jr., quietly slipped away this morning, completely at peace, at 08:30 Pacific Daylight Time. But Mr. Hugh was much more than my Father-In-Law – he was my second Dad.
Dad, who served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, was a highly regarded soldier and his love for his country was unwavering. He was a great man, a loving and supportive husband, a father of eight, a beloved grandpa and great-grandpa, and a great soldier; and in true fashion, “he chose today to leave this world on the wings of eagles”.
Due to his chronic illness and the distance in miles, I have not seen or spoken to Dad since April 2008 when my Marine son graduated USMCRD, San Diego. I remember his eyes glistening with tears as he witnessed my son’s graduation. My son specifically wanted Grandpa present as he loves and esteems his father Paul and his grandpa Hugh, and was so proud to follow the family’s Military tradition. I do hope Dad was proud!
The Word reminds us that, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” I believe God will shed His blessings on us at this time; for it is now when our faith is tested the most, that our faith will see us through the sorrows of this trial. Yet, we must never forget the joy in having had Dad in our lives. I know that our unity in love and faith will keep Dad’s family strong and available for each other.
One of my favorite poems has always been HIGH FLIGHT by John Gillespie Magee, Jr., and those were the first words I remembered after reading Donald’s message, especially in light of his reference to “on wings of eagles”:
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence. “Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Hovering there I’ve chased the shouting wind along and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious burning blue, I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace, where never lark, or even eagle, flew; and, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”
Dad, I know you’re flying with the angels right about now, but I just want to thank you for always being there and for supporting my family, especially when Paul was stationed OCONUS during our stint in the Army. You always provided us with words of love and encouragement, and, on occasion, your words of admonition when needed. Thank you for loving us and accepting us, and most especially for accepting James as one of your own and for taking him under your wing at a time he most needed you. We will miss you greatly, but we know that we will meet again one day. Be at peace, and know that you are much loved.
I love you much, Dad!
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8