November 27, 2010

Daddy Hardy

Dear Clara,

I wish that you could have met your Daddy Hardy.  He’s your great grandfather on your dad’s side and after living an active and vital life for 96 brilliant years, he went to be with his Maker on Wednesday, November 24 at 6:00AM.  We had his funeral and burial today and remembered with joy the incredible man he was while surrounded by many friends and family.  He loved you already and you would have loved him too.  We’ll do our best to pass along his legacy to you, because it is a legacy of pride in all things that truly matter and humility in self. 

Daddy Hardy was Love.  During the service today, Uncle Jim read 1 Corinthians 13, replacing the word “love” with “Daddy Hardy”:  “Daddy Hardy is patient, Daddy Hardy is kind.  Daddy Hardy does not envy, he does not boast, he is not proud.  Daddy Hardy does not dishonor others, he is not self-seeking, he is not easily angered, he keeps no record of wrongs.  Daddy Hardy does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  Daddy Hardy always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  There aren’t many people who this could be a truly accurate description of, but it surely does describe your  Daddy Hardy.  He was a selfless man, who loved deeply, passionately and sincerely from the bottom of his heart.  He loved all people and loved them well.  He never had a bad word to say about anyone and even though he repeated himself a lot, he meant what he said with deep genuineness every single time.   He took the commandment to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself very seriously and lived it out in this world better than anyone else I have ever known.   

There were two things that were centrally important to Daddy Hardy: his faith and his family.  Daddy Hardy believed that if you committed yourself to the Lord at an early age, studied his word, and followed his commandments, he would bless you with a loving family.  He set a great example for all of us in that.  He was active and involved in his church and his community as a well-respected leader, not just because of his wisdom and his grace but because of his impeccable character and his big heart.  He served the church well, because he truly cared for people the way Jesus did.  He was also deeply quiet and personal in his faith.  He spent hours every day in solitude, reading God’s word and praying faithfully for many.  We always said the prayers of Daddy Hardy were more powerful than anyone else’s.  When we first realized that his time was coming, we felt a twinge of sadness that he would not be here to continue praying for you through the hard times you have ahead.  Then we realized that he’s just taken a step closer to God and that he will be standing right beside him when you’re born, whispering directly into His ear our deepest pleas for your life and health.  We are praying already that you will someday know Christ and I know there’s nothing Daddy Hardy would want more for you. 

Daddy Hardy is leaving behind 3 sons, 8 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.  You will be thirteen.  Although you won’t have the opportunity to meet him on this earth, he did meet you.  On his last night of life, your dad and I went to the hospital to see him.  Your dad put Daddy Hardy’s hand on my belly and introduced him to you, Clara Mae.  He told Daddy Hardy how much we know he loves you and asked him to watch over you from heaven.  He said a prayer for the both of you before we left and wanted you to know what a special man Daddy Hardy was.  We will do everything we can to honor Daddy Hardy’s memory by raising you with love and grace and by passing on to you the values that Daddy Hardy held so dear.  I know that’s what Daddy Hardy would want for us to do.  It is a lot to live up to, but I promise we’ll do our best to show you the kind of man he was.   


Daddy Hardy on his 90th Birthday


  1. Beautiful words to describe a very special man! Clara will know him through all the stories (including this one) she will hear about her Daddy Hardy...

  2. I am sorry to hear about Daddy Hardy. He really was a special man to many people. Your letter will be a blessing to Clara one day when she can read it. Send my love to Robert.


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