The mishmash of personal idiosyncrasies that we all possess make up the intricate fabric of who we are; our soul, spirit, mind and body are the sum of all of these parts. It's distinctively you, or me, it's us...our humor, our breathing, the way we eat, the cadence of our speech and the rhythm of our stride is in our DNA and life experiences woven into one unique person. Dad was no different.
He was a caricature of himself in living color; 6'4", 230 pounds with a hint of Brut and for sure the cleanest hands in all the land. It was not because he didn't work hard but because of his perennial obsession with clean hands. All of these pieces of his fabric unknowingly on display for everyone to see. He was likable, lovable, annoying, hard working and he was Dad. He was my dad, but to everyone else he was Reverend, Teacher, Mr. Bozarth, with the typical trappings of suit and tie and appropriate religious lexicon...not in a bad way or an insincere way, but just well...in the way you are picturing in your mind right now. There was a way about him. His traditions and goofy humor, his inability to solve a long division problem, but the wisdom and grace to meet with and advise world leaders. Are you getting a picture yet? Loving but stubborn, prideful but not arrogant. Quotes that only he would come up with, but quotes that will be carried down through the Bozarth line because we all still say them and laugh. "Don't say 'hate' on Sundays" ... "Suze, where's my...? fill in the blank." I remember he used to put milk in the freezer just long enough to get it as cold as possible before it would freeze, coupled with a bowl of cashews and M&M's sitting in his chair with a slight lean and his legs crossed just so. You could not have bribed him with all of the gold in the world to leave that happy place.
He was big, and strong, and funny, and all of my friends liked him...and yes my dad could beat up your dad...but, well, he wouldn't have. He would, however, take any phone call in the middle of the night, befriend any stranger he met, facilitate and cure broken relationships with all of the wisdom and true empathy of the finest arbiter, negotiator, counselor among us. Dad couldn’t fix anything or build anything but the grass was always cut. He was a lover of food even if it tasted horrible. Quick note to the rest of the family, dad was never just being nice when he had to eat horrendous food on a mission's trip or at someone's house....he really liked all food. One time he accidentally ate some cat food that was in the fridge at someone's house that we were staying at and he joked with us at how good it tasted, but I am 100 percent sure he was NOT joking. This was dad in all of his glory.
He was the master of his world but never thought so highly of himself that he wouldn't do anything for anybody anytime anywhere. His seeds of charity and good will are growing harvests all over the world. How many of us could say that? He never expected recognition, only respect. On our best day all of us may have one or two people that would jump in front of a train for us. Dad would have jumped in front of a train for anyone and on his worst day could have put the word out that he needed help and a 1,000 people would have come.
Always remember and never forget the ways of your loved ones. Their smell, their laugh, the foods they like, their philosophies and personal conjurations. It's what made them "them" and it has also probably crept into your fabric as well...let us embrace it.
Never apologize for laughing. Never apologize for crying or being angry. Always remember that even in the middle of your darkest hour there is hope and solace...look for it. It can be found in the intimate sounds of our loved ones memories. It's how we know who we are.
Who's on First? You're on first, I'm on first, we all are on first in a big game of tragedy, love, happiness and sadness. Speak words of life to your friends, family, and acquaintances. You never know who may need those words to get them through the day. -Todd