My Father gave us a wonderful Daddy

Today, my earthly daddy would have been 72 years old.  As I chronicle the things my own children are doing, and as I watch my darling neices and nephews grow, I often think of how much my Dad would have enjoyed his grandchildren.  Just thinking about him and how he would delight in them makes me smile. 

Daddy has been with Jesus for almost 14 years, and we still miss him.  A lot.  But God… He has taken care of my mom and of all of us – and we have joy in the midst of the sorrow.  Selfishly, I’d love for Daddy to be right here, 1 hour and 15 minutes down the road from where we are now living.  That would have been so wonderful.  He and James and Nathan would have fished and gone to ballgames… But honestly, I’m so glad he’s living where he is.  He’s unimaginably better off… and one day, we’ll all join him!

Until that day comes, we’ll keep missing his presence on this earth, and we’ll keep thanking God for the gift He gave us in and through Daddy’s life.

Below is a re-post of something I wrote two years ago, on this same day.  Much love to each of you~
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Today my daddy would have been 70 years old. I can’t believe he’s been gone almost 12 years. He died rather suddenly when Nathan was a newborn. Nathan’s life and age marks the length of time my dad has been with Jesus. We still miss him, and sometimes something will remind me of him and fresh tears fall. (Like right now.)

PS: But then, I look at that big “poof” on top of my hair (in the picture below), and I have to laugh! What was I thinking!!!???

My dad was a funny, fun, wise, gentle, strong, happy Godly man, husband, father, son, brother, friend, church leader, community leader, patient listener, and hard worker. He had friends everywhere, and was loved by most everyone who knew him. He owned a small business in our small town, and took time to stop, talk, and pray with anyone who needed him.

When I think back to my growing up years, the words love, laughter, and the Lord immediately come to mind. Without apology, my mom and dad loved God, each other, and us, and willingly sacrificed to give us opportunities to grow into the adults my brother, sister, and I have become. He and my mom were a perfect pair. Where he was funny, loud, and outgoing, she loved to laugh and was content to quietly enjoy being his support.

He was our town’s “Santa Claus” and played the part so well that his adult friends didn’t even recognize him at first. He played Santa for charity events, the town Christmas parade, and for anyone who would ask him. He would dress up and my mom would drive him around town so that he could make surprise visits to people’s homes. He was a great Santa. He was a great dad.
I was searching for a particular verse in Proverbs yesterday, and was struck by the number of Proverbs that reminded me of Daddy. Of all of the many things he taught us through his words and actions, I’ll forever be grateful for what he told our mom to tell us right before he died. He wanted her to “tell the children that whatever happens is right, because God doesn’t make mistakes.” I can’t tell you how many times since then I’ve clung to that truth. He lived and died with his faith completely in his Lord.

What a gift we were given when the Lord made Gilbert Crawford and placed us in his life. Even though this verse speaks of our eternal heritage, I think of my parents when I read Psalm 16:6: “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good heritage.” Yes… I have a good heritage. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we were wealthy in the things that really mattered. I’m grateful to my Father, my mom, and my dad for the home and life they made for us.

Happy Birthday, Daddy. I’ll always love you.

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at


  1. This is just so beautiful. I'm so glad you shared your amazing daddy with us! And you were a beautiful bride…everybody's hair looked like that 'back then'. : )

  2. Oh Jennifer, I cried through this. I never knew the love of a Daddy but I had the love of my Grandpa who is with the Lord since Oct. 2007. I still miss him terribly!

    What a beautiful tribute to your precious Daddy and what a celebration all of you will have in glory together with the LORD one day.

    May the peace of GOD rest with your family. I love you.

  3. What sweet remembrances – funny, I posted about my parents today as well…what a blessing and joy is ours to have Christian parents..and the examples they have been and continue to be.

    Loved the wedding photos of you with your parents!

  4. Jennifer, what a beautiful tribute to your dad. Having a loving daddy is such a gift! One day you will see him again but in the meantime, it can be hard no matter how many years have gone by. Btw, you were such a beautiful bride! I got the opportunity to attend my niece's wedding this past weekend in FL and so enjoyed every moment.

    Much love,

  5. Your lovely tribute to your father brought tears to my eyes! He sounded like an amazing man who cultivated the most precious gift of all …a steadfast faith in our Lord Jesus!