First published in 2007, here is a tribute to the legacy left by an amazing man ~ my daddy.
Albert Moses (AM) Rush
Born to Earth ~ September 1, 1926
Released to Heaven ~ August 22, 2005
Daddy had his Homecoming 4 months after his diagnosis of multiple myeloma cancer.
This is his legacy ...
1926. He was born in Alexandria, Louisiana to a Jewish father and Gentile mother, that would both die within 6 months of each other when he was 11. Raised by his grandparents on the bayous, he was a hell-raiin' teen who once joined the sons of the sheriff, the mayor and a few other dignitaries in shootin' out the streetlights of town. Eventually, he was sent to military academy in Lexington, TN - and would go on to teach flying to those in the Army Air Corp at 16. His first love was flying, having soloed in 1935, at the age of 9. Without his parents approval.
Around 18, he fell in love, got married, having two great kids- Randy and Robin. Years later, his business and marriage failing and without hope, he put a gun to his head in despair and pulled the trigger. The gun didn't fire, and he decided to give God a chance - knowing that he could always try suicide again if God wasn't real.
God was real, and his marriage ended when he proclaimed his salvation. His wife left him and gained custody of the kids, but he continued on in the walk that was before him. His heart ached every day after that for the loss that he had in not been able to be there for his kids -- and he talked of it right to the very end. He regretted not fighting for them harder, but in the day, fathers did not have the opportunities that exist now in those situations.
Randy would pass away at the age of 19, and Robin would eventually stop contact with him as well, shortly after his first grandchild, Candace, was born. At the very end, he still spoke of his love for them, how he missed them, and how his heart ached not knowing if they had truly made a commitment to turn their lives over to God.
Eventually, he remarried and I was born. Dad spent his life populating heaven, whether by bringing hitchhikers home, praying over everyone including the witches, mediums and movie stars he encountered at his job every day in L.A., he worked with the Hollywood Christian Group, leaving gospel tracks at every place he ever stopped, leading Bible studies in homes, talking to people on the street, doing baptisms in a friend's backyard pool. Mainly, he did much by simply living his life as an example of what God can do to a man who trusts Him.
My dad was funny, loving and my best friend. He was someone who was knocked around in his personal life, but trusted God that it was all in the plan. He loved his kids, my mom and life. He taught me WWII songs in the car, played a bloody game of gin rummy, knew card tricks and doted on his grandkids. He told really bad jokes, thought he was hilarious and was the most non-attention seeking person I've ever met. He loved fully, without question and forgave you. He accepted John into our family and loved him like John's own father never had. John adored and respected him like no other and was devastated when both his dad and mine passed within months of each other.
No one that came in contact with Daddy was untouched by him. No one.
When he was diagnosed, we thought nothing of packing up and moving back to Oregon to help take care of him. He chose not to fight the disease. It was too progressed, and would have gained him time, but not a cure and no quality of life. He told me that God had finished what He needed him to do, and it was time.
We spent from May through August with him, at home, and reveled in taking care of him. He and I had late, late night talks every night up until the last month or so. Sometimes, he was coherent, sometimes we talked about what was going on in his mind. One time, he thought we sold fish. So we had a rollicking good time talking about how the fish business was going that day. Good times :)
After he died, we heard so much about the man he was -- more so sometimes that I think I knew. Right to the end, he made sure he was still touching lives, standing in the gap. He sat my kids down, who were 11 and 12, and told them about what Revelation says will happen soon and what they need to watch for, pray for and be prepared for. He prayed over them and loved them with every fiber of his being.
He made sure that my mom had something to remember him by at her birthday and their anniversary, since this would be last ones right before he died. He planned to have them renew their wedding vows, something he never wanted to do and fought against for years, but he knew it would mean so much to my mom. So, he did it.
Daddy, I love you. And, I miss you.
But, I'll see you soon. In the blink of an eye.
Here daddy, sing me your favorite song.