March 8, 1910 -- Leroy Deckard Sr. was born. Yesterday, my mom, son and youngest sibling went to place flowers on dad's grave and wish him happy birthday. Dad would have been 98.
My younger sibling and I realized that dad's birthday finally fell on a Saturday [again]. After dad's health grew less and less, we would celebrate on the actual day of his birth and not wait until a weekend. Now, dad is celebrating in another place and that place is with God. My family can celebrate dad's special day in the spirit.
Yesterday, I thought about the day that dad decided to take a trip to Sears [Arl. TX] to purchase some lawn equipment. My brother advised me that dad went to return a weed eater but dad told me he went to purchase a riding lawn mower so, I'm going with my dad's facts. (sorry bro)
It was May 9 (mom's birthday) the day dad decided to purchase a riding lawn mower. As dad was making his purchase, the clerk provided him with a dollar amount but dad realized he didn't have enough "pocket change" to pay for the lawn mower. (dad considered pocket change to be no less that $1,200) So, he makes his way back home to get more "pocket change" and pick up mom so she could ride back with him. Mom had already left home with my younger sibling so dad heads back to Sears to complete his purchase. Well on the way back to Sears, dad missed his exit so he kept driving with the hopes of finding his way back to his original exit. Dad made his way to the nearest convenient food store to buy him 2 packs of cigarettes and a lottery ticket. Dad (being a guy) didn't want to ask for directions back to Sears so, he continued to drive west.
My brother calls me around 5 pm to inform me that dad was "missing." I thought, missing? What does he mean, missing? My brother began to tell me that dad had been gone from home since noon that day. (A neighbor informed my brother of the time dad had left home) I was very positive and advised my brother that dad was probably out joy riding -- glad to be out of the house. In a calm voice I told my brother to call me back if dad had not made it home by 7 o'clock pm. My brother call back and still -- no dad. I advised my brother to give dad until 8 pm to get home and if he's not home, call the authorities to report dad missing. After that conversation with my brother, I began to pray and asked God to cover dad where ever he may be. Once I prayed, I was able to finish my grocery shopping then head home. It was 10 pm and still no dad. My brother had called the GP Police to report dad missing.
The next morning, I arose with me and my spouse, dropped my son off at school. I met the principal at the door and she asked how I was doing. I told her to keep our family in her prayers as my dad is missing. The principal stopped and announced on the intercom that all faculty and students need to report to the hallway. We formed a circle then she began to inform everyone of my family's situation. We all began to bow our heads then the principal began to pray. Tears began streaming down my face. As we all held hands, we touched and agreed that God would bring my dad back home safely and unharmed. The principal gave me a hug of assurance that dad would be found shortly. I believed God had spoken through one of His chosen, and my faith lead me to be comforted by my belief in His promised word.
Approximately 2 hours after that prayer, I received a call from one of my siblings with the good news that dad had been found safely. I had every confidence and faith in God that where ever dad was, he was alright. Guess where dad ended up???..........in Amarillo Texas. Yes dad made his way to Amarillo! He was identified by a resident who happened to recognize the car and person that was reported missing via all of the major news channels and radio stations. The Amarillo police picked up my dad then impounded his car because dad did not have a valid driver's license. Dad only stopped in Amarillo because he ran out of gasoline!!!! It's funny how dad stopped at a convenient store to buy cigarettes and a lottery ticket but didn't get gas. THANK GOD he didn't get gas or else he may have ended up in Arizona somewhere (chuckle, chuckle).
Once we located dad, one of my brother-in-laws just happened to be in Amarillo picking up a load. (he's a truck driver). He was able to pick up dad from the police station then wait for my brother and one of my sisters and her husband to pick up dad because my brother-in-law had to complete his truck route. (see how God makes provision for the events that happen in our lives -- even before they happen???) Dad gets picked up and his car was driven back by my brother.
Dad finally arrives back home that late night. He was exhausted and dehydrated from driving all night. At the time of dad's wild adventure, he was 94 years old. Even after driving all night, God kept dad alert enough to stay on the road, not lose focus and not fall asleep while driving. Wow, God IS good all the time!!! God kept my dad from dangers seen and unseen. Dad had about $1,300 in his pocket during his adventure. He could have easily been harassed while driving, robbed, beaten or even lost his life but God sent His angels to protect dad during his travels. What a wonderful God we serve! Once I looked upon dad's face, I gave him a big hug and kiss on the forehead. I told him how glad I was to see him. Mom was not that cordial. She said, "man -- how in the world did you end up in Amarillo?!?" Dad's response was, "oh woman, I am too tired to fuss with you right now!" Dad went on in the house to get a bath and good night's rest.
The next evening, my family and I went to visit dad and mom. We engaged in conversation with dad and asked how he ended up in Amarillo, of all places. He told us what happened then said the funniest thing. Dad told us that he tried to call my brother but couldn't get his cell phone to work. I thought, cell phone??? I said to dad, "but you don't have a cell phone." He said, "yes I do -- but it wouldn't work." I asked dad to show me his cell phone. He told me that his phone was in the house, the black phone. The "cell phone" just happens to be outside so, he picks up the phone. Dad took the cordless phone from home with him just in case he got lost. I busted a gut and told dad that the cordless phone is not the same as a cell phone. I explained to dad the different functions between the 2 phones. Now, we're all laughing our socks off...in tears. Dad stated, "no wonder that phone wouldn't work!!!!".....then we began to laugh again until our jaws were hurting..we couldn't laugh any more. Dad had figured since us kids were always using our cell phones that his would work too. Dad found out that day that he did not have a cell phone after all. That day, we all learned that life will catch you off guard when you least expect it. This is the reason why we all have to be ready in season and out of season.
God gave us several more wonderful years with our dad and I am so grateful that dad was able to live out his life and leave this side of heaven in peace to go and be with our Lord.
Happy Birthday Amarillo Kid!
Pastor Doris G. Deckard
- Pastor Deckard
- Dallas, Texas, United States
- Pastor Deckard is a native Texan and lives in Dallas with her family. She preached her first sermon in 2004 and was ordained in 2008. Pastor Deckard has continued to preach and teach at Church of the Solid Rock. She has made her life all about service and participated in many workshops and seminars, from parenting symposiums to diversity conferences along with speaking engagements. Pastor Deckard has traveled locally and internationally, preaching and singing for the Lord. She is a Partnered Ally with the University of North Texas Equality and Diversity Programs and received many awards for her various community-outreach programs and volunteer services. One ministry very close to her heart is Sand Branch. As a Preacher of the Gospel, Pastor Deckard desires to introduce more souls to Christ as she encourages others to focus more on spirituality and their relationship with the Lord. Pastor Deckard founded D. G. Deckard Ministries in 2007, a 501c3 Christian organization. She is also the founder and Pastor of Church the Solid Rock, Dallas TX; a place of worship, acceptance and spiritual growth.
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