Hardly seems possible that 37 years ago today I said good-bye to my Father here on earth until we meet again in heaven. By the worlds standards “Pat” Moeckl didn’t leave much behind. As we stood together as a family reflecting on our precious Dad we said Dad didn’t leave us a “penny” but so so much more. Then we had to correct ourselves because my baby sister’s name is “Penny”! (Sorry, Penny, I know you are a grandmother, I mean Gi-Gi, but you will always be our precious baby sister)!
Dad and mom hit a very rough patch when I was in middle school, they ended up having to sale everything and Dad became a hired man. Very humbling. Dad went in to talk with the banker to make arrangements to pay off the left over debt. Dad shared with the banker how he felt like he had been a failure as a man. The banker in our town sat across from my Dad and said, “I would give you my money in the bank and the antique car in my garage if I could say I had been successful as a father as you.”
No, dad didn’t leave us a lot of worldly goods, what he left us was good character, a work ethic that has carried each of us through life, our precious mom and each other. He used to say each of us was worth a million dollars (since there are 8 of us that is $8,000,000). He would be so proud to see how his investment has grown. In August over 85 of us will converge on the YMCA in Colorado and celebrate the legacy that he left behind. We will greatly miss those who cannot attend because of conflicts.
Those original 8 added 8 outlaws (outlaws not in-laws because Outlaws are WANTED!) Together 26 were added to the next generation who have added a group of their own outlaws. Together that group just added #42 to the next generation (Welcome Emma Juline, July 4, 2015 – my first grandchild, caringbridge.org/visit/emmajuline). #43 has been announced to arrive in January – who knows how many more are to come, just in 2016?!!!!
At Dad’s memorial our beloved Bro. Ed shared the above farm story and said in finances it is all about the bottom line. Dad’s bottom line was he was an ordinary man who lived an extraordinary life. He lived a simple life, loved his wife and raised 8 energetic children who have grown up to travel all over the world to spend time together. Even though many questioned their sanity of having so many children on a shoestring budget, as #7 I can tell you I am extremely grateful for their courage and count it a privilege to be part of the growing “Moeckl Army”.
Dad lost his 1 ½ year bout with a cordoma tumor at the base of his spine on July 30, 1978, but he won at the game of life. As the eight of us grew up and left home and returned for visits, Dad’s last words as we left the driveway were “Keep on keepin’ on.” During his courageous journey through cancer he upgraded this to, “Keep on keepin’ on – IT’S WORTH IT!” In the season of his greatest pain he added, “it’s worth it!” His life truly exemplified the fruitfulness of James 1:12,
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 (ESV)
I pray that my bottom line will be so much more than any worldy goods I have accumulated. Lord, let me be a reflection of You today. If you knew my Dad, please take a moment and share a favorite memory or joke. Thank you!