The Greatest Man I Ever Knew

On April 28th, 1942 a baby who would grow up to be a great man was born. On May 1st, 2020 he unexpectedly left this earthly home and went into the arms of Jesus, leaving behind a lot of broken hearts, none more so than our Moms. But those aren’t the dates I want to focus on today. I want to talk about the days in between. I want to talk about his dash.

On June 27th, 1970 Charles H Moshier Sr married a woman with 3 children-my sister Debbie, myself and my brother Thomas-He didn’t just marry our Mom that day, he married us too. He didn’t stop there and he also legally adopted us and gave us his name. I bear that name proudly today. The three of us might not have been given to him by birth but he chose us by love and we couldn’t have asked for a better Father. Mom and Dad were blessed with two more children, my sister Kim and my brother Chuck. Together we made a family.

Growing up our Dad was quiet and unassuming, he was strong and unwavering, he was fair but he was strict. And because of all that I’d like to think I grew up to be a pretty good person. He taught us by example what responsibility looks like. When you think about our Dad you will most likely picture him puttering in his garage or mowing his lawn. You’ll picture him in sweatshirts and flannel jackets and my personal favorite, his suspenders. You might see him sitting at the head of the table at countless holiday dinners or laying back in his recliner watching old westerns, sometimes behind closed eyelids. But we remember so much more than that. We remember days of blackberry picking and sled rides and fishing in the pond. I know some might say if you can’t bait the hook you can’t fish but not our Dad. He always baited the worm for me. That’s the kind of Dad he was. He also taught us the value of hard work whether it was working in the garden or cutting wood for winter. I learned early on that you have to pick the rocks out of the way and prepare the soil before you can plant the seeds. And then as you watch them grow you have to keep removing the weeds or they’ll choke the plants. There are many lessons to be learned in a garden that you can equate to life and Dad taught them well. Dad also taught us that hard works reaps rewards and we remember spontaneous trips to the ice cream store after a long day of hauling wood as his way of saying well done. Saturdays were dump day and we always faught to be the one to go because we knew it meant special time one on one and a stop for chips and a soda on the way home. We cherish all those memories of growing up but I think the best years with Dad were the last years. The best years were the years of watching him with his grandchildren and then his great-children. Dad came alive around them. They brought out his sassy side. From the oldest to the youngest he gave countless rides on his tractor and most of the time they would fall asleep in his arms. They loved him and his relationship with them was special.

Mom and Dad would have celebrated their 50th anniversary this year and I can tell you beyond a doubt how important that was to him. I can’t count the number of times he would point to his ring during discussions about relationships and he would say “This ring has been on my finger for nearly 50 years and it has never come off.” Our Dad loved Mom and he relied on her for everything. They bought a new home this past December after 44 years. We never thought Dad would leave his mountain but he did and he loved the new place. He loved the view out over the valley from his kitchen window and so that is where we planted his garden. Mom and Dad enjoyed their retirement life. The simple things like reading the bible together in the morning or watching TV in the afternoon. Their new place came with a side by side recliner and one of my favorite images is of them sitting there together when I visited. Debbie’s favorite was sitting with them on the front porch and we are all incredibly sad we will never have the chance to do that with him this summer.

Our Dad wasn’t always vocal about his love. In fact I can remember precisely the first time I actually heard him say the words I love you. My sister Kim will tell you that Dads love language was one of service and I would have to agree. From the time he was a young boy he has been taking care of others. His siblings have a lot of stories to tell about the way Dad looked out for them, especially the two younger brothers Uncle Vic and Uncle Gary. My Uncle Vic talks about how he couldn’t walk for a month after he had fallen and almost broken a knee cap when he was 10 years old and Dad carrying him everywhere he had to go, and about Dad buying him his first pair of shoes. Our parent’s house was the hub of family activities and Dad was always in the center of it, taking care of details. Chairs, tables, BBQing, cleaning up, helping everyone to their cars at the end of the day-Dad did it all. Our Dad took care of us, all of us, always. There wasn’t anything we ever asked him to do that he said no to. He did a lot of oil changes, checked a lot of tires, and detailed a whole lot of my cars. When our kids were little, he carried diaper bags and opened doors and made sure everyone was safely inside the car when we left. Dad did a lot of little for our Mom-things like walking her to car every night when she left for work to open and close the garage door for her, meeting her at her car when she came home to carry her bags upstairs, keeping her car cleaned inside and out. They were all things that came naturally to Dad. He didn’t think about it, he just did it. That was how Dad said I love you every day. I can’t ever remember a time when Dad wasn’t waiting to greet me when I got there or didn’t walk me to the door when I left, always with a love ya babe, drive safe and be good. He was truly the greatest man we ever knew and we were lucky to have him for our Dad. I can tell you standing here today that Dads love for us was limitless and it was beautiful and it was a treasure to us all. We lost a great man. He will be greatly missed but loved forever. We love you Pops. Until we meet again, be good.

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