Thursday, April 10, 2008

an honor

Yesterday I had the honor of receiving an award from the Alabama Public Health Association inducting my dad into the inaugural class of their Hall of Fame. This is a professional organization my dad was very involved in throughout his career. Jonathan and I attended the awards luncheon at the conference. Unfortunately by the time we were contacted about this, my mom already had travel plans to be in Michigan. Here is what the ceremony program read about Dad...

Mike was a strong supporter of the Alabama Public Health Association during his entire career with the Alabama Department of Public Health. He was always more than willing to fill any position on the AlPHA board and do his part to be sure the association flourished. He lead the association as president in 1995. Mike always did what he said he would do and was faithful to AlPHA in so many ways. The passion Mike had for AlPHA is unsurpassed. He loved AlPHA. He was a constant recruiter no matter where he was. Many current AlPHA members were encouraged by Mike to join. A lot of the work he did was behind the scenes. He was a man of character, commitment and dedication. These three qualities shown brightly while he was unselfishly volunteering his time for AlPHA and continue to shine even today. It is with great appreciation that the Alabama Public Health Association inducts Mike as an inaugural Hall of Fame member.
The current president of the association knew Dad well and was the one presenting the award to me. He said that there are some people that influence you for a time and some people influence you such that you will never forget them. For him my dad is one person he will never forget. That was so humbling and wonderful to hear. When you lose someone, people really seem to give you about six months to grieve and then they want you to move on. Those are the people who are yet to lose someone themselves. Because others rarely speak of Dad, it was so special to hear that he will not be forgotten.

I was so humbled and honored to accept the induction on behalf of my family. It was a little difficult to get up and speak about Dad in front of the crowd, but I could feel him urging me on like he always did. It reminded me of reading him the scripture I intended to read at his funeral a few days before he died. I read it to him and then asked him if he thought I could do it. He said, "I KNOW you can." And I did. So I was able to speak for Dad again yesterday, with tears in my eyes, knowing he was humbled by the honor and proud of his daughter. He always was proud of it's my turn to be proud of him.


tamara said...

What an honor for your family to know that your dad still means so much to so many!

carrie said...

I am sure you were so proud of him. I am also sure it took a lot of strength to stand up in front of the crowd and talk about someone that meant so much to you without losing it. I am sure he was beaming with pride!