The mention of root beer barrel candy in the beautiful poem by Peter Sabath that was read at the service reminded me of a memory I had long forgotten about my Uncle Rick. I too remember getting those candies from him and that memory brought me back in time to a wonderful era where time moved more slowly and families got together often and enjoyed simply being together. In recent years, enjoying his family is my memory of my Uncle Rick. I enjoyed seeing him sit back and watch the wonderful families that his five children and their children created. I know he was very proud (and rightly so) of the close bond that the Sabath family has. My Uncle Rick will be greatly missed.
When I think of Grandpa, I think of the stars. Some of my most vivid memories involve lying in his hammock at the lake watching the stars and listening to the Cardinals game. I remember him being something of a mysterious figure. He had a force around him that I could feel even as a kid. I didn't understand it then, but I eventually realized what it was. Grandpa was a man of truth and integrity; a man of such good that everyone around him couldn't help but be influenced by his presence. Every time I look at the night sky, I am reminded of him and it helps guide me in my life. I can only hope that one day I can be as much of a man as he was.
Matthew Sabath, Lowell, AR
Dad practiced his "double whammy" on me. It took lots of practice to get the technique just right. I used to go get in bed with Dad and Mom in the morning on weekends when I was just a little guy. He would tickle me until I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to say "Please papa let me go" or he wouldn't stop. But I was always laughing so hard I couldn't say it.
I also remember him drying me off after a bath in our tiny little bathroom. He would sing "Davey Crocket". Dad liked to sing. He would also play Mario Lanza on the record player, especially on Sunday mornings.
All the trips we took in the car are also lasting memories for me. I always remember when we all went to California and when we had to pick up clothes on the highway at night because they blew out of the roof carrier.
Fishing and camping, and Big Spring and Montauk. Those memories will last beyond this lifetime.
I was with Dad when we drove around southern Missouri and northern Arkansas looking for a place for him to retire. Dad liked to drive, and so do I. I think I got it from him.
Dad mellowed as he aged. I love him and miss him very much.
I will never forget watching airplanes, trout fishing, having a root beer float on your deck, and your pantsless card games in Canada. I love you.
I remember trips to the zoo, standing in line for free seats at the Muny, watching airplanes and eating Dairy Queen, going to Marvin Park on Sunday mornings, trips to see Mom, Sunday dinners at Grandma and Grandpa's, Christmas mornings opening long hoped for gifts, fireworks under the Arch, camping trips where we would pull an ice cold watermelon from the river and stay up late singing around the campfire, Saturday morning tickle fights, and the love between a little girl and her Daddy.
As I got older, and it was just you and me at home, I remember making chili together on Saturday afternoons, watching Sunday night TV together, road trips out west, float trips, Cardinal games and Blues games, and even though I had fallen in love and given my heart away, there was still a special place in my heart for the love between a little girl and her Daddy.
I remember the moment before you walked me down the aisle you said, “I love you. You will always be my little girl.” It didn't make for such a beautiful photograph – I was crying all the way down the aisle – but it left a beautiful picture forever in my heart of the love between a little girl and her Daddy.
I didn't realize until I was older and had children of my own, and especially these past few years, just what you had really taught me. You instilled in me a love of God, country and family. You taught me to respect every person I met and to greet them with kind words and a smile. You showed me that a sense of humor would get you through tough days and make good days even sweeter. You taught me to work hard, and play harder. You taught me when life knocks you down, to get up…again, and again, and again. You taught me that we can't always choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we react to it. You always chose to love, to be happy, to cherish times with family, to be present in the moment and truly LIVE your life. You taught me so much, not by what you said, but by how you lived. Thank you for always being my Daddy, for teaching me so many valuable life lessons, for always loving and always giving.
Until we meet again, I know God is holding you in His arms, and I will continue to hold you in my heart. I love you, Pops!