Thursday, April 2, 2009

a tribute.

this is going in the pamphlet for the memorial service for my dad... one of the hardest things to write...

Everyone has a story. Each story paints a picture of life. Some stories bring sorrow. Other stories share burdens. Gary’s story generates HOPE. Here is his story.

Celebrating the birth of our country took a different shape in the Catalde family on July 4, 1947. Gary was born to Charles & Joyce Catalde at the Queen of Angels Hospital in Los Angeles, becoming their ‘Little Firecracker’. His nickname quickly became that of his personality, not simply holding the significance of his birth date. Gary was the middle child, placed strategically between two amazing brothers, Brian and Dale. The love and bond between the three of them has continually been evident as an example of how brothers should be knit together.

Following his marriage in 1976 to Caryl, Gary seemed to find a niche in life that suited him completely… fatherhood. Over the span of six years he became a father to three amazing kids; Summer, Tony and Breezi. Also, striking a unique love only to be found when he became Papa to his grandchildren, those whom he knows and those whom he was not able to hug, but loved nonetheless.

Gripping his heart, the Lord drastically changed his life. In 1984, in front of Tim Tom’s Burgers, Gary surrendered his life over to the Lord through prayer being led by Chuck Molton, a Los Angeles County Building Inspector. Immediately following that very precious moment, he fell in love with Scripture and its guidance for his life. Through it developing an understanding of God’s grace, mercy and love.

In December 2005, he wed Jan who walked gracefully alongside him through the last few years of his life.

Cancer seemed to enrich the faith that God had given to him. This triumph of faith manifested itself through the “assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.” A hope that despite things such as cancer, there is a plan that only the Lord knows and that only the Lord can understand. The cancer that seemed to take his life far too early, actually took his life at the exact moment that God desired. Seeing fit, the Lord called one of his faithful servant home. His 15 year battle with cancer was won, with the Lord saying, ‘well done my good and faithful servant.’

10 comments:

jenny said...

Beautifully written, Summer. You are a strong woman. God be with you.

Jeannett Gibson said...

Beautiful.

joy said...

Oh, Summer, what an amazing tribute to your dad and his life. I love the part where you mentioned that God took him at the right moment. I've never thought about it like that before. Love you!

Carrie Haughey said...

gorgeous tribute Summer!

I am sure your dad would be so proud of what you have written about him.

Our hearts and prayers are with you all. Hugs to all of you.

Matt and Stephanie said...

Beautiful, just beautiful

Renelle and Cole said...

This is awesome, beautiful, well-written, and super-touching! Your dad was such an incredible man and I'm so beyond grateful that I knew him! :) Still praying for you and the fam...I'll see you on Sunday.

Jamie said...

Summer I just had time to read up on your Dad. I was praying nonetheless. I will still be praying for you all. What a awesome testimony He has!

Joanie said...

A precious story about a precious man. Thank you for sharing. You are in our prayers.

Lisa Lewis said...

Summer, you have written so eloquently about your dad, giving us insight to his heart and love for Jesus. Thank you for taking the time to articulate so well the picture of Gary with Jesus! Now that he is a part of that great cloud of witnesses you can take joy in the memories and the new experiences that come knowing he is cheering you all on! Praying for your comfort that only God can give....
See you Sunday.

CornyCornKorens said...

Summer, My favorite memory of your dad was at your wedding; he "made" your wedding for me. I loved how he encouraged you in the Lord and I loved that he cried as he talked about how much he loved you. It was precious.

We'll be praying as you continue to miss him...while still rejoicing.