My DAD

6

June 18, 2017 by thebolinbunch

My dad, Tim Helms, went to be with the Lord on Friday, June 2, 2017.  Read his full obituary here.

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I have tried for almost 2 weeks now to write this post.  Blogging is therapeutic to me and I wanted to write down everything while it was fresh on my mind, but I couldn’t get a sentence typed out without breaking down and crying.  With the Lord’s help, I finally feel like I am ready to share a blog post on my dad and thought it is only fitting to share it on Father’s Day.

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I first just want to say thank you to everyone for all the condolences during this difficult time.  We were flooded with calls, texts, e-mails, food, paper products, cards, and most of all prayers.  It meant a lot to me and my family to know that dad was loved by so many.

Wednesday night {June 7} at his visitation we had a little over 400 people {not counting family} that came through that night to tell us what dad meant to them.  It was a very emotional night but I left feeling a little bit happier realizing the impact my dad had in other people’s life.

Thursday’s funeral service {June 8} was absolutely beautiful.  Bro. Wade and Bro. Monty did an amazing job remembering dad and celebrating his life.  Even though my heart was so sad, I rejoiced knowing that we all knew dad was a strong Christian man and is enjoying his new body up in Heaven.

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We will never know with 100% certainty why dad died, but with everything we can put together we are about 95% sure it was a blood clot.  I am so thankful that I was able to be with my dad the whole afternoon on the day he passed away.  The girls and I took mom lunch at the nursing home and then spent three hours visiting with him.  Elizabeth let dad play with her slime she had made {he hated it and said it felt like snot}, and then we took him outside to enjoy the sunshine and birds.  I left around 3:30 to go get Chris so we could head to Doniphan to help Matt and Julie put their pool up, and the girls stayed with mom and rode to Doniphan with her.

Before I left I gave my dad a big hug like I always did and told him I loved him and that I would see him that Sunday for a church service at the nursing home.  He said I couldn’t leave without giving him a drink of Dr. Pepper.  Even though he wasn’t supposed to have it, that’s exactly what I did.  After I gave him a few sips of his Dr. Pepper I gave him another hug and told him bye.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that was the last time I would see my dad.

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The hardest thing I am dealing with right now is just knowing I will never get to see my dad again here on Earth.  I am already longing to just hug him one more time or to just see him smile so big when I walk into the room and say, “Well, hey Jenny!”

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Throughout the visitation and during the funeral our pastor that we had growing up, Bro. Wade, had the opportunity to ask a lot of people what dad meant to them.  He asked them to just say a few words or a phrase to describe dad.

Here are a few things that were said:

“Gentle Giant”

“Unwavering Faith”

“Always had a smile to give”

“Never complained about any of his trials”

“Had a better attitude than me all the time”

“True and faithful servant of God”

“Man after God’s own Heart”

I can’t tell you how much it means to me to hear my dad described in this way.  My dad went through more in his lifetime than most people could imagine.

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When I was 3 years old {in 1987} dad was diagnosed with his first brain tumor.  My Aunt Diane told me when they didn’t know for sure if he would make it from that brain surgery, that she remembered him crying out to God begging Him to let him be here to watch my sister and I grow up.

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Even though he had to face many trials, praise God, my dad had 30 years after that first brain surgery to watch not only his two daughters grow up, but graduate college, get married, and give him 4 grand-kids.  That in itself is a blessing!

After hearing many stories from people during the visitation/funeral and watching old home videos, I can’t help but feel a little robbed of knowing the Tim Helms before his brain tumor.  I don’t remember my dad ever being healthy.  A lot of my uncles and cousins had wonderful stories of just how great my dad was.  There seemed to be a lot of ornery stories and fighting stories, but my dad always had a kind and compassionate heart.  There were old fishing videos of him and a buddy fishing on beautiful Current River.  I know if he would’ve never had a brain tumor or gotten sick he would’ve easily been able to give Chris a run for his money when it came to fishing.  Dad just had a natural talent for it.  He was definitely your all-American country boy!

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In this blog post, I want to share what my dad meant to me and the memories I have of him.

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The most important thing my dad taught me was to love the Lord always.  During good times and bad times, you should always be faithful and love the Lord.  My dad praised God and told others about Jesus even when he was going through the hardest of times.  You never doubted for a second he loved God and even during some of his last days he would ask the nurses and therapists if they knew Jesus.

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I have fond memories of my dad sitting at the kitchen table for HOURS reading and studying his Bible.  In fact, this is one area of my life I need to get better at and struggle with.  My dad would hold his magnifying glass up to his Bible and read numerous scriptures multiple times a day.  Going through his old Bible was so precious for my sister and I.  My sister even found a note in his Bible for her to read Psalm 56:3.  Psalm 56: 3 says “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”  What a great treasure!

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Another memory is my dad never getting mad unless someone messed with one of his “kids.”  Dad was VERY protective of me and Julie and all of our close friends.  A great memory of this is at church camp one year there was this Gothic boy who liked to push people into the pool with their clothes on.  Well, my dad caught wind of it and marched straight down to that church camp pool.  He watched that boy push a girl into the pool and had seen enough.  He walked over and picked that boy up with one hand and threw him into the pool.  I remember being MORTIFIED and thinking that boy was going to know that was my dad and come after me.  But, my dad wanted to show that boy a lesson and had a funny way of doing so.  I am sure he preached to him a little bit afterwards about God’s love and being kind to all.  But no one messed with any of the people dad loved.

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Dad could always be found with Pringles chips,  a blackberry pie, or a big ole’ Dr. Pepper.  I know that is where my love of Dr. Pepper comes from.

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My dad loved going to the sale barn every Friday morning at Poplar Bluff to look for treasures.

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Since my dad was disabled and stayed at home, he had a set routine of what he watched on TV every day.  If me or Julie ever had to stay at home sick during school you better believe you were watching The Price is Right at 10:00 and then Perry Mason at 11:00.  Matlock was thrown in there somewhere as well.

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Also, every night after supper we would watch Wheel of Fortune at 6:30.  My dad was EXCELLENT at this game show and I like to think I’m so good at it now because of watching it all the time with him.  I’ll never forget when me and Julie tricked dad and recorded a Wheel of Fortune episode that dad didn’t watch.  Well, we put the VHS tape in the next evening during the normal Wheel of Fortune time making dad think he was watching it live.  Julie and I were able to get every puzzle pretty quickly WAY before dad {we had watched it and memorized everything the day before}.  Dad got SO mad that he couldn’t figure anything out and we were beating him.  We laughed and laughed when he finally realized it was a tape we had put in.

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My dad taught me his love of playing cards, especially solitaire and rummy.  He was an excellent card player and I have many memories growing up of sitting at the table playing cards with him and just talking about life.

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To pass some of his time while he was disabled, my dad taught himself how to build things.  He started with building dog houses and then that led to building martin bird houses, porch swings, picnic tables, and any other requests people would have for him.  Many people in Doniphan still have things that dad built for them I am sure.  My porch swing that hangs on my front porch today is the very last thing that dad ever built.  It is so precious to me.  Chris and I are actually working on another special project to surprise my mom and sister with soon.

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My dad was always doing crazy little things to be funny.  One of his most famous things was catching horseflies and tying fishing string to them to make leashes for them.  We could hold the fishing string and make almost like a kite out of it and the horsefly would just fly above us.  We thought this was the coolest thing!

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My dad was the first one to always devote his undivided attention to me and Julie and later his grand-kids.  When Tyler, Liz, Emily, or Zach were around you would find dad playing with them and spending as much time with them as possible.  He taught them how to dig for worms out beside his house and would swing the girls for hours on their swing set.  He would also put Pledge all on their hardwood floors and let the kids slide down the hallway in their socks to see how far they could go.  He loved all kids.  He was known for asking every kid to give him a high five and then pretending that it hurt so bad and making them laugh.

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My dad was famous for saying “Nip it in the Bud” to my sister and I when we were fighting.  He managed to live with 3 women and share 1 bathroom with all of us and keep all of his hair!  He was also known to spank us by putting his belt together like the shape of an O and then popping it really loud to make it sound like a spanking.  Mom caught on to his little trick very quickly though and made sure she handled the spankings from that point on.

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My dad taught me how to punch HARD!  Ask any of my uncles to this day and I can punch really, really well.  My dad was known to get in a fight in high school right before deer season just so he would get suspended from school and then he could go hunting.

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Going back to sharing one bathroom, since dad didn’t work he would just wait until we left the house to get ready for the day.  However, on Sunday mornings when we would all have to get ready for church at the same time.  I will never forget how he stood in front of the bathroom vanity and propped up one leg on the counter so he could get really close to the mirror to shave or brush his teeth.  He would usually be doing all of this in his tightie whities also.  {You know you are smiling at this memory, mom and Julie}

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I get my height from my dad.  Dad was a big dude at  6’4″ and 300+ pounds.  I take after the Helms side of the family in my looks also.  I have an Aunt Debbie and a few cousins that I look like and we definitely can’t deny we are family.

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My dad started having seizures around 1992 {5 years after his first brain surgery}.  I remember him having some really rough seizures but one in particular is what is called a grand mal seizure.  They were trying to wean dad off some of his seizure medicine and figure things out, which is what caused him to have this grand mal seizure.  His normal seizures lasted only about 30 seconds to 1 minute and he would throw his hands up and down and make loud noises and smack.  Or he would hold onto something tightly and you just hoped you weren’t in his way for him to grab you.  Anyways, this grand mal seizure was in the middle of the night and lasted for an extremely long time.  I am not for sure how long exactly, but we ended up having to call the ambulance.  The first ambulance they sent out had only 2 EMT’s in it and one was an older lady.  Remember, my dad is a BIG guy so they had to send out another ambulance and some sheriff deputies to help get dad strapped down in the ambulance.  Although this is a sad memory, I will never forget going into the hospital room the next day to visit him and he was more worried about me and Julie {we were probably 11 and 12} than he was about his own health!  He kept apologizing to us for scaring us and felt bad for waking us up.

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I will never forget the time after his last brain surgery when I walked into the room to talk to him and I got right up in his face and he just kept saying over and over that he never knew how I was his kid because I was the prettiest thing he had ever seen!  He just laughed and smiled and said that over and over and over.  I think it was the pain medicine talking, but I will remember him telling me this vividly.

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Chris and my dad shared a special relationship because of how much they both loved fishing for small-mouth bass on Current River.  Dad would always tell Chris a fishing story.  In our earlier years of marriage Chris would take dad fishing every chance he could.  It got too dangerous the last couple of years to take him on the boat with dad’s seizures and lack of coordination.

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My dad was the best husband to my mom.  He truly taught me what to look for in a spouse.  My mom was also the most devoted and loving wife to my dad.  Their marriage was the true definition of in sickness and in health.  My dad was so good at always making sure mom felt special.  Even though he didn’t have a way to get her a lot of nice things, he would always make sure to get her some type of small gift or prank gift {black roses} for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and their anniversary.  When my mom went in to have gall bladder surgery in 2001 and they found a tumor on her ovary and ended up doing a complete hysterectomy, I remember dad immediately hitting his knees in that waiting room crying and praying to God to please let it be benign and that he couldn’t lose his Lisa.  God definitely heard dad’s prayer that day and the tumor ended up being nothing mom had to worry about.

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My dad loved watching birds outside their living room window, especially hummingbirds and Cardinals.    I actually hope to get a hummingbird feeder for our new house soon.

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I loved hearing my dad pray at church.  This was something quite a few people actually told the family the night of his visitation.  My dad didn’t care about sounding “cool” and having fancy words to say.  He just poured his heart out to God and prayed about whatever he was feeling at the moment.

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I could write so much more, but I will leave this blog post here for now.  Thank you for letting me share with you a little bit about my dad.

Again, my heart is so heavy because I am going to miss my dad so much.  However, I know he is rejoicing in Heaven and is no longer in pain.  He is free from seizures, he can hear, he has no more dementia, and can walk on the streets of gold in Heaven.  Praise God I know I will spend eternity with him in Heaven and this life here on Earth is so quick compared to eternity.  The Bible says in James 4:14,  “ whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

Even though I feel robbed with losing my dad at 32 years old, I am so thankful I had the dad that I did for those years.  He has taught me to be humble and kind and praise the Lord through every difficult storm I may face.  He was probably more influential in those 32 years to me than some people have in a dad for 60+ years.

My heart is challenged to be more like my dad and to always point others to Jesus.  I pray I can impact as many people with my life as I know my dad did.

Leaving you with a few verses that I know were my dad’s favorite:

2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

I’m also leaving you with these two quotes.  I won’t ever read them and not think of my sweet daddy.  My dad received the best reward of all~ Heaven!

 

Happy Father’s Day in Heaven to my wonderful dad, Tim Helms.  I love you!

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~Jen

 

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6 thoughts on “My DAD

  1. Martha Clayton says:

    Excellent tribute to your sweet dad!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brian Ball says:

    Very nice Jennifer and your father would be proud. So many good memories of a GREAT man. God Bless you and your family and your mother. Brian Ball

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Penny K, Jenkins says:

    Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Darlene Goolsby says:

    I read this with tears streaming down my face. I have known your dad since your parents married, I’m your grandpa Curtis’ cousin. Your dad was a wonderful Godly man & those who knew him were Blessed. What a wonderful tribute you wrote, he would be so proud! God Bless your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jeannie Louvier says:

    This was absolutely beautiful. A really great message about Tim. He was a great man. I am really sorry for your loss but I do know he is in a much better place. I knew him when he was small and I babysat for the kids. Had not seen him for a lot of years but when I found out he went to church at First Baptist after I moved back from St. Charles, I had to find him and say hello. He remembered me right off and was always glad to see me at church. Loved him and miss him.
    Love the family,
    Jeannie Louvier (Boyles)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Judy Seawel says:

    Beautiful tribute to your wonderful father. I did not know your father well, but I know your mom after all our years of working together at CRSS. You will carry the legacy of a great man of God. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

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