The Man I Remember

Sunday was Father’s Day. Many celebrated the day by spending time with their father. My father went home to be with the Lord a while back, and I thought I would share a little about the man I remember. SO if you knew my father, sit back and enjoy some of my memories (and it may be a fresh insight to the man you remember as well) – this may be bit long, but discusses a great man.

The Robert Lee Estes I remember …

You remember the only son, the product of the little North Carolina town of Mount Airy (known by many as Mayberry), the husband of Faye

I remember, well let me first share a few things I was told – not direct memories, but memories shared with me.

Here is what I was told about Robert Lee Estes

  • You were born and raised in Mount Airy – aka Mayberry. You ran lunch out to your granddad with another Mount Airy boy – Andy Griffith
  • You met my future mother while working in the tobacco fields. And when you saw her for the first time, you drove the mule train through the back of barn. The other boys made fun of you and dumped you in a rain barrel. And to date her, she made you go to church (she made me go to church too)
  • You were quite intelligent, and you went to several colleges and grad schools, each with their own crazy stories, like the Gardner Webb one. You told me the basketball team hazed you and your roommate by kidnapping you and driving you out to the country where they dumped you – dressed only in your skivvies. When they let you out to take your roommate a little further down the road, a farmer saw you and drove you back to campus. You beat the team back to the dorms, and they just didn’t know how you did it
  • You are the product of godly mother (Jettie); who prayed for you (and prayed for me too), she loved you so dearly and wept when you, her only child, went to heaven first … and a rascally father, who loved to work with his hands. He whittled peach pits and repaired antique furniture. But who also surrendered to the call to preach in his 50s because he saw his son preaching. WOW
  • You were married thinking you were drafted – but you were pulled from draft line to enter the bus to basic because your grades exempted you. So, being newly married and no job, you moved in with the in-laws
  • You worked as an Electrical Engineering apprentice at the Norfolk shop yards. I was told you worked on the carrier Enterprise – maybe that’s why I love Star Trek so much
  • I was told you adopted me, which is why I have no baby pics. Now Jon and Andy told me this – so I respond, “They picked me, you were forced on them – booyaah”. I know I wasn’t adopted – but I don’t think you planned on me either

You remember the pastor, your mentor, one called to serve ….

I remember my earthly father …

  • You dragged me around all over ACC country and then Texas … but I enjoyed it. It gave me my transient, nomadic lifestyle, and brought me to the state where I met my Texas Rose, Lisa
  • You didn’t know the Heimlich when I was choking on lifesavers, so you just grabbed my ankles and bobbed me up and down while I was dangling upside down – Lord knows it worked
  • You were gone a lot … a lot … while you were in your evangelist years. Leaving me at the mercy of my two older brothers’ vengeance. Fortunately mother loves me best and protected me, and still does
  • And even during the years were you had a pastoral position and at home, you seem to be very preoccupied with church life and other families. But this showed a love for our Father and His Kingdom family – in a deep and profound way
  • You knelt with me in your office at Orcutt Baptist where I prayed to receive Christ, and you baptized me at Triangle Baptist
  • You rarely came to my events. But I was the fourth and last, so the other three probably wore you out. (And I know they needed more attention, lots more). I even had to see you in the crowd pic of my graduation to know you were there. But – you were always there when needed … like how you dropped everything when I broke my arm, and flew to Texas when Jon was in a wreck
  • I remember very few of your sermons, but I did remember learning to sleep with eyes open so you would not know I was sleeping. And I do remember your last Sunday at Grace Temple Baptist – you were anointed, spirit filled, and stressed the importance of unity even at personal cost to yourself and family … I was never prouder
  • I remember playing sports with you, in the back yard and on church leagues. The time you took church softball team to the federal prison to play against the inmates. And since our team was mostly Marines, I think the inmates were more intimidated by us then the other way around
  • But on individual sports, you always seemed to do better with Jon and Andy. But I got your love of reading before they did
  • I remember a time I slapped mother – and you hit me across the room – showing me never to do that again. Jon says he has the same memory of himself. Now – you and mother deny this ever happened, so I think God gave us this pseudo-memory to show us never to disrespect our mother, your wife
  • You gave me a bike (which I won in Giant Food giveaway) though Andy and Jon said they won and you gave it to me. Again, shows you and mother love me most
  • I remember making March Madness brackets together – and I do this as a father with Calvin
  • We had few extended family vacation … 4 kids in back of crown Vic … One Thanksgiving to Disney world, where you got sick on the way home
    You had a great friend in Mark Stone – where we got together for every 4th of July. This example of a friendship is something I covet even today
  • I remember the phone call where you said I might be running from the call on to vocational ministry … And the second phone call where I shared my surrender to the call
  • You led the first part of my wedding, where you slipped on the steps but didn’t fall
  • I remember your retirement … where all the kids gathered (I travelled to every one of your churches and got pictures.)
  • I remember your influence more in people like Jimmy E, Bob B, Big Bob, Dick Cook, and so many others. It is not about positions or platitudes … but about people
  • I remember a man of whom I honored his integrity so deeply, I named my only son after you
  • And lastly I remember your funeral. A simple celebration of a life. A life that served God, stayed true to the Word, cared for people, adored his wife, cared for his kids, loved the Lord

You remember a pastor, a friend, a son, a husband

I remember DAD






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