By Ralphine Major
August 31, 2019, will mark a special date in the life of our family. It will be 25 years ago on that day that our father was called to his heavenly home. The year was 1994. I seldom “go back” in my mind to that day when he left us, though the sight of a sunflower will sometimes spark a memory. He was 68 years old and making plans for the fall. Father’s Day is certainly one of those times for remembering, and his birthday falls during that week as well. He would have turned 93.
Ralph Omer Major left high school to serve in the United States Army. After the Army, he returned to school at the urging of Professor “Prof” H. G. Loy to get his diploma. His
great respect for teachers and his emphasis on education was passed on to my brother and me. Ralph was a dairy farmer, and he passed down his love for animals to us as well. For his entire life, he called Harbison’s Crossroads home. I thought the name sounded quaint back then; but today, I use those same words. He served as a deacon and parking lot attendant at church. Though not a public speaker, he shared his personal testimony on a Sunday night on Men’s Day. At age 39, our father developed an enlarged heart that beat irregularly. Doctors wanted to perform surgery. That was in 1965 and with children ages ten and seven, he declined the surgery. He had to give up his livelihood while dealing with heart disease. For the next 29 years, he enjoyed gardening and gave most of the vegetables away. He loved riding his tractor on the farm. Upon his death, his cardiologist sent us a quick handwritten note explaining what happened to his heart and assured us he did not suffer. The next day after Ralph passed away, a little six-year-old girl named Emily told her father that she had thought about Ralph all day. Emily would be 31 today, and I often wonder if she still remembers Ralph. Through the years, kind words and gestures from so many have given us much love and support. And the thoughts of a little six-year-old girl.
On this Father’s Day, treasure the special moments with fathers who are still living. For those whose fathers have passed on, cherish the memories. Be blessed! Happy Father’s Day!