Archives For God

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I hope you have all heard the beautiful melody with even more lovely lyrics, “Leader of the Band” by Dan Fogelberg at some point in your lifetime.

Fogelberg penned the song for his own dad, Lawrence, who was a musician, educator, and band leader. In Dan’s words about his paternal inspiration, “I was so gratified that I was able to give him that song before he passed on. In his final years he was interviewed many times by the national press because of it. He went out in a blaze of glory, which meant a lot to me and my family.”

My husband’s grandfather passed away in the early morning hours this past Father’s Day.

I can’t help but think of William (Buck) Woodard, aka “Poppy,” a role model for all who knew and loved him, when listening to these lyrics.

“His gentle means of sculpting souls took me years to understand… My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man. I’m just a living legacy to the Leader of the Band.

Isn’t that how life and death traditionally unfold? We rush through life, attempting to keep pace with everything and everyone buzzing around us?

And then a loved one passes and it is as if God gently places a hand upon our shoulder to slow us down, to pause and reflect on those we love and the life we live. It is during this time of reflection when we soak in the magnitude of the people who have helped shape our lives for the better.

I was able to tell Poppy goodbye and he gave me the same comforting smile and hug he always extended to family and friends.

He was, and will remain, the Leader of our Band.

In loving memory of Buck Woodard

Written by Heidi Woodard

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I don’t know you. I mean, I don’t really know you.

Yet…

I have learned, by watching your example, that it is possible to be so passionate about helping children that you sacrifice personal gain.

I handed over my future to you. Three different times, I cried as I placed a defenseless creature into your care, got into my car, and returned to work.

I bawled even harder when the time came to move them from your house to preschool.

I witnessed your influence on my children as they began to rattle off their ABCs, color within the lines, and sing hymns of praise.

I am in awe that you are as proud of their Christmas program performances as I am.

I give praise that you teach them about God and how to love their friends and enemies.

I am grateful that you allow me to interrupt you at any moment of the day to check on how my children are doing, as if they are the most important people on the planet.

I ask for forgiveness for rarely reading the newsletters, study guides, and graded assignments you send home.

I thank you for recognizing strengths in my children and for pushing them to maximize their potential.

I thank you for organizing every PTA meeting, classroom party, and fundraiser.

I thank you for being willing to not only prepare my children for the real world, but also to protect them from it.

I thank you through my writing because it’s the best way I can express my heartfelt gratitude.

I thank you on behalf of every child whose voice is silenced.

I thank you for doing a thankless job.