January 7, 2013

Saying Goodbye

I've been quiet on the blog lately because our family has experienced a devastating and very sudden loss. It is with deep, soulful sadness that I share that my uncle (my mom's only brother) passed away on Christmas Eve very suddenly. He was only 51. My mom didn't share the news with me until we got home from visiting Kurt's family the day after Christmas. As with any loss, there are many stages of grief and honestly, my grief was very much delayed. It didn't actually "hit me" until Saturday evening, but when it hit, it hit hard. It was almost overwhelming. There are many layers to every meaningful relationship we have in life, and sorting through those after a loss can be very complicated and quite a process. I'm doing better today, but the last two days have been very, very difficult to walk through as I grieve a very significant loss.

In my childhood, the one word I associate with my uncle was laughter. He would have my family absolutely rolling in laughter (much like my brother does), and he had such a quick wit. I am so thankful for the home videos we have of him so I can always remember what it was like when we were all together laughing and loving. I told Kurt yesterday that I know without a doubt that he adored us as his nieces and nephews. You could just tell. My very favorite video contains footage of me dancing with him when I was about 6 or 7. Poppy (my grandfather) was playing some sort of a jig on the piano and we came up with this impromptu dance routine that was so cute. Later in the video I had built a "motor home" (?!?!) out of Legos and he insisted that Poppy film us as he interviewed me for a "commercial" about the "motor home." He pretended to hold a microphone and interviewed me, while making me laugh so hard. He always teased my mom and gave her the hardest time (in the most loving way). In fact, he's the one who started calling her the "Jukebox" because my mom literally has a song to fit EVERY OCCASION. She's always been that way, and he started calling her that when they were young. I know he adored her too.

The most thorough and complete way I can honor my uncle's life is by sharing his beautiful obituary, written by my grandfather (who is a prolific and anointed writer). We have all said that after reading this, we all want my grandfather to write our obituaries ahead of time. While no parent should have to write their child's tribute, no one could have honored my uncle better.

Kevin Dwight McCarty, 51, went to be with his Savior and Lord on Dec. 24, 2012, in San Diego, Calif. He was born Dec. 21, 1961 in Ft. Worth, Texas. Kevin grew up in Fayetteville where his parents were called in 1965 by University Baptist Church for his father to be Senior Pastor. He graduated from Fayetteville High School in 1981. He loved athletics and music. He won the state high school tennis doubles championship twice and was a skilled drummer and guitarist. He attended both Baylor University and the University of Arkansas. He was, without doubt, a natural-born salesman and began his career selling insurance before he started his own company, Sky Connection, Inc. He was one of the first to see the potential for satellite television and became one of the most successful Dish dealers in Northwest Arkansas. The Northwest Arkansas Times did a feature on him using his widely known nickname, "The Dishman." When the satellite market proliferated, he turned to other interests and ventured into upscale bathroom remodeling. He had recently moved to San Diego to begin a promising new sales job. Several vacation trips with his son, Hayden, to San Diego had made the area their favorite location. 

Of all of Kevin's ambitions, he loved being a father the most! To the end of his life his vision, though heavily tested, never wavered to be an overcomer and to follow Christ. He loved Christian worship music and quoted the words and played the music often for his family and friends. It is with a deep and tearful sadness that we give him up. But this is all temporary and the promises of the Savior enable us to focus on our beloved Kevin's gain rather than our loss! We gratefully possess a confident and abiding joy in his present perfection and fulfillment with his Lord Jesus. He is survived by his parents, H.D. and Shirley McCarty of Fayetteville, his son, Hayden McCarty (16) of Little Rock, and stepson Landon Friend (20) of Benton; his sister Karen and husband Mark Anderson of Cape Girardeau, Mo.; his nephew, Will Anderson, and nieces, Alyssa and Andrea Anderson; Ashley Anderson Lancaster and husband Dr. Kurt Lancaster, Evy Kate (4) and Liam (2) all of Cape Girardeau. He is also survived by several uncles, aunts and numerous cousins in Texas. The family deeply appreciates all the people who loved, enjoyed, prayed for and encouraged Kevin all of our years in Fayetteville and beyond. We loved him with all of our hearts. We are so deeply thankful and content that our Kevin belonged to the Lord Christ and is now tasting the fullness of the love of God the Father. A private family praise and worship remembrance was held at the Fairview Memorial Gardens Mausoleum on Jan. 5. In lieu of flowers the family asks that all who had special love for Kevin help create what would please him most, a fund in his memory for his beloved son, Hayden. Contributions should be made to the Hayden McCarty Fund in care of Priority Bank; 3401 East Mission Boulevard; Fayetteville, AR 72703. To place an online tribute visit www.mooresfuneralchapel.com.

"He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears. The Lord has spoken!" Isaiah 25:8
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