Richard Beard, my brother-in-law
My sister, Tara (my elder sibling by 10 years), began dating Richard when I was pretty young. I honestly can’t remember a time when Richard wasn’t around. I was probably a bit of a nuisance to him in those early years. I remember spying on him and my sister when they were watching TV in our living room. You know, typical annoying little brother stuff.
Through the years, Richard has been a constant for our family. He and my sister had been married a little over a year when my Dad passed away. My mother once told me that toward the end of his illness, my father asked Richard to look after us in the event of his death. Richard was always a great son-in-law to my mother. I saw him treat her with incredible love and respect. Beyond that, Richard was always a role model for me. When I got my first pair of glasses in 5th grade, my only request was that they look like his. After Dad died, I was always eager for someone to throw ball with me. Mom would try, but she threw like a girl and I couldn’t throw the ball hard to her for fear I might hit her. Only when I threw ball with Richard could I really let it fly. I think I was an obstinate kid in a lot of ways, but I appreciate the hours Richard spent with me during those days immediately after my father’s death.
When my Mom passed away, I was a junior in high school. I still had a year and some change left in high school and I needed a place to stay. Enter Tara & Richard. Despite having a 3-year-old and a 3-month-old, they opened up their home to me, allowing me to move into the bonus room over their garage. Through my Senior year of high school and throughout college, I always had a place to come home to. I don’t think I’ve ever thanked Richard for opening up his home to me. Adding a 17-year-old male to the household had to blow the grocery budget completely out of the water. But no matter the circumstances, Richard has always been there to fulfill his promise to my father. For that, I’m eternally indebted.
Richard is still one of my role models. He and my sister have celebrated over 20 years of marriage together. Each of his three children are Christians. He dutifully serves as a deacon in his congregation. My glasses may look a little different these days, but I still look to pattern my life after yours, Richard. I thank God for your faithfulness, not only to Him, but also to us…and to me in particular. Thank you for loving our family and honoring my father. May your reward be great.