He was a man of means who led a simple life. And despite the jobs he may have done, or the titles he might have held, he was first and foremost a father and a husband. And it was what he did in those two roles that will be the most lasting vestige of his life.
He was a man of great faith, respecting the high priority God put on his role as a husband and a father. And it was what he gave to his family that defined the enormous impact he had on those who loved him best.
His success is evident in the children that carry on his name. His sons and daughters understand the value of an education and the importance of hard work. They know sacrifice and persistence, possessing impeccable work ethics. And they know that family and their unwavering faith in God has been the cornerstone of all their accomplishments. They live the lessons their father taught, passing his wisdom down their family tree.
His daughter recently paid tribute with words of love that moved me to tears, writing--
Prayers went up and blessings came down. God asked me how bad did I want this and I held up my hands, closed my eyes and started to walk by faith and not by sight. When most kids were catching rides, he bought me a new car, gave me a home to house my family to make nursing school easier for me. There were at home bible lessons for me, then years later for my daughters. It was an honor to give up one of my jobs to take on my most important RN role, caring for my daddy. Once in a life time when you have unconditional love, you know your purpose because God clearly orders your steps. All that you have is nothing because you have only one reason to fight, a million reasons to not let go. You said you were tired and I begged you to keep going. You said you were in pain and I begged you to endure. Procedure after procedure, pain after pain, you did it for us and in the end, we did it for you. You are the best. I will remember your lessons - "Daughter, all that glitters ain’t gold. Watch who you keep around you, everyone smiling in your face ain’t your friend. Stay on guard because every shut eye ain’t sleep. Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see. Lean only on God’s word and my favorite, remember every goodbye ain’t gone. " So with that I will see you later, dad. You beat cancer, you are finally free. When you told me you saw Jesus I realized that letting go didn’t mean giving up, it meant placing you in better hands. I love you, Daddy. Rest in peace. (Tawana Harrison)
He is gone from us now, much loved and forever remembered. And the greatest lesson he has taught all of us is that those lives that you mark at home; whether it's by your involvement positively or your neglect negatively, will be the lasting legacy of your life.
I am in awe of the legacy that that my dear cousin has left behind.
Rest in peace, Robert Lee Fletcher, Jr.
January 29, 1953 - January 28, 2012