I officiated at Horace Hutton’s funeral yesterday. He was 96 years old. Most of us can only dream about being as cool as Horace was in his 80’s and then into his 90’s as well.
When he was 80 years old, he entered a business venture with one of his sons. He told him: “Son, I need to careful about what kind of deal I get into, because I probably only have 10 or 15 GOOD years left.” I love the outlook! Unfortunately it is not a common mindset for people at that stage in life. As I visited with all of four of his children in the days leading up to the funeral, there is something else about life that particularly inspired me.
Horace continued to serve as an advisor and a servant for his children all through the years. Those two roles complimented each other. When his daughter needed to make a 90 mile one way trip to receive chemotherapy for a period of time, he drove her to those appointments every week. (This took place when he was in late 70’s.) When her husband required daily care after heart surgery, Horace stepped in to serve. Those who serve earn the right to dispel advice.
Horace provided counsel about business matters and life in general for all of his children, even after they had become grandparents themselves. In reflecting on the influence of his life, I realized once again that the paternal role never ceases. And that is a good thing. But I was also reminded that fatherly advice is taken much better if it is being dispensed by someone that serves and cares by example.
That principle hit me between the eyes. I am good at conveying advice for my children. I have a long ways to go in the serving department. Horace inspired me in life and he did the same in death as well. I am grateful that I was privileged enough to know him. His example is impacting choices that I am making today. And that is a blessing.