In late July 2019 my friend, and brother in Christ, went missing while hiking in the Colorado mountains. His name was Lt Col Daniel Wallick. After a few days of searching his body was found on Challenger mountain and the Custer County Search and Rescue risked their lives to bring him down from the mountain back to his family.
Dan was the type of guy who was in great shape all the time. He would just call you up and say, “Hey come run this tough mudder with me on Saturday!” He was a great husband, dad, brother, soldier and friend. He was there for me during some of my darkest days, while I battled PTSD and Depression, after losing 4 friend in a plane crash on my last deployment with the Air Force.
Today is the celebration of life for Dan. I am unable to make it, but I really wanted to be there. So since I am not able to go I was just looking through some old photos of us together and also reading his Facebook posts.
In the past 10 years I’ve lost 28 friends and family to death. In losing so many people I know I have come to realize that:
By loving others you will have more pain in life, but you will also have so much more joy”
I’ve realized that I have to thank God for the short time I knew them. Whether it’s thanking God for the 9 years I knew Dan and the amazing life and legacy he left or it’s holding my wife and weeping, while cradling our 12 week old baby in my hand, seeing its eyes, little fingers and toes and thanking God for the 12 weeks of joy we had; I thank God for the life he gave and the life He now receives.
One of the things that I do after losing someone is I go back and see the last thing that they posted on their social media accounts. I like to find actual text they have written and not just shared links. This was the last thing Dan wrote:
Powerful words from a gifted writer you’ll one day (soon) see on the bookshelves. I love my wife’s depth of connection to the Holy Spirit, and her desires to teach others.”Dan Wallick March 16th, 2019
Dan was such an encouragement to his amazing wife Danita. Encouraging her to start her blog TheQuirkyKingdom.com and to really pursue her passion of writing. Danita has such wisdom and Dan new this.
So today I write in honor of Dan. He has encouraged me to start writing again through his encouragement to Danita. Dan had a clean and loving heart and his legacy will continue.
I’ll end this post with a quick story and a challenge to you since Dan liked challenges.
A few weeks ago my wife and our four children traveled to Colorado Springs. We had been there for five days and we were just driving out of town and headed back to Oklahoma when my wife said, “I totally forgot Dan and Danita just moved here. Should we go back and see them?” We discussed it for a few minutes, but decided since we were about 30 minutes away we would just keep going and then come see them the next time we were in town.
That next time we will not have the earthly opportunity to see both of them for it will only be Danita and the girls when we come to visit. I am grateful for this lesson. Many times we all have someone on our hearts we should call or drop by and see.
Follow that Holy Spirit prompting when someone comes on your heart. Call them. Drop by and see them. Text them.
You never know when it might be the last time you see or speak to them.
Who is on your heart to call, text or see today?
Mayme Beard says
Tony this is a beautiful story! Your father delivered both of my boys at Grady Memorial Hospital. In fact, your folks had just left the hospital taking you home! I arrived 30 minutes later scheduled for a early-morning C-section when the nurses discovered problem with my baby boy. They called your sweet father in for an emergency c-section saving Drew’s life. We loved your father and his sweet spirit so much so …. we named our son Drew Alan after the Dr. Drew has proudly wore the Alan and named both his son’s Bo Alan and Ben Alan. Both sons, Jeremy and Drew, served in Iraq. Drew is an ordained minister for Fellowship of Christian Athletes serving the Lord in a supervisory position over OK, LA, AR, and 14 countries in Africa! I believe you went to church with my precious daughter-in-law, Jamie Beard. You and her husband, Jeremy competed in a soapbox derby at Duncan, OK…. Your blog caught my attention because I write spiritual encouragement every Sunday morning on my Facebook. For two years, I have been trying to motivate a revival of church attendance again as so many youth don’t Get to hear about Jesus! Keep sharing Jesus Christ…. this is a great venue for sharing personal experiences that have significant spiritual meaning! Mayme Beard! Give your father my best!
Tony Weedn says
Mayme thank you for the message and the encouragement. I will pass this on to my Dad. Thank you for sharing with me and tell Jamie and Jeremy hello from the Weedns.
Bob Osborn says
Love you Tony. Thanks for sharing your heart. It is a great reminder to love at every opportunity.
Tony Weedn says
Love you too Bob
Kathy Rosecrans says
So we’ll written and perfectly stated, Tony. Your wife just told me goodbye.
Tony Weedn says
Life is so short Kathy so glad to hear my wife is already living what we have learned
Shauna Jarvis says
What a wonderful tribute to your friend Tony. I will pray for his family. He sounds like a great man. God bless you.
Tony Weedn says
Thank you Shauna. Love you sister
Jennifer A. Hulme says
Tony, what a beautiful picture your words have painted here and even though it has the not so pretty scenarios, you have somehow been able to basically positively portray it all. I suppose that is where the Holy Spirit comes in but it’s nice to read someone referring to the scenario that you may not always have another opportunity to talk to a person, tell a person how you feel, see them one more time or just to hug their neck. I try to live by the no regret policy but I am not always successful. Tony, I am so sorry to hear about your friend and brother in Christ, but yet you still have the comfort, reassurance plus the promise of seeing him again, although I know that sometimes is not much immediate comfort to your aching human heart. Above all that, Tony, I offer my deepest condolences, sympathies, and sincerest apologies for his family right now; I pray for peace, comfort, healing and understanding that only the Lord can provide. Sorry for your loss but it was apparently Heaven’s gain, until we all meet again.
Jennifer Ann Hulme
Tony Weedn says
Thank you Jennifer. Love your heart