Heaven Is Calling

Richard Garner HensleyLet me just begin by saying my family experienced a very hard phase in our life, one that developed and got worse over the last years. I lost my father on Jan 5th 2013 (the day after his 54th birthday), after battling Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) for the last years of his life. The disease showed many ugly forms, took his voice for the last 2 years, difficulty eating lead to huge weight loss in his last year.  Caused him to loose his job after being a Professional Civil Engineer for 30 years with the state (Fish and Wild life, WSDOT, HDR). The ability to reason brought new challenges. There are many things that impacted our family. In the end he passed away peacefully with family by his side in what seemed like a miracle of sorts. What I mean by this is family/friends got to spend the last couple weeks with him, to say their goodbyes, and on the final day everything just seemed to go like clockwork. His dad, my grandpa called it ‘Heaven is Calling’ because nobody wanted to see him go, but we knew it was for the best. Other things that made the day a miracle, our Pastor was available all day, hospice was a huge support, and spending the last few hours as a family was memorable. I’m happy to say he is now healed and standing before the creator’s son Jesus waiting for the day Heaven is brought to earth for us all to spend eternity together.

The hard part is waiting… wishing… and hoping that I listened enough, learned enough and loved enough from my dad. He was more inspirational and hardworking than words could describe, and more than family ever spent the time telling him. Too many times I look back and wish I could tell him one more time “I love you Dad” or  ‘Thanks for teaching me so much’. You see he was an engineer and all around extreme Do It Yourself-er. While raising 3 kids he went to every sporting event possible, he coached our soccer teams, helped out with church events, designed and built over 1000 ft house renovations/additions to our house all while building his beautiful Ford Roadster from the ground up. The man had serious knowledge and skill!! I’m so proud of everything he accomplished. I’d like to share with you one of my favorite videos of him starting up his Roadster for the first time. As you can see in the video the car was at a stage of ‘still a work in progress‘.


Now if that roar doesn’t bring excitement to you than you’re out of luck. Watching his smile, his love for building, designing, welding almost every inch of that engine and frame brings a smile to my heart. In fact here’s the final product. 1933 Ford Roadster.

33 Ford Roadster

There really aren’t enough words to express how sad I feel now that he’s gone. He taught me so much and there was still so much to learn. With his three kids and passing at a young age he missed out on so many big life mile stones that no family man should have to miss. Like walking his two daughters down the aisle in 2014 on their wedding days. In April 2015 his first grand kid, my daughter Claire was born and in August 2016 anther grand daughter, Riley was born, these girls would have loved him. Getting to experience their smiles, laughs and full out joy. All these exciting things in life I wish he could have experienced.

Claire Fall 2017

Dad, I miss you more than words can express and I can’t wait to see you some day in heaven. You’re very missed.

Love you,