letter about my dad

Our family friend Jim Chess, wrote this sweet tribute to my dad. We put it in the funeral program, but I wanted everyone else to read it too.

A Tribute to a Friend

When we were young, we are led to believe a man is someone like John Wayne — the strong, silent type. But as we become adults and understand how the world really works, we begin to recognize that a real man is someone who honors his commitments, is a loving husband and father, and the type of friend who would do anything for you.

Ron Lamb was a real man.

Before the stroke, Ron was an amazing father, husband and friend. He was totally devoted to his girls, and they to him. He loved attending their school and athletic events — hundreds (thousands?) of soccer, softball, and basketball games — providing only words of encouragement and applause. He was even the type of fan we admired and emulated. And Lamb family lore holds that Ron could brand the girl’s hair better than their Mother — but I won’t rat out which girl said that. His girls also marveled at his thoroughness: Whenever he wrote out directions for them (pre-GPS days), he always wrote them for these — and back.

His devotion to and love for Mary Pat — and she to him — was breathtaking to watch. It is hard to remember a time when they weren’t together — they really were perfect complements as parents and as a couple. And he honored his commitments; the testaments from his co-workers about his reliability and willingness to help were exactly what we had come to expect of Ron.
I was lucky to be able to count him as a friend, a friends who was always there when you needed him. I was also lucky to have a daughter play 8th grade basketball for Ron — again, an incredibly positive role model who did nothing but teach and encourage.

After the stroke, we saw faces in Ron that shouldn’t have surprised me, but I’m embarrassed to admit, did. He remained an amazing father, husband and friend. But we also learned that he was literally the toughest man alive. He savored every day he was given and never ever complained. It took a while for that to sink in: he never ever complained, remaining the incredibly positive force he had always been.

We also learned how tough the entire Lamb family is, as they rallied in support of Ron.
Another facet that emerged was Ron’s willingness to make things up. I first noticed it when he answered a question no one else in the group could answer — it was routine for Ron to remember details of the recent past that no one else could — but on one occasion I knew the answer was wrong. When challenged on it he just laughed to himself, and I am laughing to myself as I remember Ron becoming a practical joker.

Before and after the stroke, our lives were enriched by our relationships with Ron. And I will miss all of that. But I think what I will miss most are Saturdays in the fall and watching Georgia games togethers. Ron was usually in a particularly ugly UGA Hawaiian shirt (maybe he considered it lucky) and when asked “Are they doing to win?” would reply “Hope so.” We knew it would be an easy game to watch when he said “Yes.”

Right about now Ron is taking a break from his daily jog or tennis game — two of his passions he is now able to rekindle — and thinking, “If you really want to provide me a tribute — live as I did. Treasure your family and friends. Pull your loved ones closer. Thank God every day you are given and live it to its fullest. Remember how lucky you are to have what — and who — you have. And, go Dawgs.

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