PDT Staff Writer
I want to wish every dad out there a very happy Father’s Day! To my own dad, George Reaves especially, I love you. Often times when we talk about family life in general, we have a tendency to polarize the mother, and all of the responsibilities which that role entails. Furthermore, the woman is often referred to as the “backbone” of the family, I am sure that many of you reading this article can attest to this, right. However, there is one father that I would like to spotlight which would confirm just how important a father’s role is in a family.
On June 9, 2012, the city of Portsmouth experienced a great loss. On this day, my cousin, Hugh (Hughie) L. Greene III, age 36 unfortunately passed away. Hugh is the husband of Tonya, father of Mckenzie, Brooklyn, and Whitney Greene. He is also the son of my aunt and uncle Cindy and Hugh Greene Jr., and brother of Stefan and Cyneca. I felt compelled to write about the life of Hughie, not simply because he was my cousin, but because of the wonderful way in which he fulfilled his role as a husband, father, and son.
If you knew Hughie personally, you know that he was a really upbeat individual, always joyful, I don’t think I can remember seeing him without a smile on his face. His joy was infectious, it infiltrated every aspect of his life. Hugh took that joy with him wherever he went, whether home, the workplace, church, or at the river where he loved to fish. I have often observed him interacting with his wife and children, making them laugh in a way which seemed to enhance their lives in a way in which only he could. His love for his wife and children was apparent, he was the leader of his household, and did so graciously, with a loving, gentle spirit. As a Christian, he lived by the scripture found in Nehemiah 8:10 which states that “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” My friend, the source of Hughie’s joy was not in merely living a good life, and not in just family or relationships, although he had many great relationships with family and a host of friends. Hughie was a man that loved the Lord. He looked to the Lord for everything, he trusted in God whom he loved, and that was the source of his joy and strength. Hughie and I attended the same church, and so I had the pleasure of watching him get closer and closer to God, as his life unpredictably came to a close. Hughie’s untimely death is just another reminder to all of us that tomorrow is not promised, so we must make peace with God and give our lives completely over to him while we have breath in our bodies.
The home going service was held for Hughie on June 14, and it was no surprise to see an influx over 1000o people came to say farewell to a man who’d made an indelible mark upon their hearts. The family knew that our church, Pleasant Green Baptist Church in Portsmouth would be too small to hold the service, and made the wise decision to have the services at Christs’ Community Church, a much larger church building. I remember hearing one of my relatives say, “The people just keep coming, and coming”. And so they did, because Hughie lived such a strong, Christian life of love, joy, and peace, that people would just gravitate to him, he never met a stranger. These days, it is becoming increasingly scarce to see homes where not only a man exists, but a man who is a true father that loves his wife and children, and serves as a covering to them as the bible instructs. I am so proud that my cousin Hughie was blessed to be an example for other men to emulate. I will miss him immensely, but I am grateful to God for allowing us to have 36 beautiful years with him, and I will see him again one day in heaven. Again to each father I say, happy Father’s Day. Enjoy, my friends!
Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext, 234 or firstname.lastname@example.org