Uncle Hayden Part 2
After a day spent in his beloved barns and stables and hosting a petting zoo party my Uncle Hayden had a massive stroke on Saturday night. He was gracious enough to give us a few days to get used to the idea that he was leaving us before he did so this morning at not quite 11. He had made the choice to be a donor. It makes sense…he spent his entire life helping others and even in death he’s still helping others.
His daughter Sandi says:
Today the world lost a great man. My father touched the lives of so many people, as a firefighter for over 20 years, as a cowboy his whole life and as the most amazing Dad and Grandpa anyone could ever ask for. He was strong, wise, funny, stubborn, loyal, hard working and the most loving man I have ever known. He is my hero. I’m not sure how to exists in a world that doesn’t include my Dad, but I will figure it out. It may take me a little while, but I will figure it out because that is what he would want me to do. That would make him proud. My heart is breaking for my daughter, whose best friend was her Grandpa. She is scared and so sad, but we will figure this out because that would make him proud. We love you, Grandpa…
His oldest granddaughter Natalie said:
Today we lost one of the best men I’ve ever known. Not only was he an amazing Grandpa to the 8 of us but, he touched the lives of countless people all over Texas. He worked at the barn until the very last day and he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I’m so so sad that he’s gone but so blessed to have had him in my life for 28 years. I love you Grandpa RIP.
His sister in law (my Aunt Karen) said:
He was the rock in our family. He saw my sister in the church choir when she was only 14 years old and told his buddy that he was going to marry that girl some day. That started a love story that lasted over 50 years. When I was little he would ride his horse over to see Ardie and give me a quarter to go ride so that he could be alone with her. I was so happy! I loved horses, quarters, and him. When I was being pesky he would get me down on the ground and put his foot on the side of my head until I promised to be good. He really did help raise me.
For many years he was a firefighter as a profession, but he was also the fire fighter for our family. He was always the first person to be there when you needed him. He was just a phone call away, no matter the time of night or day. We all depended on him as a voice of reason. He was beloved by so many. He was smart, funny and talented. He was the original horse whisperer. He just had a way with people and animals. He was a great father and granddad. He will be truly missed–he was one of a kind.
His great niece (my Kristie) said:
The world and my family lost an amazing man today. My great Uncle Hayden was one of the nicest, kindest men I know. He taught me to ride and I credit him, along with my parents, for making me the animal lover I am today. I still remember the first time I ever got on a horse. :)
I love you, Uncle Hayden, you’ll be missed dearly. Say hi to Mamma Max for me.
Another great niece (my Katie) offers this video as a tribute to him.
I wrote about him earlier today and have only a few more words to say:
I love you, Hayden. Thank you for being the man you were.
When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!