When Mike and I made the slide show of Dad’s life, I spent a lot of time looking at pictures that I had never seen before of Dad from either before I was born or with friends at times when I wasn’t there. But all these pictures show the same person that I knew in the family pictures; always smiling, always with a sense of inner peace and strength.
I can definitely tell you the traits I didn’t get from Dad. I didn’t get his quiet inner peace. I certainly didn’t get his ability and desire to think things through thoroughly before leaping—probably the source of many of his gray hairs. But one thing I think I did get from him—and I am thankful for it—is his ability to talk to anyone and to be liked by everyone.
If that were the only thing he gave to me, and there are many more, I would still be truly thankful that I am his son.
PS: I surely hope at some point today someone will have a Cazadores or two in his honor!
Some funny little things I remember.....
Dad, feeling younger than his real age, getting on the trampoline and attempting a flip. He went straight up and then straight down on his head. My friends (David Glover, Jeff Fink) thought it was hilarious, even though he hurt his neck. For a while after that, every time they would refer to Dad they would say E (pointing up with a finger) then B (Pointing down with a finger) Mercer.
The otherwise calm, reserved, mild-mannered Ned Mercer completely loosing it when I was first driving. I especially remember a night we were heading into town and I was getting on to 45 from the feeder at West Mount Houston. It was a short feeder entrance and there was still some traffic on 45. He decided I wasn't accelerating enough to get on and started repeatedly pounding the dashboard with his fist saying "go, go, go." It scared the hell out of me so much I think I actually slowed down.
Dad always took us to buy the Christmas tree when Houston was its coldest/wettest. He had to be the one putting up the Christmas lights and each light had to hang down at precisely the same angle for the proper Christmas light effect.
Although Gary didn't write about his Dad for the Celebration of Life, I think this picture, which was made a few months before Ned died, tells a lot about their relationship....the family resemblance and the love and tenderness between the two of them.