My Dad’s Testimony
Greetings! This is Rob Haymes; 15 Minutes with Jesus. Wherever two or more are gathered together in my name, Jesus said, there I am in the midst. I want to share with you a little bit about my Dad. I believe it would please God for me to honor my Dad before I go any farther with this program. My Dad’s name was Robert William Haymes. I’m Robert William Haymes Jr. I’m very thankful for my Dad. He was an extremely talented man. In his early days he was involved in singing with the big bands, back in the 1940’s; also involved in several movies. He was involved in show business and television. He also was in the Army. He was in the last mounted cavalry in the Army. He actually had an accident and injured his knee and was discharged honorably from the Army. My Dad, as I said, was very talented. He began writing songs in the 1950’s. He wrote some incredibly beautiful music. I had the privilege of growing up watching him and listening to him play piano and sing songs that he wrote, and other songs, tell stories. My Dad was a wonderful storyteller. I have memories of him at our house, telling stories with a cigar in his mouth. When my Dad would tell a story you would forget all about that he was telling the story; it was like you were in the story; he was such a good storyteller. My Dad was a gourmet cook. He was a man of excellence. Everything he did, he did with all his heart; he did excellent work; as a songwriter; also he had an audio visual production company in the 80’s. Everything he did he did very well, and he taught me that. That’s one of the things I’m very thankful for with my Dad: he taught me to do things in an excellent way. He taught me about quality, in music and the arts, in many things. Unfortunately I did not inherit my Dad’s ability for cooking; my Dad could cook! My parents were divorced when I was around 1 year old, which would have been 1951. My Dad lived in New York City, and my Mom and I and my sisters, and brother lived in Greenwich, CT with my step father. We lived in a big old colonial house in Greenwich, CT, and Dad used to come and pick me up in his MG TD 1953; many of you know what that was like. He’d pick me up in his sports car and take me to New York; my Dad used to have a radio show on NBC Radio, and I would go with him to the studio in Rockefeller Center, and he would do a show at night. Then we would drive out to Long Island. He had a little house on Long Island in Sag Harbor, which is in the northern part of Long Island. And we would spend the weekend, and in the summer, a week or two. My Dad had a little boat, which he restored. The name of the boat was Boat; he had it written on the stern. My Dad, as I said, was very talented; he could be very funny, he could tell wonderful stories. He took me out to wonderful restaurants in New York City, and out in Long Island. My Dad was a very famous and talented songwriter; he wrote a song called That’s All, which many of you may be familiar with. It’s in the American Song Book. The first person to record it was Nat King Cole, but also Frank Sinatra, and many other artists, including Michael Buble’, recorded that song. It’s a very famous song. My Dad wrote it with another man named Alan Brandt. So I grew up with my Dad; I’m very thankful for my Dad. I’ve always considered him to be a great man. He taught me many things; he taught me about manners. I can remember when I was young, he would say, now say thank you, say please, say you’re welcome. So I figured out if I said all three every time, I’d be covered; so I used to say, please, thank you, you’re welcome. LOL. Anyway, thank God for my Dad.
He was born on March 29th 1923. He lived in White Plains, NY. As I said, He also lived in New York City for a long time. He died on January 28 1989 of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. One thing I want to say, before I go to my Dad’s testimony; this message is, number one, to honor my Dad, and number two, I want to give his testimony of how he came to know Jesus. Before I go to that, I want to say something about my Dad; he had many talents; he was a very talented songwriter, but he was also a talented writer; he was an artist. He used to put together these inter-corporate commercials, where he would produce the whole thing; he would write the score; he would put together music, photographs, and a monologue, and produce the whole program. He was very good at that. So, like I said, he had many talents. One of his talents was saving lives. I can remember one evening we came back from boating; he used to keep his boat in a little marina there in Sag Harbor, and he would always have me wash down the boat while he would visit with his friends, drink bloody marys, and eat shellfish, which is something I never acquired a taste for. So opposite from where his boat slip was, there was a boat house with the gas pumps, across the inlet for the marina. My Dad was talking with some friends, and I was standing there, and all of a sudden I heard a noise, and I looked, and I saw my Dad throwing off his watch, and running over and jumping in the water. What had happened was there was a couple talking to the marina owner at the gas pumps, who had two little children, and they weren’t paying attention to them, and their children had fallen into the water and they were drowning. My Dad rescued them and saved their lives. Another time we were driving in his MG on the highway, going about 60 mph, and on those old MG’s the doors opened the opposite way that car doors open now-a-days. They open the other way. So, when you open the door, it would catch the wind if you were driving. And there was a little chain hanging from the door handle, and I was just sitting there; I was about 11 years old; we were going 60 mph, and I was playing with that chain; I was holding on to that chain, and the door opened and I was looking down at the highway. This all happened in a matter of seconds; and my Dad immediately responded and grabbed me and jerked me back into the car. It may not seem like much, but this was all like in 3 seconds; you know, 1,2,3. He saved my life. I was sitting there and my heart was pumping out of my chest; it was amazing. So my Dad saved my life. I’ve heard other stories where he saved people’s lives. He was very aware of his surroundings. He was very astute, very alert about his surroundings. So, again, I’m very thankful for my Dad; he was very talented; he taught me alot. He was a perfectionist, and he taught me to be a perfectionist. I’ve been doing remodeling now since 1980. I’m retired now, but that’s one thing I’ve always strove to do in my work, is to do excellent work. And, I found out that’s something that God requires of His servants, is excellence; it’s called virtue in the Bible.
Another thing I want to say about my Dad is that he was a sinner; like all of us, my Dad was a sinner. And, because of his sins, he experienced a lot of trouble in his life. But Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. He came to save sinners. Jesus said, I didn’t come to save the righteous, but sinners. He said, I didn’t come to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners. Now I want to talk about how my Dad came to know Jesus. I got saved in 1976 in Estes Park, Colorado. I won’t go into my testimony, but I was saved. My wife and I had a baby boy, and we went on a tour around the Nation to show him off to our family members. We went to see my Dad in Florida and we were in his house; I had just gotten saved; I was a brand new Christian, and I talked to my Dad; I said, Hey Dad! I’d like to tell you about Jesus. And he looked at me with kind of a stern look, and he said, Oh, everybody has to have their crutch. That was it. I couldn’t talk to my Dad any more about Jesus at that time. He just shut me down. So, many years later, that was in 1977, probably; many years later, around 1988, my Dad went to China with his wife; they went to China. My Dad told me he was standing on the Great Wall of China, and something hit him in his chest. It wasn’t like a person hit him with a stick or something, he just felt like something hit him in his chest, and when he came home from that trip, he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. There is no cure for Lou Gehrig’s Disease, even to this day; I don’t think they have a cure for it; so if you get it, you die. So my Dad was sick and I began to cry out to God. I knew that there was no cure for this disease, and I just began to cry out to God and pray for my Dad’s salvation. I was weeping; I was on my knees; I remember being on my knees in my garage alone; just pouring out my heart to God; crying out to God for my Dad to be saved; for God to save my Dad. My Dad at that time was living with his wife, in Greenville, SC, and there were some Christian ladies in the area that came to visit my Dad; I don’t know if they already knew him, but they came to my Dad’s house, and they led him to Jesus, and my Dad received Jesus at that time. And he began to follow Jesus. He began to seek to be healed of his disease. He had some very famous Christians come and pray for him, including Pastor Yonggi Cho from South Korea, and others prayed for him, but he was not healed. He worked with The Happy Hunters doing audio visual work for them; he traveled with them. And he was still able to play piano when my wife and I and children went to see him. We spent Christmas with him in Greenville, and we had some good times with my Dad and his wife. Then later on; that disease is very brutal, and he began to get to where he could no longer play piano. Eventually he was hospitalized, and I went to see him in the hospital, and the last time I saw my Dad in the hospital, he was lying in a bed; he was on a ventilator, so he had tubes going down in his throat and he couldn’t talk. Now, remember, as I explained earlier, my Dad was a very talented communicator; so he was lying there in the hospital bed; he couldn’t talk, but he was awake, and he looked at me; I was alone with him in the room; this was the last time I saw my Dad; he looked at me and he made sign language; he pointed to his heart, and then he put both his hands over his heart, and then he pointed to his left palm, and then he pointed to his right palm and extended his arms out, which is the deaf sign for Jesus Christ; so what he was saying was, I love Jesus. And then he pointed to himself, and put his hands over his heart, and he pointed to me, and he was saying, I love you. I’m telling you it was so powerful! That was the last time my Dad talked to me. And I’m also telling you that my Dad is with Jesus! And some day, in the not-too-distant-future, I’ll have a reunion with my Dad, because of the great love of Jesus; that He loves us so much, that He gave Himself for us, a living sacrifice on the Cross for our sins. He was tempted in every way as we are; every way; He was a man; He was tempted in every way as we are, yet He never sinned. That’s why He’s called the Spotless Lamb of God, and that’s why my Dad is in Heaven.
To conclude: After my Dad had passed away, we went to his funeral in Greenville, SC. We went to the grave site and buried my Dad. On the way to the grave site, the Mayor of Greenville had arranged to have a policeman on every corner, and as we passed by, they would salute. I’m telling you that was a moving experience! I really believe, to this day, that God had him do that to honor my Dad. We buried my Dad, and in the South they have a custom called a wake, where you go back to the house, and you have black-eyed peas; why they have black-eyed peas, I don’t know; there must be a reason. Many people were gathered at the house. Some women were coming up to me and saying how sorry they were for me that I had lost my Dad; at the time I appreciated their concern and their kindness, but that’s not what was in my heart; I was not sad; I was not sad, because I knew my Dad was with Jesus. And guess what! One of the women that had led my Dad to Jesus came up to me, and she shook my hand, very vigorously, with a big smile on her face, and she said, Isn’t it great that Bob’s with Jesus !!! I was so happy !! I was saying, Yes!! Amen!! Thank you Sister !! It was such a wonderful, closing moment! But it’s not over. I will see my Dad again. He’s with Jesus, and I will ever be thankful that he is saved, and he’s with the Lord. God bless you all.