I have been blessed to be the daughter of a great man who God allowed to live to the ripe age of 80. He has been a force of my life and a mentor. He name was Andrew Gaines and I had the privilege of being his child. On December 14th at 3 o’clock central time, at his home in Nashville, my father made the ultimate transition and went home to his heavenly reward after a long battle with lung disease. There were two services for him, one in Nashville and one on the 17th at my childhood church, Grant AME in Boston. It was a very warm and heartfelt service. My brother, sisters and I sang our favorite family song, “We Come This Far By Faith.” My brother Ricky Gaines, narrated the service and touchingly handed the microphone to many visitors in the congregation who felt a desire to express their feelings about the effect of my father’s life on theirs. It was humbling and something to aspire to. I also felt compelled to write a song commemorating the occasion called, “Welcome to Heaven.”
After the service we laid my father to rest beside my mother Mary E. Gaines. They finally seemed complete again. Afterwards, we went to St. Marks and socialized with our friends and extended family.
Christmas has always been my favorite time of year and the passing of my father would only make it, not a sad time, but an even greater time of rejoicing. Being a Christian we believe in eternal life and this gives me hope that I will see my loved ones again. Oddly enough, in October, I began to decorate my house for Christmas. Obviously not knowing what would happen but somehow the decorations kept reminding me of the big picture of which you all are a part. I’d like to thank you all for keeping me on track when I sometimes seemed to lose my way, doubting myself and wanting to quit. Your heartfelt letters, kindness and love and your need has helped so much to get me back on track.
In fact, we‘ve already booked several dates for next year and I’m looking forward to seeing all of you there at the various venues, which will be posted at a later date. Bruce, myself and the girls would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas, with happiness, health and prosperity in the new year.
P.S. The lyric to the new song I will post later.