It’s been 2 months since my dad breathed his last breath here on Earth while he grasped my hand tight. It’s been two months and the sting of him not with us anymore is just as strong.
I know I’ve needed to sit down and write this post for awhile now, but I just couldn’t face it. How could I find words to share on my blog with my faithful readers when I still can barely catch my breath? But, it’s time. Life doesn’t stop when someone you love so dearly passes. Even though it feels like the world should stand still and everyone should just seem to understand, it isn’t that way. The days move fast and that is what is most difficult. When you lose someone close you don’t want to think about another minute of time that has passed without that loved one. You don’t want to imagine the future because it means those are memories and experiences you’ve had without that person. It’s so very hard and it hurts deeply.
My wedding June 5, 2004
You see, I’m a daddy’s girl. My dad is so much of who I am today (I will be writing more on this in Part II). He had the biggest heart of anyone I know. He loved his family like no other earthly father I know. His legacy is his family and he did an incredible job of being a dad. We will always cherish his love for, traveling, taking us on road trips, enjoying delicious food together, belly laughs around the dinner table, quiet moments and snuggles together, boat rides on the lake, deep conversation about God and the world, and dreaming about our next adventure.
One of my all time favorite images of Poppy reading to Abby in the church library
As I have been going through the stages of mourning I have learned a lot. I would say my biggest insight from dealing with such emotional pain can be summed up in one word. Available. I have come to realize the importance of being available for people. It’s those who have made time for me during this hardship that have truly made an impact on me. The ones who have taken a moment to write a thoughtful card, bring over a warm meal, picked up and dropped off my kids, picked up the phone to call, listened as I shared, cried with me as I cried, prayed with me near and far and came to my father’s memorial service. I have realized the significance of leaving space in your schedule just for other people. Coming to this realization has allowed for me to say “no” to things that I know I would really enjoy and benefit from just because I want to have that time to help others when they are in need. I want to share my time with them and be available to love them in any way that is needed. I don’t want to be so busy that I don’t have time for the people around me.
My siblings and their families summer 2011
I am a person of faith and I have my parents to thank for instilling this in my life through the example they have led. My relationship with the Lord has been my source of strength from day to day and sometimes even hour by hour. During my quiet times alone with God, Bible open and mind still, I have reflected on one particular passage over and over again. I read it just about every day and am inspired by it every day. I read it aloud and softly in my heart. I read it to my children even if they are not listening. I read it to Brian and texted it to my mom and siblings. Even if no other person hears this passage and is impacted in the same way I am each time it is read that is no big deal to me. I will still continue to read, reflect and pray that God would allow for me to grasp the words and carry them out in my life and by my actions.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[a] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[b] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[c]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
I know the truth that God is good. If we search, we can find good in any situation. My heart desires to cling to what is good.
Easter Sunday 2016 with all eight grandchildren
As I sat down to write I realized I had so much I wanted to share about how my dad has impacted my life. Stay tuned for Part II of this post.