I'll never forget the day. I had tried out for 7th grade cheerleading and we were getting a call to tell us if we had made the squad. My mom was gone and my dad was out working in the garage. I hugged that phone all day waiting for it to ring. Finally, the coach called and informed me I hadn't made the team. I held my breath for the rest of the call and as soon as I hung up I sobbed into the couch. At some point my dad must have walked in to the house. I heard him heading for the living room so I quickly wiped my face. He came in and noticed my tear streaked mess. Without asking about it, confirming his thought, or saying anything about my distress...in this shaky voice he simply said, "How about we get some ice cream?" I just looked at him and my heart wanted to beat out of my chest. He just knew what to say and what not to ask. He knew how to love me and make me feel loved. He wanted to cry too. That was my dad. A small glimpse at what a man should look like.
People say when you lose someone you love, it gets easier. And I will attest that the week leading up to and after his passing were by far the worst. I don't cry everyday. He doesn't star in every dream. But I will say, the moments I sit down and really think about the rest of my life without my daddy, a heaviness settles in on my chest. When I look at Charlee and think about the man she will only hear stories about, my eyes refuse to stop the tears. I love him still. When I think about the man he was I can't help but wonder why God said it was time for him to go.
But that wasn't my call. And maybe I will never understand. But this time, every year, I will stop and sit and listen and smile. I had a glimpse of something beautiful. His spirit was unmatchable and His love for Jesus was unstoppable. All I can do is feel blessed knowing he gave me a great example of who I want to be just like. I may try and I may fail...but the wonder is in the spirit of continuing down the narrow path even when you fall.