Sunday, January 29, 2017

Happy Birthday Dad.

Grief is one of the oddest things I continue to deal with.  Today my daddy would have been 68.  I wasn't sure what I would be feeling because with grief, emotions change as quickly as the Cincinnati forecast.  Today I sat up to start the day and felt the air in my lungs run for dear life.  My house was quiet. The time was earlier than I wanted.  Why was I awake? And just like that, the tears began to flow.  What I wouldn't give to call my daddy and sing to celebrate the man who held my heart so carefully.  I was left to imagine him start to sing along to himself.  Broken, I pondered what rest would look like for me today.  In years past, I've declared war on the January depression efforts of the enemy.  I've cooked cupcakes and invited people in to celebrate the man that was so well loved and loved so well.  Without my million children here, I didn't have the attitude or energy.  Bran so graciously agreed to throw clothes on the kids and meet me at Sugar and Spice for breakfast.  As the kids cried for cereal (as I used to do), I thought about how many childhood moments that I completely missed his greatness.  As children, we look at each moment as what serves us right then.  We look at our parents with eyes that can't see uncertainty of their existence.  We can't possibly cherish our blessings because we can't see beyond our now.  I didn't know I was privileged to have that man in my life.  I didn't know that to have a dad repent to his daughter, for a joke he made or an unkind word he said, was out of the ordinary.  I didn't know because that's all I knew.  I had a dad for 25 years that most people don't ever get.  I had a dad that taught me to love hard and well and even when it made me uncomfortable.  I had a dad that told me who I was.  I had a dad that showed me how to believe in people.  He showed me how to sacrifice for what was right.  He taught me how to have uncomfortable conversations.  He lived out how to be humble and quiet and how to honor people that hurt you because forgiveness always wins.  He showed me grace and taught me mercy.  When people pass away, we try to romanticize them or think up kind words to say, no matter the life they lived.  This man.  This man that taught me that if your tires look clean, your whole car looks clean...the world is less without him.  Coffee breath and auto repair stores make me close my eyes and think back to those random days of finding my place wherever he was.  Whatever he loved, I loved too. One of the hardest lessons I've learned through this is that my daddy could have never promised me he would never leave me or forsake me.  Those were a given.  He was human.  God, on the other hand, promised me both of those things.  And He's held faithful.  The first part of that verse says to be strong and courageous.  Losing my dad was terrifying as I had never pictured life without him in it.  Now, as reality hits where it hurts, I still don't lose hope. Our world is ever crying out for something more.  We all feel it.  I just have far greater hope in a Father who won't leave me.  My dearest friends have now joined me on this path and we walk together.  Though it may be unclear what the road looks like ahead, I'm confident in the destination and the Father leading the way.  Together we can overcome fear, anger, depression, grief, and uncertainty.  Together we are strong.

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