I miss my dad.
Simple as that. I miss him. Not a day goes by where my mind doesn’t stop and pause on thoughts of him. Each September, I start to relive the last week of my dad’s life. I can’t help but wish I could go back to that week and linger on every single moment that came and went. I wish I could stand there in my dad’s presence just one last time… soaking up every crinkle in his tanned skin, the deepness of his dark brown eyes, every wiry gray hair, every raspy word he had to say.
The last time I saw him, I knew I needed to pay attention. Something in me knew to take in as much as I could, but I had no idea that would be the last time I saw him alive. Now that I know, I can’t help but wish to go back so I could stay just a little longer. So I could hug him longer, tell him sweeter things, hold tightly to his leathery brown hands and spend just one more moment with him.
But what I know is that just one more moment would never be enough. If I had five more minutes, I would want five more. If I had two more days, I would want two more. Even another lifetime with him wouldn’t be enough.
This year has held more hurt than the previous two. The dust my dad’s death stirred up is beginning to settle again. Life is moving forward without him. My mom and I have learned what life looks like without him. In some ways, it’s good. It’s good to continue on and live a life that would make him proud. But, in some ways, it’s heartbreaking. There is so much I wish I could share with him…so much I wish I could say… so much I wish he could see.
But through all the pain, through all the brokenness, and through all the many tears I’ve cried, I cannot deny the fact that the Lord has carried me every single step of the way. I cannot say it enough – God. is. faithful. He is so faithful. He is so trustworthy. When my world was turned upside down, He promised He would take care of me and I stand today as a testament to His provisions, to His mercy, and to His love for me. I want to shout at the rooftops of His goodness! The more my heart breaks, the more the Lord puts it back together… and the more He puts it back together, the more I want to tell the world about His goodness. For all the tears I’ve cried out of grief, I have cried ten times more out of thankfulness and excitement about the way the Lord has kept His promise to me.
I miss my dad. I always will. But when I think about what the Lord has done, I can’t help but be thankful for all the moments I did have with my dad and for the twenty-one years I knew him and for the relationship we had. I can’t help but be thankful for the Lord’s provision, for new-found father figures, for new “families,” and for a brand spanking new life.
Yesterday marked three years since my dad left this world. It was a good day… a busy one, filled with plenty of distractions. But at the end of the day, I remembered my dad. I remembered what I was doing on that day three years ago. And I remembered the Lord’s goodness. And last night, new life was brought into the world. My cousin Esther Charlotte was born. Three years ago yesterday, her parents also said goodbye to a little life yet to even make it into to this world. And three years later… a beautiful baby girl is born. So, here’s to God’s goodness… for goodbye’s and hello’s. For life in the midst of death. For hope in the face of loss. For me, yesterday was a brand new day.