Sunday was Father’s Day. My own husband was proudly wearing his “Rad Dad” t-shirt with a big cheesy grin. At church, there were many smiles and well wishes. Daughters and sons greeting their father’s with loving hugs, and little tikes running about with “I love my Daddy” shirts. At the end of the service, the last note from the worship band faded away, and a video began to say…
Read you a good night story.
Taught you to ride your first bike.
Helped you with your scrapped knee.
Always invited your friends to your house.
Chased away the monster under your bed.
To be honest, I can’t quite remember all the things the video listed that dads should do. An account of cherished memories that some people take for granted. My heart was breaking inside of me so I quietly left the room to find a solitary place to work through my tears. A lady stumbled upon me, saw my tears, and knowingly whispered with a nod, “I lost my own father 13 years ago.” I just nodded back with a smile. How do you explain to someone that your tears are not because your dad died but because your dad was the monster under the bed? And yet, she sort of understood my emotions as I truly was filled with grief. Filled with a grief not from the loss of a parent but from the loss of something that would never be. Grief of the absence of the memories so beautifully depicted in the video. Grief over what our relationship should have been.
Some may say that I should be over this by now, but grief is unpredictable. Ask anyone who has lost a spouse or a parent. After they are gone, you are never quite the same, and so many things can trigger your grief. It is the same for me. Some days the grief sweeps in unexpectedly and sometimes powerfully.
But I compose myself and remember the step-father with whom God blessed me. The first years were rocky as he knew nothing of kids and I was an angry and depressed high schooler. As I grew older, I began to appreciate all he did to provide first for me and my mom and later my own family. And he bestowed with me with wisdom to help me live wiser. I am thankful to have him in my life. And my daughter is blessed with sweet memories, similar to the video, made with her Pappy.
Even better is my Holy Father who has walked with me down some really dark roads. And He has filled me with His Holy Spirit to protect me spiritually and to continue teaching me better ways to live. Wisdom that will help keep me from walking back down those same, old roads that only lead to destruction. He is my joy and my love. And when my journey here is over, there will be no more grief, no more lost memories, and we will meet in His beautiful, heavenly realm.