I wrote the majority of this post on February 2, 2016 on my way from Tampa to Rochester, but didn’t have the oomph to do much of anything (much less, post this) until now.
I always thought I was one of the lucky ones. I would see videos, movies, TV shows where the character loses one parent… or both. I watched a video within the last two months about a woman who had lost her father, so her brother sang, “Butterfly Kisses” and miscellaneous male members of her family danced with her throughout the song. It was beautiful. My heart broke for her because I knew that must be so hard…. but I was thankful that I would definitely be able to dance with my dad on that special day… and I so looked forward to that moment.
Death is a weird thing. I live 1200 miles from my family, so when I got the call, it hardly processed as I curled up into a ball and just cried. I cried and made a lot of phone calls and fielded a lot of questions. A heart attack. No, we didn’t expect it. No, he was just outside shoveling snow. Yeah, I had talked to him earlier that day. We had a great conversation. What did we talk about? Nothing really, which was my favorite thing.
I love my dad. I love him, and I’m so thankful that God prepared my heart for his too-soon (in my opinion; clearly God has another plan for him) departure from this Earth. Any pent up teenage frustration I’d had several years ago, is gone. I have forgiven him in every sense of the word. I forgave him to him, to my family, to friends, to my church, and most importantly in my heart. I talked to him earlier that day about silly things like phone plans and what the vacation just two months away would look like. I love my dad for who he is, and who he has been for me. In my heart, I know how much he loves me and how much he always loved me, even when I was more angry with him than I can put into words.
It seems really surreal. I’m not angry.. but I guess that comes later. Does it? I don’t want to be angry about this. Thank God for God. Thank God for the strength in my faith. I am not angry with anyone. It was his time to be called up. If he wasn’t supposed to go, he wouldn’t have. It is simple, but it is not easy. Not easy… it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to feel. One of my best friends sent me a music mix labeled “1. Denial and Isolation.” I’m not isolating myself on purpose, but it’s nice to be alone and to reflect. I’m not in denial that it has happened, it is just easier when I don’t have to read people’s messages and outpourings of love to remember that it HAS happened (…I guess this is denial).
I’m going to church today. I’m flying home tonight. I am trying not to isolate myself here. I want to be alone, but I just don’t want to be alone. I love my friends who didn’t call when I told them I didn’t want to talk about it, and my friend Jon for calling anyway.
Facebook is also a weird thing in times like these. People who are affected make the appropriate updates and Facebook profile picture changes (my update is below), and the majority of people on my News Feed are just going about their lives… posting about the Super Bowl and not being sad.
I think it was quick, which makes me feel better. That it wasn’t painful and he just really needed to go. He needed to go outside and shovel so he could leave the world peacefully without everyone trying to fix it and make a big fuss and fight harder than they should be since God had already made His decision. This, of course, doesn’t make the grieving process easy. For me, though, it brings peace to my heart to know that God had carved out my Dad’s path. God has carved out my path, and your path, and no matter how hard I want my Dad to continue walking this earth, it is not up to me. I am selfish in my love for my father, as are I’m sure is a feeling shared by others who were blessed to have been a part of his life. God didn’t take my Dad away. My Dad didn’t choose to leave. It was just time. Dad’s soul has served his purpose, and he was simply ready to move on to bigger and better things.
I read a quote earlier:
“If I die, I will wait for you, do you understand? No matter how long. I will watch from beyond to make sure you live every year you have to its fullest, and then we’ll have so much to talk about when I see you again… (Bones)”
― Jeaniene Frost
I think that hits my heart the most. If we do anything, it must be to move forward. Not to move on; but to move forward. I know that I intend to live my life to the furthest reaches of my potential. I know I will have so many things to tell my Dad when I meet him down the road, however far away that may be.
More love than should be allowed in one picture.