December 22, 2011

December 22

My dad died today. Oh, not literally. It was literally 9 years ago today.

I was thinking about him when I wrote yesterday's post. Do you know I still miss him? There will always be a hole in my heart that longs for his voice and his hugs and his big, warm, rough hand wrapped around mine. I guess there will always be a little girl hiding inside, needing her daddy.

I could focus on all that. I could really get into it and have a whopper of a pity party. Did you ever see the Lord of the Rings trilogy? For three years after dad died I had an Orc screaming in my heart. Not only was the adult me mourning his leaving, the little girl inside suddenly realized there was no hope of ever, ever having a daddy.

Death and grieving are strange things to me. The hurt is still there and I still miss him. The Orc has finally shut up though, which is nice. I don't miss him one bit. What's strange about death and grief is that for me, in this case, I have so much joy inside and so much to be thankful for even though...

I learned so much from my dad. He was practical, he was wise, he knew how to balance his time and used it wisely, and his faith...his faith was true and deep and everything I want mine to be. How did he get there??

When he found out he had lung cancer he calmly told us about it and calmly asked for prayer. He said, "If the Lord wants to heal me, that'd be great. If not, that's ok. It's up to Him and I'm ready to go home if that's what He wants."

I watched dad as he lived out the next two years. He never seemed to focus on the cancer or the fact that he was probably going to die. He still served, he still encouraged, he still laughed and carved and prayed for people and played games. He found joy in his days and would not allow fear or sorrow to overshadow here and now.

The timing of his death could be called untimely by some. Three days before Christmas; really? I could focus on that and have another wonderful little pity party every. single. year.

I don't though. The timing was sweet to me. His visitation and memorial were surrounded by Christ and Christmas, evergreen wreaths and bright, happy Christmas trees. It's a time of rejoicing and that's what I do when December 22 pops up each year. It is a sad sort-of rejoicing, but it is rejoicing. My dad is safely Home. He spends his days with Jesus now where there is no sorrow, no more tears, no more sin. He finished his race well.

I hope I do.

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