I’d never screamed like that before.
I thought my life had ended along with my father’s in that sullen white hospital on Thanksgiving morning five (nine) months ago. Dad’s passing is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with, but I’m slowly getting better. I’m learning to accept that God has a plan and, although I don’t know what that plan is, everything will one day be clear to me.
I had never dealt with loss before. All of my close relatives are still living. This made losing Dad that much harder. I didn’t know how to cope. I felt lost. Hopeless.
But time helps.
There are some aspects of this entire ordeal that are beginning to make sense to me. I know Dad was tired. God saw how hard Dad worked on this Earth. In his 50 years, Dad worked harder than most people would over the course of several lifetimes. God saw Dad’s struggles and He decided that my father had earned some rest.
I’ve been told that I’m a lot like my Dad. There’s no greater compliment that I could ever receive. Dad was everything I could ever want to be, and I am the man I am because of him. My dad taught me the value of hard work. He taught me the importance of family. He was, and always will be, my hero and role model. Dad never complained and he never quit. On top of work, Dad still found time to spend countless hours with our family. My dad loved us, and did everything he could to make sure we were happy.
There wasn’t anyone I was closer to. I spent more time with my father than I spent with everyone else combined. I think I’ll miss our days walking the dogs most of all. We’d talk about life, the future, and what our plans were. We’d talk about the day to day struggles, which would move into talks about politics, which would ultimately lead to what we’d do if we won the lottery. We probably had the same conversations countless times, but it was always special.
I believe these talks were God’s way of making sure I truly understood the importance of my relationship with my father. Dad may be gone from this Earth, but he’s still in my heart, and the memories will remain until I get to see him again.
These are the thoughts that keep me going. I feel like I’ve aged ten years in five (nine) months, but, as the adage goes, with age comes wisdom. The last vestiges of my childhood are gone, but I am prepared for whatever life brings. When the worst happens (which is what losing Dad was to me), then there’s no longer anything to fear.
In the last five (nine) months, I’ve been through the toughest times of my life, but I persisted. I questioned everything, but I’ve found a renewed faith in God. I lost the man I loved more than anything, but then I fell in love with the most amazing girl I’ve ever met (I think Dad may have had something to do with that too).
“God works in mysterious ways” doesn’t even begin to describe it.
I keep seeing all of the signs telling me that Dad is comfortable and happy now. Some may dismiss these claims as hopeful longing and an active imagination, but these little experiences tell me everything that I need to know. I can’t begin to explain the subtle nuances of eternity. No one can. I don’t know if he’s directly watching over my family and I, but I know he’s still an active part of my life just as he always will be.
Life may seem long, but, on a grand scale, it really isn’t. Though I will miss Dad every day for the rest of my life, our whole family will one day be reunited and we will be able to spend eternity together. This is God’s greatest gift to all of us. “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Though our loved ones may leave us, they’re never really gone. They’re just resting comfortably, free from Earthly struggles, until such a time that we get to see them again.
I love you, Dad, and I always will.