Friday, January 20, 2012
I Wept... Actually I Still Weep
I am astounded by how much the loss of my father still affects me after all these years. I was driving back from a work training when I heard an announcer on the radio talking about some wedding package give away. I didn’t hear much of what she said, but it sounded intriguing enough that it got me thinking. December this year my wife and I will celebrate our ten year anniversary (It’s hard to believe it been anywhere near that long). We talked a lot early on about doing a vow renewal at ten years. So, I thought… Hmmm. Some wedding package giveaway… that could come in handy. And then I started thinking about the where and the how and the who… Who would we have perform the ceremony. We could see if the original pastor could do it….
And you see, that’s when it hit me. I MISS my dad. I miss him in a way there aren’t words for.
When my wife and I got married we had a dual minister wedding. Our old pastor… and my dad (who was the associate pastor of the church we attended at the time).
You see… we can’t have the original pastor do it… at least not both of them. Three months after co-performing our wedding ceremony my father died from what I’ll call “complications in his cancer treatment”. Long story, but suffice it to say… he’s gone.
As I drove, that thought struck with a renewed weight. It was like I’d just heard he was gone for the first time; only worse because I didn’t have the numbing shock of discovery to dull the pain.
He is gone.
My body convulsed at the thought. My breath shuddered. I winced from the emotion. A moment later I made the decision to pull over and let those feelings run. I turned a corner, stopped the car, and wept. I wept for the loss of my father. I wept for the selfishness that robbed me of time with him for most of his last year. I wept for the first half of my years when he was alive that we had no relationship. I wept for hidden fears that somehow I could have helped him so those complications would not have arisen. I wept for the past. I wept that my daughter will not know my father. And I wept that my heart is so torn between selfishness and Godliness.
Though he spent his fair share of years on the selfish side of things, my Father ended his life much farther on the Godly side. And I long for the same.
One wave of emotion followed another and it felt gutwrenchingly... good to let those emotions out. I Miss my dad. I always will. I don’t know that time actually heals all wounds. I think that might be someone’s made up hogwash.
Time seems to only clarify this wound. I see it in starker contrast as time goes by. I am grateful to God for the father he gave me, and I’m grateful for the latter half of my years when dad was alive. He was a great father and good friend.
I love you, Pop. It’s been almost nine years. I wish I could see you. I wish you were here to speak some of your direct and folksy wisdom to me. I wish I could give you another hug, and apologize for being so unavailable that last year. But, under all that I wish I could look you in the eye and thank you for showing me what a good father, what a good man, looks like.
I know one day I will be able to thank you face to face. By then I pray my child (or children) will feel about me the way I do about you.
You were, and forever are… the best.
I thank God for you.