We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Father's Day . . . With and Without Dad . . .

Today I enjoyed a date with my dad.
Dad and I, Veterans' Day 2016

Well, if you call a trip to Boscov's for khaki pants and a mattress cover a date. But I was intentional about offering to go with him, an 81-year-old navy veteran, retired gas company employee, artist, and widower. I hadn't been downtown to shop in a long time, so with purchases complete, we meandered around in his usual non-hurried way. He treated me for lunch, and we ended our time in his immaculate kitchen with me demonstrating how to make beef gravy. A nice time together.

I'm blessed. Not everyone can enjoy an ordinary day with his or her dad.

Like my own daughters.

Barry's Old-fashioned Roses, 2017
This is the third Father's Day they mark the occasion with only their memories, memories of a dad who cared deeply for each one . . . and not just about what they were currently doing but about their hearts and what they were thinking and feeling and planning. He had a way of asking questions to help them think it through, work it out, and come to a satisfying conclusion. His insights brought clarity, truthful perspective, and often humor.

How we miss those conversations.

And yet, we carry him with us every day. How many times have we said, "Dad would have loved this." OR "Now, what would Dad say about this decision?" OR "Dad would be so proud."

July 14, 2012

How does a family honor a man we can no longer see and hear and touch? How can we ease the ache of loss on Father's Day? Perhaps, it helps to take time to remember all he gave us while he lived, all he stood for and taught and modeled . . . and to carry out his legacy, that of loving God and others with humility, of learning and growing in ways that span the gulf of time and eternity.

This weekend and beyond, let's take time to honor our dads. A handwritten note, grilling his favorites, listening, making a call. Or taking time to remember . . .

No earthly father is perfect. Some memories may hold pain and regret, disappointment and frustration. If possible, focus on the positives. And let's not forget: we have a heavenly Father who loves and cares for us in the greatest way possible, who will never leave us, no matter what happens. 

"The memory of the just is a blessing . . ." Proverbs 10:7

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