Today is our first Father’s Day without you.
Five months and twelve days ago you left us. After watching you suffer, be in pain and struggle to do things that used to be easy for you, my first reaction when I found out that the cancer had finally won was to smile.
Because you were FINALLY healed. Finally yourself again. And finally with your Lord and Savior for eternity.
But that doesn’t mean that this time has been easy by any means.
In the past five months and twelve days I’ve had to learn what it’s like to not have my Daddy here anymore. I’ve had to mourn the loss of one of my favorite people in the world. I’ve wanted to call you dozens of times. I’ve repeated your jokes just to keep them alive (and make everyone else laugh, of course). I’ve shared funny stories and talked about you with my siblings. I’ve cried myself to sleep many a night. And I’ve had to watch Mom learn a new normal.
It has been the hardest, most trying five months of my life.
I wish you could be here, Daddy! I wish you could meet your grandson. I wish you could see the amazing father Isaac has already become- You would be so proud, Dad! I wish you were here so I could talk to you about raising a Godly young man. And I wish you were here so I could give you one last hug. Tell you I love you one more time. And to look into those blue eyes that were always twinkling with laughter again.
I miss you.
My siblings miss you.
And Mom misses you.
I have been dreading this day for a really long time. In a year of “firsts” this is one of the hardest. Our first Father’s Day where we won’t be celebrating how amazing you are. We won’t be going out for lunch after church together. Or finding the funniest cards to give you and looking around for the perfect gift we know you’ll love.
It’s our first time to feel the emptiness of loss as we remember you on Father’s Day.
And it stinks. You were taken from us way too early. And life just doesn’t feel the same anymore.
But instead of mourning your loss and living in the land of “I wish” today, I’m going to take your advice and just suck it up. That’s what you would want. You would want us to laugh together, smile at your memory, and keep your legacy alive. I can’t promise I won’t cry today. But I can promise that it’s simply because you’re missed and still oh so loved. We will celebrate the amazing father we had. Hold each other close. And thank the Lord that your life was always centered around Him.
This year I’ve learned what Paul means when he tells the Thessalonians to not mourn as those who have no hope. Because even though you’re not here in the flesh, I know with absolute certainty you are where you’ve been wanting to be your entire life. You are with your Lord. You are bowing down at His feet worshipping him. You are telling him that everything you did was for HIM. And you are singing his praises for the rest of eternity.
Praise be to God for that peace and the Hope we have in Christ!
So today I thank the Lord that I had the chance to know such an incredible man for 24 years. I thank him for the impact you had on my life and the lives of everyone around you. I thank him that Isaac was able to meet you and be changed by you. I thank him for your kind spirit, your sense of humor, and your heart for teaching and raising your children in solid theology.
And most of all I thank him for YOU.
Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.
I miss you so much.
And I will always love you.