I remember sitting on the phone with you and thinking, this is it. This is the last time I’ll hear your voice. I took a screen shot of our call. And when we were done the empty feeling became bigger.
A year later I regret not calling more. I wish I called later that day and the next day and the days to follow. But you were taken so fast. While you were slipping away grandpa was too. Going from care home back to our home. Seeing him so lively and almost normal one day to sleeping all day the next was hard. But I wish I made time in those 18days to still talk. To still call. I never knew that I’d miss your voice so much.
I look back and see how hard it was to simply breathe. While my own anxieties consumed me and the grief of so much tried to destroy me there was a hope I held onto. Thank you for reminding me of that hope. Thank you for choosing life in the midst of death. Thank you for giving me something to look forward to beyond this life. Dad I always thank mom for introducing me to Jesus, now I can thank you for helping me to keep following Him no matter what. I thank you for showing me that it’s the right thing to love family even when it feels hopeless. You taught me how to love unconditionally. How to do hard things even when people don’t deserve it. To stay close to God even when the promise hasn’t happened.
I went to counseling for a while after you passed. I learned how to give my anxiety to God. This past week I went back and just talked. I asked my counselor why I don’t miss you more. I feel like I should still be crying and mourning your loss. But He said something that I’ll hold onto. He reminded me that I worked through the bad feelings I still had towards you. But now the good is left. And to enjoy those memories.
So I will.
I’ll enjoy remembering the nicknames you called me. I’ll enjoy remembering us talking about ducks and turtles. I’ll enjoy remembering you introducing us to your boss and taking us to that Amish place with the good desserts. I’ll remember us walking and finding the Peter Pan dolphin and seeing king Neptune. I’ll remember the hugs and the tears that we shared when we saw each other. I’ll remember you telling me how you pray for me and how you told me you love Jesus. I’ll remember you dad.
So for those days that have passed know that I love you. Know that I’m proud to be your daughter. Know that I wouldn’t trade our story for the world. Know that what you left behind is and will be carried on. Know that you’ve helped make my heart into a garden of trust and love. I’ll keep tending to it.
I love you Dad.