Taken by surprise

I’ve gotten good at anticipating sorrow over my father but today I was taken by surprise. Maybe it’s the holiday season… I don’t know. But if I could call him, this is what I’d say.

Daddy, you were a fiercely loving man. Thank you for loving me wholly and unconditionally. I miss you. My kids would love you – they would run and jump up on your lap and kiss your face all over. They would ask you questions and ask you to read them books, and show you things in the world. They would laugh at all your silly jokes and marvel at your fun hand tricks. You are never far from my heart and my thoughts.

Ian and I would ask your advice and tell you all the things God is showing us. I would ask you to write down your family history for me. I would ask you for your prayers. I would tell you about your children and grandchildren, all 7 of them, and how I want to give you more of them too.

Many people my age haven’t understood what it’s like to have this kind of hole in their hearts. Mostly I can smile and tell them what a great job you did. But the hole will always be there as a shallow mirror of the love we still share. And I flood that hole with tears every now and again. I’m glad God is there to catch them.

I long for a hug. Heck, I’ll even take the way you used to say my name with a warning when I was doing something wrong. Thank you for teaching me right from wrong, and dealing gracefully with all my teenage angst.

I thank the Lord that He allowed my husband to know you for three years before He took you. God’s design has mercy woven throughout it in small details like these, too. Thank you for loving Ian, even as a child, too!

What’s it like in front of Jesus? What do the angels sound like when they are worshipping? Does God let you peer down over us and watch? What family members have you rejoined with there? Would you tell me how short this life really is, while we are waiting for Jesus to come back? What does your spirit look like without a body?

I’d love to buy you a cheesy necktie for Christmas and mix a cd of music for you. I’d love to bake you a cake and sing happy birthday. And I’d love to plop one of my babies into your lap and watch you bob them up and down on your knee.

Anyhow, I miss you and I love you.

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