I was thinking about my dad a lot last night. I always do this time of year with his birthday a few days away…February 4th. He’s been gone so long now that sometimes I actually have to really concentrate to remember every feature of his face. Isn’t that weird? But I haven’t forgotten what a special person he was and how wonderful he made me feel. My love for my dad has always been a constant in my life...like the love for my children.
I still feel hurt, and even a little angry, that my dad had to die and leave my young life and a hole in my 21-year-old heart. I know he didn’t mean to. I know he didn’t want to. His kids meant everything to him; but his big, warm, wonderful heart just wouldn’t hold out any longer….even with all my pleading. Even though he was much too young. Even though he was much too good. Even though he was much too special. I guess God knew that…and HE wanted him.
My son Joe comes over all the time. He was over yesterday. He reminds me of my dad. He has the same wonderful heart. He’s built like my dad….only with more hair. He’s kind and honest, generous and funny…really funny; but often in a gross way, which my dad wasn’t of course (at least not around me)…… and EVERYONE loves him….just like my dad. And like my dad….Joe is full of love, and everyone around him benefits from it.
I’m sure this is where I feel most of my hurt….still. The fact that my kids never got to know my dad as they were growing up or that he never got to share in their childhood years was bad enough. But it hurts just as much that he couldn’t experience them as adults and enjoy conversations with them and those special moments in life such as marriages and babies and see how they’ve all turned out. I can’t even imagine how proud my dad would be….and he would have been such an amazing Grandpa.
Who knows if things would have gone differently that night my dad died in my arms almost 42 years ago; maybe those kids would have been just the medicine that big, warm, wonderful heart might have needed.