Today marks the 4 year anniversary of when my Dad breathed his last breath.
For several days I’ve been anticipating the coming of this day. Anniversaries and holidays and such can be filled with so many emotions. I decided that instead of being sad today I was going to be happy and thankful and think about all the good memories I had the privilege of sharing with my Dad.
Well, before I even turned the bedroom light on this morning, I was already shedding tears. (Maybe I don’t always get to choose my emotions, but that’s a whole other topic.) Not so much because I was feeling sad, although there was some of that, but because my sweet husband hugged me and spoke encouraging words into a day that he knew would be hard. It was because without me saying anything he remembered.
Several years ago a close friend of mine lost her child. One of the things I remember so much about that were her words expressing how much it means when someone tells her of a memory of him or brings him up in conversation. It’s the remembering that can mean so much! We can’t fix the pain or take away the grief, but we can remember!
So today I wanted to take some time to remember too! Of course, I remember in my head, but I want to remember and write it down. I hope I never loose these memories I treasure in my heart, but I also want my children to remember too. I want them one day to read these words and have it spark a memory of a story I have told them or a time they shared with their Grandaddy.
Although many of you won’t really understand my list, that’s okay. It’s really for me and my children and close family.
“Foot in pocket”
Sharing birthdays in the park
Dangerous moves on the jungle gym
Lots of used cars
Walking me down the aisle
When I got engaged, my Dad said, “This is one of the happiest days of my life!” He loved Brad. Cafe du Monde mug
Silly songs made up on the spot
Teaching me to make bread
Helping me financially in rough times
Rubbing my back and neck when I was sick
Taking me to school
Singing Happy Trails to me
Playing Tiptoe Through the Tulips on the ukulele
Holding my children for the first time
Love for his grandchildren
Caring for his terminally ill mother
Visiting me in Abilene
Driving to Arkansas in the middle of the night
Big Brown Bear
Little Red Bear
Cheering me on at sporting events
Helping me feel safe during storms
Being able to fix anything
Mallard Used Cars
Orange VW camper
Red tool box
Many other tools
Audio Bible tapes
Our last (both engaged) hug
Pleading with God for his life in 2008
“Here’s Mom” when I would call on the phone
Loving our family
Being with family gathered around his bedside
The gift of life so I could be with him one last time
Being so concerned when Annie was born with complications and testing that followed Comanche
Happy Day Cakes
Peach filled cookies
So many memories fill my heart!
Many of you knew my Dad as well. Just as my friend taught me, there is so much joy in remembering!
I’d like to ask if you knew my Dad if you would be willing to share a memory in the comments section. It would be a fun way to remember the life my Dad lived and the way he touched others through his time on this earth.
I’m sad today because I miss my Dad, but I’m so thankful for all he taught me and they ways he loved and supported me through the years. I’m thankful he knew my children and they knew him and still talk about him. He was generous and loved well! I’m so glad I get to call him Dad!
Today also happens to be my Dad’s half birthday. We acknowledge half birthdays in our family. No gifts or anything. Just a way to say “hey, you are special and you’ve made it half of another year”. When my children were born my Dad made a Happy Day Cake for each of them to celebrate. So today, in honor of my Dad and and in an effort to choose the joy in remembering, we’re off to make a Happy Day Cake to celebrate a life well lived!