It has been a year since I last posted a blog. It was Father’s Day 2015, and I wrote about the wound so many of us carry around because of difficult relationships with our fathers. I was blessed to have a good and healthy relationship with my father. He wasn’t perfect but in many ways and for many years he was my best friend. Last year on Father’s Day, my father was in the hospital. We thought it was for pneumonia, but after several weeks we discovered he had Stage 4 lung cancer. From the correct diagnosis until his death was only six weeks. August 1, 2015, he passed from this life.
In the time since his death, I have thought about writing many times. I have had ideas come into my head and have even thought about ways to communicate them. Whenever I would sit down to write though, nothing came out. I just couldn’t do it. The more I tried to write, the less I wanted to write. It was like writer’s block on steroids.
I have the feeling that the grieving process is as unique as a finger print. We may all go through the same stages or kinds of things, but each one walks the path differently. For me there was a long period of time when I just didn’t feel like doing anything. I found even the things I normally loved to do lacked their usual enjoyment. I sensed in many ways God’s kindness and loving presence, but I even found it difficult to reestablish my normal routines and rhythms.
It is Father’s Day again. One year since my last blog; one year since my dad’s first hospitalization. So much has happened in that year! Bethany and Joshua got married…Jonathan and I went to Europe…Angie and I celebrated twenty-seven years of marriage…I resigned from my ministry to pursue something new (still pursuing!)…milestones and memories…steps and stumbles…joys and sorrows…So many times I wanted to pick up the phone and call my dad to tell him about it. So many times I heard him say in a choked up voice, “Super, Son!” So many times I wished we had more time and reminded myself we would see one another again.
It’s Father’s Day again. I get to be with Angie and all three of my children as well as my son- and daughter-in-law. Every life has its challenges and its joys. We really never know what tomorrow will bring. Whatever lies ahead, I am thankful for loving parents who instilled in me a love for God and the importance of family. I am thankful for a wife who puts up with my idiosyncrasies and loves me well. I am thankful for my amazing children who make me proud every day not for what they do but for the character and passion with which they do it. I am thankful for my children’s spouses and how I can love them like my own after such a short time. They so complete and complement each other. I am thankful for my mother, who has shown strength and resilience and courage over the past year. I know it hasn’t been easy for her, but I am so proud of her. I am thankful for my sisters and their families. We have learned how to love and lean on one another this past year in ways we have never had to before. And I’m thankful for friends. There are so many people who intentionally and unintentionally were blessings in my life at times I needed it most.