name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day : A Letter to My Dad in Heaven


A Letter to My Dad in Heaven

To my daddy,

This week marks 17 years without you. I just had to do the math in my head because that doesn't seem right. It seems that I just saw you, but in truth, I see you daily in the mental pictures that flash in my mind. The memories are sweet, but they sometimes do not ease the pain and frustration of you not being physically present.

After some time, it has been a bit easier to think of memories instead of the the gaping hole that was left in our lives when we found out you were gone. That hole is the same size it was when it opened in 2002, but the pain that seeps out is remedied with the thought of my life. The life you worked SO hard to make happen.

In fact, that's what I always want to shout from the rooftops - especially to the family and friends who never met you. That you worked so hard for each of us. I saw it everyday when you would come in from work and place your brief case in the corner of the kitchen. I would meet you there to help open it and see the amazing things you did everyday at work.

But, what was truly amazing is that you LOVED life. Nature. Books. Adventure. Imagination. I miss that part of you and often tell my kids that their Pop never stopped dreaming. A HUGE part of grieving a parent when you ARE a parent is wanting your children to know your Dad.  But, you see your Dad in them every minute. From the grandson who always wants to be outside to the granddaughter who seeks adventure every minute of every day.

They are my grief sponges. They soak up the hurt and longing while showing me glimpses of you.

Today, the adventurous one had a Muffins with Mom event where we were able to attend their daily chapel time. The teacher spoke of the joy you will have - the overwhelming tears of joy - when you meet Jesus. I can say in 17 years, I have never imagined your moment. I see you in Heaven, fishing, singing Jimmy Buffet, and watching over us, but I have never thought of what it was like when Jesus was first in your presence.

What a beautiful thought to have this week. I didn't feel pain or grief; I felt happy and maybe a breath of relief. You meeting Jesus is reunion I can only imagine was filled with those tears, the requests to keep us all safe, and the directions to the nearest fishing holes.

I miss you. We all do. Seventeen years does not seem possible. The turmoil of those long nine days or the years that followed do pop up often, but so does the life you gave us, the lessons you taught us, and the beautiful children you chose FOR us.

Today when I heard those words in chapel - that was you, too. Most likely a small nudge to savor the life we have even though you're not in it. The reminder to go on adventures. That advice you loved to give about frugality and picking your battles. To play that good ol' country music with the windows down.

All of these things brought me to write this letter to you. Rejoicing in your constant reunions with Jesus. Being thankful for the family you helped create. And forever missing the man on this day and everyday for the last 17 years.

I love you, 339 -

To read more about my amazing dad, please click the following posts:

When the Anniversary Approaches - Missing My Dad

Book of Hope

Remembering Our Dads - A Father's Day Tribute

The Day My Father Went Missing - previously published on Her View From Home


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