I love to write. Most times, writing brings me great joy and release, however, I'm hoping this time, writing will bring me some understanding and healing. I lost my Dad over a week ago. As I sit here and write this, I'm still having a hard time believing it. Dad fell at his house in Georgia and never regained consciousness.
I am filled with so many emotions right now; regret, devastation and confusion to name a few. The bond between a girl and her dad is a unique one, and one that can't be replaced or duplicated. Growing up, I assumed Dad would be there for all the major events of my adult life and it's hard now for me to imagine those moments without him. Unfortunately our relationship changed over the last few year as he battled different issues. It became me trying to save him and fix him, a process that proved to be painful and hard, but I suppose that's what you do when you love someone.
I've come to the realization now that I have to remember the great things about Dad, the things he taught me, the things he did to make me laugh and the things he did to make me proud. His service was last Monday and it was filled with everyone from his childhood to recent friends. I had the incredible opportunity to speak at his service, a moment I am sure will bring some healing and wanted to share a bit of what I said about him.
Dad always took a genuine interest in what other people were doing- what they were involved in, what their passions were, the things they cared about. For Dad and my sister, Caroline, the interests and passions were often the same- Caroline loves the Gamecocks, she loves sports and she has Dad’s great sense of humor.
For me, the interests weren’t always the same, though I enjoy sports, I wasn’t a great athlete in high school or college, I was a band nerd that enjoyed volunteering and student council. When I got to college, I made the decision to attend Appalachian State over a big SEC school. I took a different path, but it didn’t matter, Dad still cared and he still got involved. He supported it all.
Dad also taught Caroline and I many, many things, the most important being perseverance. This is one of the reasons Romans 5:3-5 has been my favorite passages, because it reminds me of Dad. Dad was resilient and determined. He taught us that if you fail at something once to continue trying, even if it takes you 20 times to get it right.
I think the battles Dad fought made all of us stronger. The night Dad passed away, I opened up A Million Miles and my eyes fell immediately on this passage:
“The story made us different characters than if we’d showed up at the ending an easier way. It made me think about the hard lives so many people have had, the sacrifices they’ve endured, and how those people will see heaven differently from those of us who have had easier lives.”
Those battles and struggles pushed all of us and I'm thankful they did, especially for Dad because he's getting to see heaven in a much greater way. And as Coach Richardson said at the service, "he's playing for the BEST team now."
"When you're flyin' high, take my heart along
I'll be the harmony to every lonely song
That you learn to play..." Nickel Creek