Father’s Day 2010 I took my Dad to breakfast at Bob Evans to celebrate. It had only been a few weeks, not even a month, since he had told me about his cancer diagnosis. He was optimistic, cheerful, his usual self. He got the biggest breakfast platter on the menu and drank a whole pot of coffee. Since I was treating, he ordered it all the fixings…that was just Dad, being Dad.
When we parted ways that day I whispered in his ear, “maybe by next Father’s Day you’ll be a Grand Dad again” (my sister has a son). To this he grinned ear to ear and his excitement could not be contained.
God had other plans though; on November 9, 2010 he went to be with Jesus and walked through the pearly gates of heaven. It was the day after my 2nd wedding anniversary.
December 18, 2010, I found out I was pregnant. There is a saying, I don’t know it’s origin, that felt so poignant on that day: “As one life ends, another begins…”. In my soul I knew it was a boy, that’s just the way the world / life / fate works. My prediction would be proven true on March 30, 2011, the day that would have been Dad’s 72nd birthday.
Father’s Day 2011 was a tough one. Knowing that my son (who would be born that August) would never meet my Dad was heartbreaking. Dad loved kids. He was that cute old guy in the store that smiled at the kids and made silly faces at them to make them giggle while waiting in the checkout line. He was a big kid himself at times.
As I face Father’s Day this year, I look at Alex in his 10 month old glory and it is bittersweet. I am so amazed at this little guy that is growing and developing before my very eyes. He has such a strong will and a personality his very own. He is inquisitive, clever and fearless. His giggles are infectious and he is rarely without a smile plastered across his face. I hate that Dad didn’t get to meet him, see his smile, hear him laugh, watch him grow.
In the midst of my grief and sadness, God has given me joy. In the midst of my pain, he comforted me. Alex is God’s soothing balm for my soul. God knew I needed a little boy to help me heal. He knew the profound effect this little man would have on my life and how much joy and pride he would bring to me. Oh how I look forward to the days, months and years to come as I continue to watch him grow, learn and become the man God has ordained him to be.
I find myself repeating Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die…”. I am thankful that Dad is no longer in pain. I am thankful for the 71 years 7 months and 9 days that he spent on this earth. I am thankful that he was such a permeating presence in my life for 27 years, 18 days. I am and will forever be, his little girl.
Happy Father’s Day Dad, I love you.