A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV
I grew up with my Daddy speaking the last line of Ecclesiastes 4:12 over our family. It was “his” thing; what he truly believed about God’s innate ability to get us through absolutely anything-together! And he was right!
A year and four months after his passing, and our family is still deeply touched by my Daddy’s legacy, which lives on forever.
Today marks what would have been my Daddy’s 75th birthday. It’s hard to believe he’s not here to celebrate it with us. Instead, my mother and I are spending the day together, making new memories, and bringing him along for the journey through our conversation and thoughts. There’s not a single day that has passed where we haven’t thought of him or mentioned him in some way. He left a mark on our hearts so few are able to do, and we cherish and miss him deeply.
As I reflect on the past year and four months without my Daddy, I realize the truth in this profound verse he chose and just how accurate it has been for our family. Even with losing him, he’s still with us, and our family has drawn closer together through the loss. Together, we’ve questioned God for taking him from us. We’ve been angry together, cried together, laughed together, comforted one another and reminisced together. But the key in all this is together and that is exactly what my Daddy wanted for our family-togetherness.
In my Goodbye post to my Daddy, I wrote,
“Daddy, we will be not only okay, but we will be good, because God is good! Our hearts will forever have an emptiness for you, yet your legacy will live on in us. We will mourn for a season, then rejoice again at all God does through your legacy as we continue to carry out His will in our lives.”
I remember the night in January I wrote that letter; it was less than three months before he passed, and I had just been with him, my Mom ans Sister at the hospital because he had choked on his dinner so had to be taken to the ER. I was an emotional wreck, because I saw the signs; his esophagus was closing up and making it more difficult for him to swallow. I came home with my heart breaking in two, and so much on my mind I wanted to say, so sat down at my keyboard to write and the words just came pouring out. Then the tears came, and I lost complete control and cried so hard I couldn’t type, or breath! It was one of the gut wrenching cries. I never knew what that was until that night. The pain was so deep; just knowing how important it was to me, to get the chance to share my heart with him, and then realizing there would actually be a final goodbye very soon… it crushed me.
I remember that night like it was yesterday, but I also remember getting to read that letter to him as he laid in his hospital bed. How he cried with me, hugged me and kept telling me how proud he was of me and how much he loved me. I also remember all the countless other memories I shared with him during his lifetime. Those memories are the ones he wants me to focus on and talk about! LIFE is what he wants me and my family to LIVE, so that is what we shall do.
Today, August 30, 2017, we honor the man who made us all stronger, livelier, happier and wiser. The man who taught us to question everything, “say it like it is”, and live life to the fullest, “to thine own self be true”. He made us better all the way around.
Daddy, life wouldn’t be what it is today without you! May your 75th birthday in heaven be more than we can possibly imagine, as you celebrate your wholeness and healing in the presence of our Omnipotent Father: Jehovah Rapha!
All my love-always & forever,