Ten Years of Missing on Father's Day

Sunday, June 18, 2017

*Note: A personal post. I learning it's good and important to talk about stuff like this. Even on the internet. YEAH, the internet. Okay. Here's a piece of my heart, dear friends.*

I can almost feel the old, droopy ceiling lining of my dad's green Jeep Cherokee just barely resting on my head. (We always meant to get stuff like that fixed.) Listening to James Taylor on the stereo, windows down, probably driving to do something fun + carefree. Maybe ice cream or a trip to the pool. It was five and six and seven years old - and all the years before that - that my childlike nature was natural and distinct. The constant question asking and curiosity that quickly turned into nosiness, the afternoons spent in the backyard unaware of time, the way in which life seemed stable. Peaceful, even. And, yet, these childlike years were blended with first encounters of pain, grief, and confusion.

A decade later, today marks the tenth father’s day without my dad. That number feels heavy these days. Sometimes as weighty as it felt those first few years and sometimes barely noticeable at all. A lot has happened in these years - times of joy and grief. Seasons of letting go and starting new. Spaces + people to laugh, cry, and share in the everyday with. It’s stuff like this that is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking. 

I'll be honest - I like to ignore this day. It makes it easier. I never really know how I will feel on Father's day, but I do know one thing: I will choose to celebrate because it’s a day worth doing just that. Celebrating the time I had with my dad - the sweet stories and moments both big and small. The strength, the grace, the fun he shared with me + so many in each circumstance. Celebrating the immense growth over the years - a lot due to the love of family + friends + mentors who have walked beside me in both obvious hard days like today and the basic missing that lingers in each day since his passing. And, ultimately, I am choosing to celebrate the pure grace and power of the forever Father we have in Jesus. 

These days (months, years - you name it) I am learning a few things:

01 | Celebrating can look like laughter and shared stories, but also comes in the form of reflecting and tears and longing. I’m learning to be okay with that. Missing is a beautiful thing, for it declares how beautiful and temporary this life is only further pointing us to better days. Today, celebrating looked like getting ice cream for dinner after work and sitting in my car teary-eyed as I felt the weight of all that this day means to me. The joy, the pain, the love, the growth. We've come so far, I kept saying to myself, we've come so far. It is grief and it is grace - both heartbreaking and beautiful.

02 | Healing happens in the passing of time. In choosing to grieve. In community & letting people be apart of your life that is too heavy to deal with alone. And, it happens in Jesus since he provides purpose in that passing of time. It is only through Him that I can say how thankful I am for this long + ongoing season of loss. There are not many words that allow me to genuinely explain this, really. (&, I hate that. I like to be able to accurately account for these things well. My writer soul is kicking myself right now.) Thankfulness for such a hardship seems odd and honestly, a bit wrong. Yet, being able to walk through this period (& continuing to do so) with an overwhelming sense of joy is only possible through the power of Christ. Truly cannot explain it any other way.

03 | I'm so damn human. I am a mess of emotions and feelings and thoughts most days. That's why I am choosing to say "I'm learning..." in regards to a lot of things lately. Learning how to embrace, celebrate, and even grieve the contents of what each day brings. It is easy to convince myself that after a decade, I should have all the answers or understand in full. I’m learning that A) I don’t (haha) and B) It’s better that way. For, it leads me over and over again to the perfect love of Christ and to eternity. I’m so stoked for that. 

Therefore I can say: 
Today & everyday, hallelujah

[ Authors Note: Thanks for reading and being apart of my life, friends - the real and the far-from-pretty life. I know that days like this are hard for so many. Whether you yourself have lost a significant male leader in your life, or perhaps your father is simply not a part of your life or apart of it in the way you long for - I get it. I read this article on Darling that hit home with me today. Maybe it will for you, too. Surrounding yourself with Truth on days like today is so vital. Allowing yourself to be loved on. To cry. Stuff like that. This life can be heartbreaking & beautiful, yet actively choosing to be apart of that kind of life produces joy + hope. All in all, writing this to share my heart and to allow you lean on me if you need it. Comment, message, text or call - we are meant to go through this life together. Here for ya, C. ] 


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