Friday, June 17, 2016

Sharing Chocolate Ice Cream with Daddy

This is the first Father's Day without my dad, the occasion wedged in tight right in the midst of a string of bittersweets ... his birthday, my parents' anniversary, the laying of the gravestone, the date of his death.

I wandered through the dusty old blog archives this morning, looking for another post but finding the one shared below instead, somehow forgotten.  It captures who we were, causing me to smile even as hot tears cascade.

Interesting that along the way I was so busy taking pictures of everybody else that this string of selfies from 2013 are just about the only ones I have of the two of us together.

I honor him this weekend, our whole family remembers.  How could we ever forget?  We each grieve in our own individual ways even as we continue to share memories and stories that somehow seem to get embellished with time.  His legacy shines bright and true.

I'm forever grateful.  For there are no regrets.

*

I know that you, too, may be honoring your dad this weekend even though he's not with you anymore.  I hear that the pain lingers long, that an empty space remains always and forever.  May your saddened tears be soothed by gratitude for memories sweet.

And if Father's Day breaks your heart because your relationship wasn't healthy and the memories bring pain, my deepest desire is for you to head over here for words of consolation and comfort.









Dear Dad ~

Happy 57 years of celebrating Father's Day, happy 61 years with my sainted mother, happy 85th birthday to you.

I hold you close and stretch my arm way out, camera in hand.  We're still making memories whenever we can.  And I want to capture this celebration before we dive into great huge bowls of chocolate ice cream on the most gorgeous Cape Cod day ever.  Before we laugh the sunny afternoon away as we fill the newly painted window boxes with multi-hued petunias and patch the driveway and cut the rhubarb.  Before we sit and watch the birds explore the bird house and someone who shall remain nameless tracks driveway tar onto the light aqua carpeting.  Before the evening falls and the breeze cools and we watch TV at ear-piercing levels and talk politics and books and you share ancient photos and vividly-detailed stories from Scotland in the century past.

We all know you never expected to hit this milestone.  Ah ... but God had other plans, and here you are, moving around on your own two feet and in your right mind.  Wisdom still comes from your heart and your vast life experience.  You still break into hearty song on a moment's notice ... and I realize in the writing of this that my sister and I do the same.  For the nuts didn't fall far from the tree, did they ...

You still prize hard work and an eye to detail, even though you might be moving just a tad slower.  Your eyes are quick to fill at the most sensitive of moments.  You make us laugh ... and yes, we both continue to make each other crazy from time to time.

And when you confidently pound on heaven's doors in perfect King James English, I know our Redeemer listens.  You have shown us how to be faithful to Him and to each other.

Please know I value your wise counsel more than ever.  And I know I'm not the only one.  So please rejoice in this season because your legacy is living on, even as we speak.  Through your children.  Children's children.  And children's children's children.

How good is God!

I love you, Daddy ~






54 comments:

  1. Thank you for this touching post. You are right in that we all continue to grieve. May photos, his voice, and/or our memories bring comfort.

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    1. And our gathering together ... can't wait to see you again! We'll have stories to share, won't we. Be sure to bring your Scotland t-shirt, ok?

      ;-}

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    2. Hear Hear! Yes...Winston is coming as well.

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  2. Great memories of Dad and the fun times we had. His advice and his life example linger daily as life continues without his physical presence - though I see him everywhere - in the way we talk, laugh or burst into song - in the kids and grandchildren - and in Mom, as we remember the impact he had on our lives. I am forever grateful.

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    1. I see him in you, Marilyn. In lots of ways ...

      He'd be so happy to see you following in his footsteps ...

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  3. Touching tribute! Sounds like you were blessed with an awesome daddy.

    I've lost my dad, too, so I understand how you will be feeling this weekend. Thank God for precious memories.

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    1. We're united in our losses, yes, Jerralea ...

      We are not alone.

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  4. Priceless, dear friend! I so appreciated you hearing about the precious relationship you shared. It seems we both have sweet memories of our dads and still miss them a great deal. Love and hugs, my dear friend!

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    1. Your post touched me deeply today, Pam ... those pictures took us all down your family's memory lane.

      Oh so moving.

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  5. I can't seem to get enough of old family photos, even when it's not my family. They make me smile. My dad has been long gone but lives in many ways in my brother and I. We'll celebrate my husband who is the best dad I know. So thankful for him. And for your gracious words, Linda.

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    1. I'm with you, Debby. I just love going through the old albums, slides, snapshots, portraits.

      And every once in awhile I'll spy the faces of my children's children in a long ago ancestor ...

      ;-}

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  6. I wish I could hear his stories of Scotland once more!

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  7. Lovely, Linda!! May God comfort and keep you during this time of bittersweet anniversaries.

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    1. Thanks, Dar ... sweet of you to drop by!

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  8. I've been praying for you and your family this week, Linda ... may the God of all comfort surround you with his loving arms and give you perfect peace this weekend.

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    1. Isn't His peace so absolutely amazing? Even when tears flow, the fruit of His Spirit doesn't change.

      I love that. I love Him!

      And I appreciate your prayer support, friend ...

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  9. This is a beautiful post, Linda. I love the photos and that you have so many happy memories. Will be praying for you and your family this weekend.

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    1. You're a sweetie, girl. Thank you, thank you ...

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  10. Such wonderful photos of your father and you, Linda - sweet and precious memories to cherish.
    This will be my third Father's Day since my Dad passed. Still miss him so . . .
    Blessings to you!

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    1. Praying for you right now as I respond to your kind words, friend ...

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  11. He taught us all much about life, and more than we ever wanted to know about death. But he leaves behind a family that exhibits his character, personality, and all we learned from this man of wisdom continues to live in the generations that follow. How great to know on this week, the family gathers at one of his favorite places to celebrate him, but also to look ahead to the generations that will be impacted by his life. He was a leader in life, and the Lord allowed him to lead us in death, what a great man he was, what a great God we have

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    1. Oh gosh, if I wasn't crying this morning, well ... I am now.

      Thank you for sharing what's oft' been unsaid. I love you, Tim.

      x

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    2. What wonderful thoughts. Thank you for sharing. This means a lot. I appreciate hearing so many people's perspectives and what resonates with them.

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    3. Yes! Other's remembrances usually kick up something in our own souls ...

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  12. Dear Linda,

    What a beautiful tribute and I'm so glad to know you have such tender and fond memories of your father. I pray God continues to hold you and your family close in your grief...((hugs))

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    1. Hugs back to you, friend. So good to see your smiling face!

      ;-}

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  13. Your words soothe and comfort. I love the selfies of you and your dad. That is a treasure that will keep you smiling for a long time. I am praying for you as you remember your dad and the legacy he left for you and your family.

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    1. You understand, Mary ... you've walked this path, too ...

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  14. Linda, what a BEAUTIFUL letter to your dad. It brings a lump in my throat, friend. I'm so glad I read this. It makes me treasure my father even more. After his wife died, I try to call him more frequently. He's such a gift to me. Grace to you as you grieve your loss. Words fall short, don't they? but God knows our hearts.

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    1. You heard my heart, Betsy. Thank you. Our loved ones are the most priceless gift. I want them to know it ...

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  15. Linda,
    I adore this vintage photo of you with your dad at the seashore! How blessed you are to have had so much time with your dad in your life to appreciate his example and commitment. Your words to him in your post are just lovely too. xo

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    1. Thanks so much for your little visit today, friend. I love Wednesdays!

      ;-}

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  16. Oh how this touches my heart...♥ What a beautiful relationship you had with your dad-- such a reminder of the relationship we share with our heavenly dad...♥

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    1. Thanks for reminding me that there is One who loves me even more than my earthly dad ...

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  17. Thanks for sharing this at The Loft, Linda. I adore you and your daddy's selfies!

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    1. Some family members find me obnoxious with my camera, but I'm so glad to have all those shots. What a treasure!

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  18. Linda, thank you for sharing this letter to your father. It surely blessed him then and the memories it brings to mind touch your heart as well as mine. This first year may be the hardest without him, but in my loss of Mama three plus years ago now, I am finding that the Lord squishes down the hard stuff further and further, while bringing forth the sweet moments more and more to the surface. I am so grateful for His lovingkindness to me. Yes, I still miss her, yet I hold the memories so dear. Daddy has been gone from my life for 56 years now and I still miss him so. It is just the way our hearts are built, but God knows for He built them! May the precious moments, chocolate ice cream and lovely days on Cape Cod fill your heart.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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    1. Thanks for sharing your Mama and Daddy, Linda, for sharing hope even amidst the longing, the memories. I'm so grateful you're here for this winsome conversation, friend.

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  19. Love the selfies and the post makes me smile. Hugs to you this summer. The ache will linger, but the gratitude of all you shared with him will grow.

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    1. Gratitude grows. Indeed ... you've said it well, Sarah!

      ;-}

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  20. I just love these pictures of you two, friend. Thank you for sharing them again.

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    1. I know you understand, friend ... thinking of you, too.

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  21. Beautiful! I'm so sorry about your father, Linda. This was my first celebrating without my father as well. Hugs to you.

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    1. My heart beats with yours today, Kristi ... I hear you well.

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  22. Linda, what a sweet post! The year of firsts after we lose a loved one is hard, isn't it? Our daddies are usually our first hero, and losing them leaves a hole that can never be filled by an earthly person. You look so much like your Dad, and I love the selfies! Thank you for offerings such a wonderful post at The Loft this week.

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    1. Daddies as heros. Yes, Leigh, yes.

      Beautiful ...

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda