As children and even as adults, we look to our fathers for not only love but support, validation, security, and acceptance. I know as a young women I needed to hear words from my dad like “You are beautiful” and “I love you.” But that isn’t the way my life has turned out and those are not the words this young teenage girl heard. The words I remember from my dad were “I’m leaving.”
This weekend I chose to attend the visitation of my father. He passed away last week at the age of 68 from multiple, serious strokes. I wasn’t sure what I would do when he died. Would I go to his funeral? Maybe I would not go and have my own moment of silence? Well, I chose to go. Not out of obligation but for myself.
Attending his visitation was like being a part of the funeral of a stranger or someone I only knew from a distant memory. And coming away actually provided much clarity for me. I feel a sense of closure and peace that I had not before. A burden of my life has been lifted and a stain wiped clean. I realized that although my earthly dad may be gone my Heavenly Father is alive. He is active and present in my life. He is good and always for me.
About 45 minutes from the location of my father’s services is the cemetery where my mother was buried almost exactly one year ago. The anniversary of her death is January 27th. I ended my weekend by remembering not what was void in my life but by celebrating what was present. A loving mother. A gift of God. As God would have it, the sun was shining right on her even in the cold, barrenness of this winter season. It was an appropriate picture of this season of my life.