Phew! Father's Day came and went and it was just as emotional for me this year as last. I think my sadness was compounded by the fact that I had been sorting and filing old pictures....many of them of Dad. Me and Dad - Dad and each of my children as newborns - Dad and Mom - All 3 of us....the list goes on. It was a double-edged sword...the memories were so sweet and seeing him - his face, his smile - was so wonderful but on the other side...it was painful and brought sorrow and sadness and worst of all longing.
Longing is the worst. I long for my Dad's presence - I long to catch the hint of his smell (Old Spice deodorant - he never wore cologne) - I long to feel his embrace, hear his laughter, his voice...there's so much about him that I long for...and it causes the tears to well up in my eyes and spill over before I even realize that they're there. Longing is a terrible feeling and what makes it worse is there will be no end to that longing in this first world. I think that I will always long for my Dad - it seems that the further away I get from November 21, 2012 the deeper the longing and the more overwhelming the missing of him becomes. There are STILL days when the tears come for no real reason...a song, a smell, a familiar moment and sometimes it's as dadgum commercial on TV! When I feel that longing it makes my brain feel foggy and scrambled...I feel unsettled and in disarray. In those moments, the doubts and questions return. "Why, Lord? Why now? Why at this time? What is Your plan? What were/are you thinking? How can good come from this? What am I supposed to do?" Yeah, the question and doubt are pretty endless in those moments and unfortunately, I have lots of those moments.
It seems as though when one area of you life feels disheveled, other areas seem to feel that same way. I find myself feeling like things are falling apart or, as my 9 year old would say, it feels like everything is "jacked up"! I hate that feeling...the feeling that whatever can go wrong most definitely will. The feeling that everything you say and do is said and done the wrong way or taken the wrong way or in the wrong context. I then start to feel frantic...the frantic need to fix it all! I'm learning, however, that some things can't be fixed with a kind word or an "I'm sorry" - death can't be "fixed"...grief can't be "fixed". As a child, I can remember distinctly, moments of fearful tears worrying about my parents dying someday. I remember them finding me in a puddle on more than one occasion and asking me why I was crying. Upon telling them of my fear, they'd assure me that I didn't need to worry that that wasn't going to happen for a very long time. Guess what, it's been "a very long time".
I continue to struggle with my Dad's death. I wonder what could have been done differently. I wonder why God has healed so many in the months since Dad's death but chose not to heal my Dad in this life. I continue to wonder why...I try not to but I do. I continue to struggle with my prayer life...I wish it weren't so but it is. My biggest struggle right now is trusting God. Trusting that He really does have a plan and that somehow, my Dad's death was part of that plan. I've been taught and reminded many times that God is NEVER caught off guard...that nothing is ever a surprise and of course I believe that's true. I trusted Him with something immensely precious to me...my earthly father's life and a year and a half later I find myself still struggling - not just with Dad's absence but with the reason for his absence. And so, the question remains...can I trust that this horrible part of my life is working for good? Do I believe that all this grief and longing, not just in my heart and life but in the hearts and lives of my children, will somehow bring God's plan for our lives to fruition; that He'll use this incredibly horrible loss (and all the other struggles that have seemed to follow) to work for our good? Got trust?