My Daddy went to heaven just a few days ago. I have a huge hole in my heart that only Jesus can fill. Navigating life in this world without him seems like a monumental task. I never realized just how much I depended on his strength until he was gone. Just saying those words, “he’s gone”, gives me chills. Sometimes I say out loud “my Daddy died”, and tears immediately fill my eyes. I have a thousand questions that probably don’t have answers, but I ask them anyway. I believe it’s part of the process. I have to go through the pain to get to the joy. I know on the other side of this seemingly unbearable grief, Jesus is waiting to take me in his arms and dry the tears.
I spoke at my Daddy’s funeral. It’s not the first time I’ve spoken at a funeral, but this one was by far the hardest. I figured I would be a mess in tears, but I stood up in a strength and composure I’ve never experienced before. I felt the hands of my father holding me for one last embrace. I talked about all the things I’d miss about him: the phone calls asking where I was and if I was ok, the handshakes or more accurately the hand holds. My dad would grab my hand everytime I’d walk by his chair. I’ll miss his sense of humor, even the off color jokes. And his strength, my dad was always a strong man, both physically and emotionally. But like I’ve said so many times in the last few days the thing I’ll miss the most is his love. My Daddy loved; he loved everyone. I think sometimes he would have forgiven the devil. Oh and lest I forget, I’ll miss the smell of chow chow filling the entire house. My dad was known for it. Lots of folks loved the stuff down here in the south. Me, I never touched the stuff, but I’ll probably try it again to see if my taste buds have changed.
Life will never be the same. We will move forward, because we have to. I’ll always remember, and never forget the man my father was. I will love him always. He was a father even to the fatherless, and a grandfather to those who either didn’t have one or just needed an extra.
I asked God to open the eyes of my heart so I could see that my dad was ok. I saw my dad in a cloud, smiling and waving as he rode off on a white horse with Jesus. It gives me peace knowing he’s resting in the arms of Jesus. He’s no longer in pain. He has a brand new body. He’s reunited with those who went before him, both the humans and the pets: all of the baby dogs and kitties he loved so much.
I’ll miss you forever Daddy. I’ll see you on the other side.