My 28th birthday is one I will never forget. I had a phenomenal evening out with some of my closest friends, but once I was home for the night a bit of sadness set in.
You see, my father had been battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma for over a year, and at this point he was too weak to call me for my birthday. Every year, on Nov. 14th, he made me feel like the most special person in the world, but this time was different. This time he was fighting for his life.
The next day I saw my dad, and we told each other “I love you” for the last time. Although his words were barely audible, I felt every ounce of his love wrapped up in his fragile voice. The following day my daddy died, and that was 5 years ago today.
I cannot believe it’s been that long. I’m not quite sure why the number seems especially significant this time, but a lot can happen in half a decade. Since he passed, I became a wife and a mom. I’ve been blessed to bring two beautiful girls into this world, and oh how he would have adored them! I am sure he would have spent every possible moment in their presence, and I know they wouldn’t be able to get enough of their Grandpa John. He was full of energy and full of life, and more than once I saw a literal twinkle in his eyes. He wanted so badly to be a grandfather one day, not only to spoil his princesses rotten (he always said I’d have girls), but he often joked that he would most enjoy being told that he looked too young to have grandbabies. ;)
He was certainly one-of-a-kind, and when I think about the movies we used to enjoy, the way that he could make me laugh, or the fact that he is not on the group text list when I send pictures of my children to family members and friends, I can easily be brought to tears.
There are many reasons to cry for my dad, but as much as I miss him I can honestly say that today my eyes stayed dry. Not because I’m so brave or tough or that the wound has healed, but because I know that he is among the angels in heaven, before the very presence of our Lord and Savior. I know that whether I have 40, 50 or 100 more years to live, we will one day end up in the same place, and until then he is surrounded by the glory of God.
As much as I selfishly want him here, he is in a much better place, receiving far more than I could ever give. I miss my dad, and wish I could hear his voice or feel his warmth, but everyday I will purpose to celebrate him by living a life he would be proud of. Hug the ones you love, tell them how much they mean to you, and never, ever let go of the memories. I LOVE YOU DADDY!!!! BE BLESSED!!