A year ago, my father suddenly passed away. He went for a walk that Saturday morning. No one knew it would be his last walk. I saw him the day before. He drove me to the bus station, assuring me that he was just fine. He wasn’t.
As I reflect on the past year, it was filled with firsts. The first Thanksgiving without my dad. The first turkey, not carved by him. The first Thanksgiving prayer without his cough. He always coughed during his lengthy prayers. I used to think it was kind of annoying. Now, I think it was charming.
The first Christmas without Daddy. Gifts were rather sparse, as his income was the largest contributor to our family’s gifts. He always made a handmade card. There was always a misspelled word.
My first birthday without my father. No Colonial Fannie May’s. No Mom and Dad coming for a day or two.
His first birthday without himself…:).
Today, June 17th, is my parent’s 44th wedding anniversary. He wasn’t here to celebrate. He never really celebrated anyway, except for a another beautiful handmade card with another misspelled word in it.
There are days when I am sure that there must be a special telephone I can use in order to talk to him. I’d like to ask him what it was like. To die. What Heaven is like. I wanted to ask his advice for my son and what college he should attend. I still want to ask his advice about my Prodigal.
He was a holy man. A quiet man. If you woke up early enough, you’d find him reading his Bible every morning. He and my mother prayed together. Every. morning. A man of discipline. A man of wisdom.
This Father’s Day will be the second without him, as he died the night before Father’s Day last year. I miss him much more today than I did last Father’s Day. Last Father’s Day, I was dreaming a horrible nightmare. Now, I’m awake. I hear the birds again and I’m allowed to cry.