We are very near to Fathers' Day which has a much different meaning when your dad is no longer alive. The following was written shortly after my father's passing. It is from October 5, 2008.
I have found myself missing Dad quite a bit lately. It hit me that it is only ten days from the sixth month anniversary of his death. I find myself playing a song by Jerry Jeff Walker (Desperadoes Waiting For A Train) on you-tube because it talks about the passing of an old man. ("The day before he died, I went to see him. I was grown and he was almost gone.") This morning as I led our Chinese congregation in communion, I mentioned my sadness, mixed in with the happiness of the memories of Dad, comparing those feelings to Jesus' directive that the purpose of the Lord's Supper was to remember him. During the sermon, Linda handed me a note. Linda and her husband, Buddy, are wonderful Christians who also work in our Chinese ministry. Several years ago, their daughter was murdered, a pain for parents I doubt most can ever fathom. Here is the note Linda wrote to me, shared with her blessing:
"Steve, you mentioned memories of your father and the sadness. The following is just one of the many memories that I have and I become sad over the loss of her beautiful soul and presence. When Natalie was a teenager, I went to visit her at her job. She was very busy polishing the brass rails at the pizza shop. She was so proud of the fact that the rails shined so beautifully. Natalies's little hands and fingernails were dirty and rough looking. So, now when I see brass rails, I think of Natalie and how hard she worked and the pride that she took in perfection."
I thanked Linda for the right word at the right time. My pain is that of a son who lost an elderly father. Hers is the pain of a mother who lost her child decades too early. Imagine what our Father in heaven felt as His son went to the cross for us. I know He felt Linda and Buddy's grief and carried them through the worst time in their lives. He hasn't forgotten how it feels.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them.”
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org