I didn't speak at my fathers funeral because of the guilt, shame and pain I felt. A tremendous loss to my life. I didn't speak because of all the things he will not be a part of in my life. All the moments he didn't share even though he was living. All the missed conversations and calls. All the avoided visits. I was ashamed. Ashamed that I took him for granted.
We had a very tumultuous relationship. As a child I went through a lot. Saw a lot. Endured a lot. And from those things I held on to a lot. Not feeling that I was holding on but all the while holding him hostage to the human side of himself. I knew God had set him free but I didn't. Not even after God set me free for judging someone else's pain. Someone else's story. Someone else's life.
My dad wore his sins on his sleeve like a long sleeve shirt. You knew his vices. Without a doubt everyone held him accountable for them. Laughed behind his back. Used his kindness against him and fed his weakness in return. He was definitely alone. That's why God was always his best friend. He walked with God, sang to Him, loved Him fiercely because it was all he had in the world besides a daughter who made decisions to be distant from him.
He loved me. So much so that my guilt plagues me. It plagues me because no matter what I do, I can never again tell him I love him the same way he loved me. He was the first love of my life. He gave me all he had. Every bit he had. Even when he tried to make amends, I looked away. I only said okay. I felt numb. Because I was holding us both hostage to my pain. My past.
His best didn't seem good enough for me but when he was sick and on his way to Heaven, his best began to surface. It came out from all I had it buried under. The disappointment and the anger. And when it surfaced, I went to my knees. The same way I did on July 24th when I walked into his hospital room knowing that he would only leave on angel wings. I held his hand the whole next day knowing it would be my last time. I rubbed his face and kissed his forehead and joked with him. I pleaded for him to wake. Just so that I could just once more say I love you. I miss you. Let's go to dinner. Come visit me daddy. Come put a deck on my house so you can make a mark that you were there
He would have done it. Just a month ago he was fussing about how much I was paying to have it done while at the same time showing me he was scared for what was to come. But his fear was unjust because he is the only man I've ever known walking on this earth that loved God the way he did all 56 years he was here. Talked to him and leaned on him the way my father did. God was welcoming a man like my dad into the kingdom. He was weary, heavy laden, tired, abused, persecuted, talked about, lied on, beat down, discouraged, used and underestimated for who he was on the inside. And he sat in his corner in his mother's house and shared his pain only with God. My dad showed me that God's Love has no criteria and God can use anyone to be a witness to his grace and mercy.
I am trying to release myself from my pain. I see his face every day. I see his hands wiping my tears when I cried. I hear his words telling me not to worry because God loved me and everything was going to work itself out. That's who he was. A hopeful man no matter what people did or said. He was confident in God under the worst of circumstances. My heart would swell in those moments because I was grateful to have a man like my dad praying for me. If I only live to be a fraction of what he was on this earth I wouldn't feel worthy. When he sang to God he sang his story, his pain, his belief that one day God would truly deliver him from the life he had led. And with every note, every tear, every scar, he wore a smile that only God could have placed there.
If I had his ear I'd say to him.......Daddy, what a man you were. Your love so true. Your testimony so strong. The lives you touched with the little things you did will far surpass someone who gave away all their worldly possessions. What you gave of yourself was priceless. Only God was able to place that well deserved crown on your head. You will live through me and my son for as long as we walk this earth. I will never again forget to say thank you, I love you, I forgive you........not to one soul. Because there is nothing I wouldn't give for just one more moment of your voice, your smile, your jokes, your songs, your hug, your love, your kind words, your prayers. You never left me no matter what was going on in life and I'm so sorry I left you. The best you had was what you gave and I'm so sorry I didn't realize what that meant until you were no longer here. Be at rest and be at peace and know that your daughter's love will never ever leave my heart for you.
Do not ever forget to let go of things that don't matter in life. Life is short. Life is a gift. We are only borrowing these vessels we occupy. Life happens in the blink of an eye and if you don't recognize it, it will be your number called and all you meant to do will never happen.
Until Next Time Lovies