Friday, August 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Dad


Happy Birthday! I love you. And if I was really going to be honest, and admit that I am not feeling so strong today I would say through tear stained cheeks that I really miss you. I know you prepared us well for your death-you did a really great job with that- but I think the level of emptiness I feel at times is something no one can really prepare for. Even if you have been through it, you can tell someone about it but they have experience it themselves to understand this type of grief.

In a phone call with Catharina yesterday we talked about you, a lot. About how up until you got sick we never really knew how well we had it. We said we were so lucky to have a dad so present, and that is probably why some days, life without you is hard. You are a treasure to us, and we wanted to hide you "under a bushel" so your light didn't shine so brightly, because that meant God might take you away. Because He knew you were pretty polished, and there would be so many on the other side that could really use your help.

Helping people. I know that is what you are doing right now, and I know that is what you love. It was always obvious that becoming more Christlike was something that brought you happiness the way art makes mom happy, or baseball to BJ and Jennifer, and laughing is to Catharina...

You being gone doesn't feel real yet. It is like you have been gone for a long time to a foreign place, and I am ready to have you come home. Today we will be meeting as a family at your grave site. I guess the headstone is being placed today. It is bitter sweet. Finally a tangible marker for your short term physical resting place, but a shot in the heart as it represents reality. Mom is going to have a bouquet of orange balloons for us to send off honoring your birthday. I think I am going to bring a Sharpie and draw something on one-I don't know what yet- that lets whomever finds the balloon know that this particular balloon represents a person that was very special to me.

I think about you daily, and can't imagine that will ever stop. I wish I had one saved voice mail to hear your chipper voice... to help me imagine more completely calling to wish you a happy birthday at your office, you picking up the phone and almost shouting "Aprilll!.... How are you today?..."

I love you forever dad. You were, and still are, the best dad I ever did know. Say 'hi' to Socrates :)

Your loving daughter,