Monday, March 24, 2014

Daddy's Girl

 

I want to pay tribute to my Daddy, who died five years ago tomorrow after a painful battle with multiple myeloma.  Most of you didn't know him, but I hope you won't mind if I honor him today on my new blog. 

Daddy was one of the smartest men that I've ever known.  He was one of those people who could do just about anything and he did them all very well.  He had the most jovial sense of humor and his laugh sounded like a thunderstorm rolling in!  His voice was as big as his 6'3" imposing frame.  Everybody loved him.  He was widely respected in his field.  He was a godly man who didn't waver in his convictions.  He did nothing for show. 

I feel him in the way I think.  I feel him in what I believe. I feel him in the music I prefer.  I feel him in my sense of humor.  I feel him in my practicality.  He is so much of who I am.

He taught us a lot of things, but the truth that I most remember him sharing and emphasizing and teaching us over and over and over again was that this life isn't about us or what we want or what we can get.  It's so much more than that.  He saw this life for the temporary experience that it is and invested himself in more lasting pursuits.   

For five years, I've carried around an overwhelming, sometimes gnawing longing to just hug him. I've never wanted much of anything as much as I long for that.  I guess there's a innate longing for the little girl in us to want to be held by her Daddy....even when we're not so little anymore.  Sometimes just imagining what it would be like to hug him with my head on his chest again is enough to bring tears down my face. 

I'm not sad for him, because I know that he is free of pain, sorrow, worry, and all of the other ills that plague and burden man.  His faith in Jesus has become sight and he is living far beyond the hands of time, the limitations of a physical body, the restrictions of a mortal mind, and out of the reach of everything that is dreadful.  Who wouldn't want that for someone they love who's suffering? 

I'm sad for us though....the people who called him Daddy and Grandpa.  We missed him at his granddaughters's graduations...one who's now a nurse and the other who's studying to be a dietician.  His big girls would love to crawl up in his lap again.  We missed him when my parents' 50th wedding anniversary came around and he wasn't here.  My mother feels his absence each day in the quiet house that they shared.  We've missed him as his grandsons have grown from boys to fine young men.  They'd love to go fishing with him for an afternoon.  We've missed him as his youngest grandson has grown from the tiny three month old, who he held before he died, into a rambunctious five year old who keeps us so entertained now.  We feel sure he'd call him a "dirt road sport".  We miss him when we think about how much he'd love his youngest granddaughter, who will only know her Grandpa through pictures.  He had a weakness for little brown eyes and little ponytails of thick brown hair....probably because both traits can be traced back to him.  He would've so enjoyed rocking her and kissing the top of her head.  We miss him every Christmas as his oldest son now sits in his chair at the head of the table.  We miss his beautiful prayers spoken in his deep, booming voice.  We miss him being the life of our parties. We miss his stories and his good advice.  We miss all of his sayings and expressions.  We miss his laugh.  We miss his love. 

It was a cold, dark day when he died and the skies were pouring rain.  It was almost like God was putting our grief into tangible form for us as tears seemed to be running down the hospital windows, windshields, and rooftops...bathing everything in our sadness.  It was dark and gloomy here when he left, but a beautiful, unclouded day when he got to where he was going. 

Enjoy, Daddy.....and rest easy.    



 


 

18 comments:

  1. Joni, I know he's sitting up there in a recliner somewhere reading your blogs. I'm sure he chuckles like the rest of us. He'd be proud! Keep up the blogging!

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    1. I like the way that picture looks in my head, Beachy! Thank you....

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  2. Thank you. Sometimes I get so busy with my kids that I forget to treasure my daddy. Thanks for reminding me I need to love him while I've got him.

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  3. Oh, how I feel for you missing your darling dad.

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  4. What a beautiful tribute! You described him in such a way that I can't wait to meet him in heaven one day. What an honor he had of having you for a daughter.

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    1. That's so precious, Karmen. Thank you....

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  5. Wow! What a touching tribute. How special he must have been.

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  6. Oh, he was, clairebear!! Thank you....

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  7. Awesome Joni...I can only hope to be such an example for my daughters. BTW - finally got to your blog. need to catch up on past posts.

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    1. You're doing an awesome job, Charlie! I'm so proud of you! I'm glad you found me, friend! :)

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  8. Love this, loved him and love you!

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    1. Thanks, Kelly. We both had good Daddies. Love you too...

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  9. This is beautiful, Joni. My favorite line - "He did nothing for show." The world needs more people like this.

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    1. Indeed, we do.....so much in the world is about show. Thanks, Tracey

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