Friday, March 23, 2012

So I stood there asking him,

trying to hold back the tears, to steady the voice, just when he thought I'd be able to approach March 23rd without so much sadness. It's now been six years of missing him every day, so when can this particular day become more normal? My man is so smart, he asked shouldn't it make me sad? Why was I putting unrealistic constraints on my grief? I suppose it was my way of trying to handle it on my own, which maybe one day I'll remember I can't do anything on my own.

As I was reading a favorite blog last night, God showed me what I needed to do with these words:

When we practice giving thanks, we practice the presence of God, stay present to His presence, and it is always a practice of the eyes. We don't have to change what we see. Only the way we see it.

Ann Voskamp from One Thousand Gifts
 And so I found my 1000+ gifts journal. The one I haven't written in since last July. A stalled listing of His gifts at no. 105. But there are so, so many more and I want to count again, to focus the eyes, the heart. I felt a nudge to count gifts last night regarding Dad. And though there is still an extra heaviness of heart today, six years later, this counting makes me smile.

(106) I can still remember the sound of his voice.
(107) I can still picture his big cheeked grin.
(108) Imagining one of his swallow-me-up-in-big-arms hugs.
(109) Still having his handwriting tucked away here and there.
(110) How he believed in me.
(111) Those funny sayings of his and {see no. 106}, how I can still hear him say them. "Whatcha       waitin' on? Sundown and payday?"
(112) He loved to sing.
(113) He loved being Poppa.
(114) A hard though precious memory: crying with him, sharing one big chair, the night before we'd receive a sure diagnosis.
(115) Saying what needed to be said to each other, the time to say it.
(116) The privilege of helping to care for him in those days.
(117) The amazing peace that came over him when he chose to go home so he could go Home.
(118) How once he checked with me before taking medicine that our {amazing} nurse handed him. I was in charge of his meds when we got him home, apparently even when the nurse was in the house.
(119) How the Father has drawn me closer and closer in the absence of my dad.
(120) For 29 years he was mine.

And I could go on and on, but I need to get ready to meet with my mom. Share some of this day together. Take new flowers to the cemetery. Go watch Miles give his first presentation about his favorite trip. For six years, the sun has still risen and set. The world has still turned. And I was so sure it would stop when dad left. But when the eyes learn to change the way they see things, there have been tremendous blessings come from this great sadness. He truly brings beauty from ashes, turns mourning into dancing, sorrow into joy.

And so, I will go about this March 23, allowing myself to feel whatever I feel. Extra sadness, a heavier heart with smiles because of the gifts I can count. How could I not miss him, really? And that's ok.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
    he rescues those whose spirits are crushed."   Psalm 34:18 NLT