THE EMPTY CHAIR…
My dad is gone. It is surreal to even type the words. If you read my last post from February, you are already aware that he was living out his final days and weeks.
He was bedridden the last two weeks of his life and slipped quietly away on March 30. As he crossed into eternity with Jesus, my husband and I were with him… quietly telling him we loved him… I stroked his cheek and kissed his forehead until he drew that last breath.
The following days were filled with phone calls, funeral arrangements, family arriving and friends coming to love on us. Within a week of his death, I had the “first” holiday where he wasn’t sitting next to me at the dinner table. The empty chair…. I was so grateful my children and grandchildren were still with us. Their presence softened the reality of the loss of his presence beside me.
My family and friends have all returned to their lives and our home is quiet. My sweet husband has been faithful and patient to listen as I talk through the memories that come and go like the ebb and flow of an ocean tide. He holds me when the tears come unexpectedly and seemingly at random. I have given myself the grace to grieve as long as I need to and in the ways that are unique to me.
The coming summer months will find me sorting through my dad’s earthly belongings and wandering through the history of his life. I expect it will be a bittersweet… healing… tiring… blessed experience.
I miss him. I do not wish him back to this earth…but I miss him. I hope I always remember the color of his eyes, the sound of his voice and the way his eyes twinkled when he smiled. My little girl heart will always remember him as my bigger-than-life, John Wayne, gun-carrying, cowboy boot wearin, dad.