Forty-eight years ago today, on Monday, March 13, 1972 my life changed drastically forever.
As a ten year old little girl I had no idea the anguish that awaited me as I walked home happily from school.
As I stepped into the back door, my mom met us with sadness and grief explaining to my brother and I that my Daddy had a very bad day and he that wasn’t doing well and that we must be very quiet. Fear gripped my entire body. I wondered how this could be as he was getting better since his heart attack last November. He was even out watering the plants on Saturday. We thought he was past the danger that tried to take his life.
I stepped into my room and felt the quietness of heartache around me. A deep sorrow shrouded our home as we waited and prayed. We all stepped into my Dad’s bedroom to see him one last time, though I didn’t fully comprehend that. His eyes were closed as we all stood around him, hoping this was not the end. The Priest came. We, as a family, knelt and prayed together once more for our Daddy, husband, and son to be saved from this death, at this moment in time; for it to just pass him by. It was not to be, and soon agonized screams and sorrowful crying filled the air of our home. It was never to be the same again.
I stepped into a deep hopelessness and despair as the reality of being fatherless became more and more clear. No stability, no direction, no help, no protection…lonliness became my companion. I stepped in and out of ways to fill my emptiness and restore the joy and love that had filled my soul and my home, but success in this eluded me.
I so wanted that security once more. My Daddy was gone and he took with him our time, the unborn millions of moments we would have spent together. My spirit was crushed. I carried this deep heaviness inside of me for many years, always looking for a way to release it.
The memories of my Dad pushed me to a place that I would find solace. I thought of how he taught me to live and the clarity unfolded there. So, I then stepped into a church…hoping to find relief from my pain, someone to show me the way. And I did, with my Daddy’s sweet memories he guided me to the only One who could heal my suffering. The One who saw my brokenness and responded with mercy and grace.
I found my Christ in the steps of darkness and death. He was there with me, as that little girl that stepped into home racked with sorrow. He has also been with me through my many steps of fear, anguish, and grief. I count on Him walking beside me, offering comfort and peace. I have found the joy and love I desperatley searched to duplicate, but this time it’s so much better, for it never ever forsakes. So I thank you Daddy for showing me what was most important to possess. The love of family is amazing, but the love of a Savior is best.
I pray during your grieving of a family member or friend that you will find comfort, hope, and peace in the arms of Christ. There are good days and bad, but he sees you through each one; lean on and rely on Him, my freind.