Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Remembering My Dad

Yesterday marked one year since my dad passed away...

This is one of my favorite photos of him and I. He had such an easy smile. 

I wrote about missing and grieving for him before, but I wanted to share more with you.

This last year has been one of the most stressful for me, emotionally. With the death of my dad and the birth of my daughter there has been so much to feel. Just one of these events in a single year would have been a lot to experience. I have not always handled it well, but I think that I have done my best to not shy away from how hard it all has been. 

I have thought a lot about God's timing in all of this. How I wish my dad was here to love on Baby Grace, who continues to be a gigantic bright spot in all of our lives. I am so thankful that God blessed me with her this last year. So much heartache tempered with new joy.

If you know me, then you know I have a pretty good memory for small details and this usually makes for very long stories around our house. This has been both a blessing and a curse this last year as I have frequently thought about my dad. Remembering so much, fearing that I'll forget things, and a pervasive sadness most of the time because memories with him are no longer being made. I was always close to him, and I miss him so much. 

Most of the time, I still can't believe he's gone. I think that's why marking one year is especially difficult. This is the first anniversary in my life that I have not greeted with joy and anticipation. 

In all of this though, as I have said before, there is still so much to be thankful for. My husband has been a solid rock for me to lean on this last year. I can't even begin to describe all the ways he has been there for me when others have failed, encouraged me, prayed for me, counseled me, and loved me. I have been convicted and amazed again and again at his generosity, forgiveness and steadfastness by my side. Thank you Beej.

The Lord has also given me a couple people who, even though they didn't always understand, entered into my grief with me. They made themselves available--one of the biggest blessings I've experienced since at times, I have felt swallowed whole by the isolation that grief can bring. They asked questions, listened, cried, prayed and were just there for me. Thank you dear, sweet friends.

Behind these means of grace, it is God who has been the biggest giver. He has gone before me in all this. On days when I woke up and went to bed feeling angry at the world and on those when joy and faith triumphed--he has been there. A few days ago, Beej reminded me again how Jesus truly understands everything we go through. When he was on the cross, he gave his mother into John's care, implying that Joseph was no longer around. The bible isn't completely clear, but it's likely that Jesus too experienced the death of his earthly father. Though he is fully God, he was also fully man and completely understands all that I have felt this last year. That really ministered to me and once again reminded me of how good the God I serve is--he has promised to never leave me or forsake me. Through the good and hard times (and sometimes they are both), his enduring love abides. He is my great comfort.


Rachel said...

You wrote so beautifully Kate- I love you.

Michele said...

This was a truly special tribute to your dad & ditto what Rachel said...it is beautifully written. I'm so glad that BJ has been able to minister to you & that Grace has given you joy. Experiencing life on earth @ times is so painful but there is the joy & grace to help in times of trouble, sorrow & pain. Thank you, Jesus for being there for us when we hurt.

Jenn Stockman said...

This picture took my breath away, literally. I love you!

Pauline said...

You write so beautifuly, I feel your grief, Being my age, I have had to try to let go of so many!
But you carry them in your heart forever, the beautiful memories can never leave you, for sure it leaves a big emty space in your life. A thoughtful and caring family, is the things that keep one blessed, and of course really caring friends. It is hard to understand why. But God knows why, even though we do not. I think of you and your family many times, and your awsome husband! The pictures you sent are sooooo good. Suzanne has taught me to use facebook better, so now I can find things. bless your hear Kate, and my love to Brandon and grace. Love her pictures Much Love gogo

Gigi said...

I've been going back through the things that you've written about your dad and about your grief. I hope you go back and look through them too. Remembering how you have found comfort in the Lord. You are a gift. Keep writing!

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