Sunday. The 16th.
Approaching that date, as I see it coming, always affects me. Seventeen years ago my dad died on that date.
And it seems like yesterday.
And it seems like forever ago.
I remember a friend in Salisbury speaking wise words, comforting words, true words to me at that time. Among other things, Wendy told me that her father had died years earlier and she would still find herself in tears from time to time. Suddenly. Without much notice. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one.
I was thankful that the 16th fell on Sunday this year. My Sundays are busy — teaching children’s catechism before the worship service, worshiping with Jim, enjoying tea/cookies with brothers and sisters in Christ right after the service.
This year we were hosting the steering committee of the Coalition for Children at Risk for a Christmas celebration late Sunday afternoon. We wanted a time for members and their spouses to get together in a relaxed atmosphere, eating tasty treats and laughing heartily with each other. We all work hard throughout the year and it was so nice to have some peaceful joyful time together.
We had a somewhat lively white elephant exchange of gifts. Most of us were quite happy with our final gifts — what grammy wouldn’t want another picture frame?!
As soon as our guests left, Jim locked the door, turned and looked at me and asked, “Is it the 19th?” (The 19th was the date of my dad’s funeral.) “No, it’s the 16th.” Tears spilled over onto my cheeks, Jim hugged me close, I thought of my mom, my sisters, and my children. And then we moved on to the kitchen to finish putting leftovers in the fridge and washing a few dishes.
Thankful for a husband who lets me remember without making me feel stupid.
Thankful for a family that remembers.
Thankful for a dad who taught us all the importance of family… through words and by example.
Missing him even now.
(He would SO love his great-grandchildren…)