Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

I knew Father's Day was coming. I knew when I went to bed last night that when I woke up, it would be Father's Day. Maybe that's why I didn't go to bed until after 2 am. And sure enough, at 6:30 this morning, it was indeed Father's Day.

Today will mark another "first" in this new journey we are on ~our first time to not have either of our Franks. My heart and prayers went out for Neely and Scott and then Frances, Chandler, Zach and Chase. And then the list went on....

As I prayed through these feelings of loss, I reminded myself that happiness is a choice. I know I've preached that motto to my kids many times. Whoever coined it, must be proud of himself. I can either focus on what we've lost (which is an involuntary action I can assure you) or focus on what we have.

I am so blessed to have my Daddy. Happy Father's Day to a man a respect and love very much.
We are also blessed to have godly men in our lives that love us and continue to be an influence to the kids. I am so grateful for them as I named them one by one this morning in thanksgiving.

Right next to this computer - Frank's computer - is a Beannie Baby the kids gave their daddy in 2001. The kids would have been 9, 7, and 5 at the time. It's little tag (that tag is important, you know!) reads: "My dad has such a great big heart, He's kind and funny and really smart, He always finds the time to play, I want to be like him someday." "POPS" has sat in Frank's office all these years and is now in our kitchen, in what we had turned into Frank's nook so he could work downstairs. As I stare at this navy plush reminder of.... well.... what was.... I still must choose to be thankful.

We also have wonderful memories to cherish. The legacy both Frank's left on their children is a good one. We speak of them often - sometimes with laughter, sometimes with tears, but always with a smile. And as intense as these feelings of loss are right now, I have to remind myself often that although life will never be the same, the intensity will get better with time. At least that's what the books say..... and I'm counting on that!

It's been 7 weeks, 4 days. Summer is in full swing. Chase left yesterday for Colorado with the youth at church. Zach will go to Padre Island and Chandler and I have a mother/daughter trip to the lake I'm really looking forward to. And of course we're staying busy at home as well.

Thank you for your sweet cards and encouraging comments to Chandler's post. They've meant so much to her - and all of us.

Yep, it's Father's Day. And we are ~ still ~ blessed.

"I will love You, oh Lord, my strength." Psalm 18:1

"But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day.... Psalm 71: 14-15

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

from Chandler....

The past week has been the hardest so far. Dad is gone.. and I can't change that.

So far, I consider myself to have been in a state of shock. I mean, I guess that’s only natural. Someone dies and it makes sense not to miss them as much when it’s the same amount of time as a vacation. But then, you pass that mark… the point where it really hits you - you have car trouble and don’t know what to do or you sit at home alone and realize that they would normally have been there to keep you company.

Whatever the case, it comes on strong, and there is no way to get around it. So many times I have come home dying to tell dad about what just happened to me. I’ve been swimming laps lately, and the other night I swam 22 laps- the most I’ve ever done. Without even thinking I rushed home and walked in the door... about to open my mouth, when I realized - he wasn’t there. He wasn’t going to be there. And that is my harsh reality.

It’s a weird feeling to see the world around you move on and know that you’re moving about 10 paces slower. It’s hard to describe. Some days I feel on top of the world and others I don’t even want to open my eyes. There’s this since of loneliness that is always there. This empty place in your mind… dad used to be here for me to give some of my love, my time, and my wants and needs. And now that I have lost him…. It’s the same feeling you would get if someone pulled the chair out from underneath you. You’re depending on the chair to help hold you up, and all of a sudden you’re on the ground.

I will get through this though.. and I know that there is hope in every affliction. I have seen that first hand. And I am determined to make it through. This won’t last forever. I get through the day knowing and depending solely on my Savior for my every step. He has drawn me close in every way. Each day is like a new and exciting adventure with my best friend and Lord.

I thank Him everyday for this experience.

Through all of this I have continued to learn more and more everyday. This life is like a series of storms. And while everything around me is going crazy, God is always there. He is my Rain. No matter where I go, I will always be drenched in His love and peace. I have realized that without turning to Him first, I get nowhere. Because the more I try to fix things, or pretend like I’m always alright and that nothing has changed... the more trapped I am in everything I try to run away from.

So I’ve decided to stand in this storm and praise God that I am in it! Because without this storm, I would never have felt the Rain.

“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.” Exodus 15:2