It was a good day. I went down to Bethel Atlanta and saw friend and worshiped wit them before I went to see dad in Peachtree City. Both of my sisters were there for lunch then my nephew, his wife and daughter came over. It was a good family time of sharing old stories about times past. We spent a lot of time laughing and taking pictures. It was way too hot to be outside. So we all sat around the dining room table for most of the day. We had sandwiches and a coconut cake for desert. It wasn’t Julia’s coconut cake, but dad seemed to enjoy it. I was happy to see my sisters and Dad and Allene. It was a fun time but I kept thinking about Father’s Day last year.
Last year, we had two of our granddaughters, Adair and Meleah, with us, and we all went down to spend the day with Dad. My sisters were there along with my niece and her husband and then my nephews came. We spent pretty much all day outside. It was hot, but not like today and everybody was more active, more alive. That sounds bad, because today everybody was alive and active. I guess I just remember Julia being there and the two of us watching the granddaughter’s interaction with their great grandfather. Not many people get to do that. I have a picture of all of us together, so full of life with so many dreams and so much to do. For me today there was such a missing piece and it was hard to overcome the constant thought of what was missing.
You know today’s like this I have two choices. I can choose to dwell on my loss of Julia and wallow in self-pity. Or I can choose to press into life and enjoy those around me, even as I recognize the deep loss that I feel. There is only one way to live and to thrive and that is to choose the latter. You can’t go back, no matter how much you would like to. We must move forward. So, I have to choose to stay in His presence no matter where I am or what memories flood my mind. As I think back, I can just remember how much Julia loved mom and day. She really thought of them as her parents too. Especially after her dad died so young and her mother died. Mom and dad were the only parents we had. Then when mom died, and dad remarried, Allene took that spot. So, I know that everyone missed her today.
I did miss seeing my girls, but I will see them all in two weeks. All my granddaughters are growing so fast. Julia Anne is about to start crawling. All the rest are just changing so fast. It makes me wonder how Papa sees us. Does he notice when we change? I think so. Even though He knows what we will become, I can almost here Him shouting out: “Way to go Tom, I know that you could do that” or giving us encouraging words when we fall a little short. I can almost hear him now talking to Jennifer and Lisa saying: “I’m so proud of you, you have so much going on and have gone through so much this year! Keep on pressing toward me, I will help you, you will get through all this move. I will help you organize and prioritize. You can do it.”
So, here we are with another Monday about to begin. I have to get up at 3AM for the next three days. As I go to bed tonight, I am grateful that I can sleep well knowing that He loves my family and me. I can sleep well knowing that I don’t have to “fix” anything, that in reality I can’t “fix” anything. I can rest in His goodness, thankful for all my family and the time I had to spend with them today. I can rest in Him thankful for the wonderful memories I have with Julia, and the wonderful memories yet to be made with the rest of the family. I can rest in the knowledge that my Father God is the “Best Papa” in the whole world. Happy Father’s Day Papa!