A sweet friend sent a much-needed message today. She assured me and a few other girls we’re on her mind and in her prayers as we live through our “Year of Firsts” without our daddies.
If you’ve lost a loved one, you know exactly what that means. First holidays without Daddy’s laughter, first birthdays without the threat of a “birthday spanking,” and tomorrow, my first Father’s Day without him.
Y’all have to know, The Last Thing I want to do is make this blog all about Daddy or Death or Grief, but that’s my life right now. Three years ago when God led me to begin sharing the no-makeup-or-coffee version of my life, He knew this season was coming. He knew what my reality would be today and He asked that I be painfully honest about it. Only He knows why.
The biggest part of me wants to stay quiet; don’t make anyone sad on a happy day. But for many of us, God’s showing me tomorrow may not be so happy.
In the weeks immediately following Daddy’s move to Heaven, I made note of some very specific thoughts that crossed my mind. I’ve held on to them ever since, waiting for the day The Spirit would nudge me to share them.
I’m feeling nudged today.
For those of you blessed to celebrate with your daddies this Father’s Day, here are 5 thoughts to consider.
1. Hug and kiss him. Every. Time. You. See. Him. Rushed or not. Convenient or not. Just like our days, hugs and kisses are numbered.
2. Take pictures not just OF him, but WITH him. And be silly. Don’t worry about looking good, just be happy. And smile. A lot. You’ll be so glad to have both your faces in the same frame one day.
3. Don’t worry about proving you’re a grown-up or that you’ve got it all together– Ask your dad for his opinion and advice. Doesn’t mean you have to take it, but at least you’ll know what he would’ve said or done when he’s no longer there to ask.
4. Revert to your childhood. Take advantage of a sweet moment and really look at him. Hold his hand. Touch his cheek. Climb in his lap, even. He may think you’re crazy but he won’t mind. And neither will you.
5. Tell him what he did right. Tell him the good things that stand out in your memory. Recount the Big Things but also the little things. Write him a letter and tell him what you remember about his character; the Good you saw him doing when he thought you weren’t looking.
The greatest need of every man’s heart is Respect; that is the gift he wants most from you. These five things may seem trivial but they will pour respect all over your dad, whether you see it or not. You will reap blessings, too.
Maybe someone out there is thinking, “But Jessie, you don’t know MY dad.”
To that I say: No, I don’t. But I know The Heavenly Father. And He has lavished His unfailing love on us, loved us first, forgiven us and desires our love in return. And one of the ways we love Him is by loving and honoring the earthly father He has given us.
Biblical “love” is an action. Hesed, the Hebrew word for Love, is described as “a completely undeserved kindness and generosity.” Hesed is faithful and reliable. It “intervenes on behalf of loved ones and comes to their rescue.”
This is how The Father loves us and how we should love one another. Including our dads.
Do these five things whether you want to or not, whether you think your dad deserves it or not. Make an effort. Even if he hangs up on you there will be peace on your end knowing you took action to love him.
I give glory to God for the foresight to love my Daddy well and not take his love for granted (not too much, anyway), and yet I still feel I could’ve done more. Our life together was and is precious to me; I pray he knew that.
Regardless our age, only us girls who’ve lost our daddies know the gaping hole that’s left once he’s gone. Trust me, you will never regret any action you take to love your daddy.
And neither will he.
“And this is the promise: that if you honor your father and mother, yours will be a long life, full of blessing.”