Thursday, June 13, 2013
Oh Today...to anyone who's ever lost a loved one or felt like giving up...
Shortly after that, I was getting ready to leave my sister's house and head to the airport where my dad was going to pick me and the kids up at the airport. On the way to the airport, while my mom was driving, I got a call saying my dad had been in a tragic accident and was now in heaven.
The pain I felt in that moment, the feeling that hit my heart like an icy knife had just been shoved through it, the feeling that I couldn't breathe, I couldn't escape this feeling, this reality, it was something so big that I wanted crawl out of my body. I remember thinking, "but I was just going to see him in a few hours".... I didn't want to eat, I didn't want, so many things, I didn't want it to be real, and it was.
I've cried so much since that day. I cry a lot. I don't blog or tweet or facebook every time I cry. I cry because I miss my dad, I cry when my kids say they miss Grampa, I cry when I hear a song that reminds me of him...even if it's in a public place and tons of people are around.
I cry tears because I love my dad, I will love him every second from now until eternity. Today marks one year that my dad has been in heaven. I don't know how many years it will be before I join him in heaven, but I know, time doesn't heal the wound of missing a loved one. Time takes away some of the sting you felt when you first heard the news, but you will never stop missing them, or wishing they were here.
It's like if you had a bad injury, it may not hurt as mad as when the injury first happened, but you will have a scar there and pain from that injury that is always there. And so many people around us have this pain. This pain that you can allow to let your heart grow larger, and have more understanding and compassion for those around you that might be hurting too.
I didn't know what to say to comfort someone who had lost someone so close before. And now I know that devastation and I can only pray that my heart will have more comforting words because I know that pain too.
We didn't know what we were going to do on this day. It's just a few days before father's day, and as I walked into a store with all the Father's day cards, and as I go through my emails of things titles "What to get your Dad this Father's Day" and it reminds me that I don't have my dad here to get him a card. Tears welled up in my eyes as I looked at all the Father's Day cards. And as I sat last year, just days before Father's Day with what felt like my heart trying to beat in my hand, knowing I don't have my dad here, it felt unbearable.
But I made it through. Somewhere in between not wanting to wake up and wanting to be anywhere other than in my own body...I kept going. Full of tears, not knowing how, praying to God to fill me with strength and hope and comfort, I kept going.
God carried me on the wings of his heavenly comfort, I felt strength to pack up my dad's things, by myself, but only, because I know, many of you were praying for me, and didn't even know how much your prayers were helping me.
If you have lost a loved one, I know your hurt, I know your pain, heartache, your desire to sleep and not be awake, because being awake hurts too much. And I want you to know that your strength will grow...
I remember a quote I found in my dad's things that said:
You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only option you've got.
My dad was a great dad. If he was around, you were having fun. He encouraged everyone around him, from the bus boy at a restaurant to a gardner mowing the lawn. My heart is happy to know that he does not have to be in this world that's full of hurt, heartache, sickness, frustration, sadness and all the other things that steal the joy from our souls. I wish he was still here to cheer me up, make me laugh, encourage me, get to see all his grandkids grow up, and for them to get to make him laugh...I love my dad's laugh and I just wish I could hear it....oh golly, the tears are making it hard to see what I'm typing.
I want you to know, that if you feel heartache, I'm here with you. I know what that pain feels like. You're not alone. I got so many emails from people saying they lost a loved one too. And we all have some hurt in our hearts. So smile at someone today, tell them something nice, you have no idea the hurt that's in someone's heart, the loved one that they may have just lost.
After my dad died, the next day, I had to go to the airport, I had to go to the store...each person that smiled at me, that just said something nice and simple like, "have a nice day"....they have no idea how much that meant to my aching heart.
Today we are celebrating how much we love my dad, how glad we are that he's in heaven with my Grandma and Grampa and my Uncle. My Great Grandma, who's still alive says, "When I die I want you to have a big party, with music and dancing!" And my Grandma that is in heaven with my dad, said she wanted us to go celebrate at Marie Calender's and have a piece of Strawberry Pie, her favorite. So after she died, we all went and had Strawberry pie in her honor. So today, in honor of my dad, who loved to have fun, and wanted us to always have fun...we are going to a place where we have many happy memories of my dad, the Happiest Place On Earth, Disneyland.
My dad grew up going there all the time. My parents took us there all the time as kids. And I remember one time in Tomorrowland they had a band playing music and me and my dad went out and danced together, there. We couldn't think of anywhere more, that my dad would want us to be, not wallowing and having a pity party, but he'd tell us: Go out and make a memory, go and have some fun- that's what life is all about!
Sometimes you might think you need to make yourself extra sad, or be more sad and wallow in your pain on a day like that...and maybe some people would like to do that. But I'm so thankful I know my dad would say, you go out and have fun...you have fun in my honor!
Now, I know, that I may be crying all over Disneyland. I might be a fountain of tears during the fireworks...but I want to make my dad proud from heaven to show him that I'm still strong, the fun-loving heart that he helped create in me, is still going strong, trying to make people smile and have fun just like he did. And to always be making memories. I want his resilience to shine through me, to make my family smile and laugh in my dad's honor. He loved to laugh and have fun and he didn't like people to be sad or having "pity parties"...he wanted to make this life fun, every second of it. And we will gather up all our strength, and make a fun memory in honor of my dad.
My dad's favorite saying was: Make today better than yesterday.
I can hear him saying it in my mind. And today dad, I will make it better than yesterday...and evert time I laugh...I will laugh a little more for you. And every time I have fun, well I'll try to be as fun as you would have made it.
I want to thank you all for your prayers, your love and your kind words of comfort to me, sharing your stories of hurt with me too...you all have been my friends of comfort and love! One of you wrote me that your grandma said: Sometimes God picks his flowers for heaven when they are at their most beautiful in bloom.
This world is a place filled with so much hurt and evil sometimes I can't stand it, but I know that Heaven is waiting, a place without pain or hurt and happiness beyond what our minds can even imagine or fathom. And I know my dad is there, and my Heavenly Father is there....it's like I have double the dad-ness in Heaven. I know I might feel alone and scared here on this Earth, but I know all of us have our Heavenly Father waiting for us, waiting for us to trust in Him, waiting filling us with strength to make it in this life when we ask for His help, waiting until we get to leave this Earth and be with Him and all those who believe...
We are not a body with a soul in it.....we are a soul just dressed with a body. It doesn't matter what they body looks like, what we put on it...it's that precious soul that's inside that matters.
I love you no matter what your outside body or decoration on that body looks like, I love that beautiful, glowing, precious and eternal soul that is what sparkles from the inside out.
I know this was long, and tomorrow I'll post something more lighthearted, fun and maybe something fashion-y...but today is a big day for my heart. A big day in my little heart that felt like the Little Engine That Could a year ago...that I was just telling my heart: I think I can....I think I can....I think I can keep going.
I kept going. It hurt. It hurts. But you keep going. Strength is grown in the moments when you think you can't go on, but you keep going anyway.
God will reach out when you call for Him, lift your drooping spirit, and make you soar high like an eagle. Hope is waiting in every morning. And as my dad said: Make Today Better Than Yesterday
I will dad. I will.
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Posted by Kandee Johnson at 9:22 AM