An EXCELLENT DAD
He will clean every tear from their eyes.
There will disappear death or mourning or weeping or discomfort,
for the old order of things has actually died.
My dad passed away the other day.
And today I am sad. Not despairing, not grief-stricken, not upset that life isn’t what I wish it was. Simply sad.
And I feel a little spoiled in my unhappiness because I am fully mindful that what I lost is a lot more than the majority of you have ever had.
And mind you, I have not lost my dad. Since in the early 70’s at a church in California, my papa altered the course of our lives by becoming a follower of Jesus. And now he’s followed Him right up close into His existence, the location I’ll go one day too.
No, I haven’t lost Daddy, however I have actually lost his presence with me.
He’s not here today having coffee with cream and two scoops of sugar, speaking about what I wish to talk about: because that’s what good father’s do.
And I wish, oh how I want, that each of you had a father like mine.
I grieve for you with the Father since He wants that too. And if you’ll indulge me just a bit, can I inform you about good fathers?
Here’s a list:
1. Great fathers repair things. My father fixed my broken hair clothes dryer, my blowout, my inadequate research study habits, my teenage drama with my mama. He made life right for me when I could not turn myself ideal side up. And even though I informed him over and over, I don’t think he ever believed any of that was a big deal. Just daddy stuff.
2. Excellent dads get it. My father certainly did. He got that I was various, would constantly be different, which difference was all right by him. A contemplative feeler, ponderer, thinker, reader in a household of highly competitive task oriented doers. He normalized me to my “lets-get-to-it!” mom and paved the way for us to become buddies. Because of him we grieve together without stress.
3. Good fathers are present.My dad was a brainiac nuclear engineer. Yet he bought cowboy boots when he helped me achieve my dream of having a horse. He discovered the terminology: palominos, bits and tie downs, dressage and hoof rot. And I don’t think he actually ever did like that entire equine world, but the fact is, wild horses could not have actually pulled him from becoming part of it with me.
4. Excellent fathers stay faithful. My daddy did. In good times and bad, he opted to like my mama and to shun the “lawn is greener” temptation to find joy in other places. As long as I can keep in mind, Father did his best to enjoy mommy well. Papa would have been appalled at any idea otherwise.
5. Good daddies look after their own. When he married my mommy he was a 19 year old with one objective: to never ever be poor once again. With that in mind he put himself through college, poured himself into his career, lived below his earnings constantly so that he could offer us exactly what we needed. At the same time, his hostility to the danger of credit and the flash of status spending kept all of us grounded in fiscal truth. He purchased his denims at Walmart and his automobiles used even when he might have afforded far more. He was fiddling with his financial resources the day before he died, just to be sure mommy would be well cared for.
6. Good fathers offer security. My sis’s words to me this morning: “We had a great dad. He made me feel safe …” He did. And I’m not even sure how he did it, though I’m going to think long and tough about that. But primarily I think he was just good and a great man ends up being a safe place for his household.
There’s more of course, however this day demands my attention and so I’ll end here in the meantime. Somehow simply writing these words assists me to understand why I’m sad today and why that’s fine.
I miss my papa currently. I’ll miss him for the rest of my life. Then … my real Father will clean away every tear and I’ll join my daddy in spending the rest of permanently in awe of Him.
Waiting with sincere eagerness for that Day …
From my heart,
P.S. Thank you to the many of you who have already emailed and texted your heart-felt condolences. I’m enjoying every word, drinking in your generosity.