We cried and hugged. We felt somehow abandoned; yet not alone.
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. " Isaiah 41:10
We were in disbelief that we wouldn't again hear his voice, feel his embrace, benefit from his advice, be entertained by one of his stories; yet we knew it wasn't forever.
"Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep,or
to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope." 1 Thes. 4:13
We wondered how we could possibly survive tomorrow, and the next day, and the next; yet we knew we would.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in
weakness." 2 Cor. 12:9
I kind of have a sense of ... "Whew! Made it." It's a milestone of sorts. We got through this year of "firsts without him" and, though we'll always miss him, perhaps it's possible that future celebrations and occassions will have less sting.
Just days before dad died, he told me that he was confident I'd be okay because God was evident in my life and he knew I trusted Him to guide and direct me.
Well, much has happened this past year. We've endured heartache and trials; experienced losses and made major, life-changing decisions. At times, I yearned for his presence; needed him near; longed for his encouragement; wanted to talk... and not always when times were tough. Often it was to share an experience; a celebration; an adventure; or a laugh.
How many times did mom and I look at each other and say, "Dad would have loved this...?" Too many to count. Oh, and Joe wanted so desperately to be able to discuss that amazing Syracuse basketball game with him!
But Dad was right. I'm okay. We're all okay. We got through this year; and not just "got through it," we lived it and enjoyed it in spite of missing him so desperately, and I believe it's because...
God's grace is sufficient.
A precious moment and one of my favorite memories.