Grief is so powerful. It’s such a force that crashes on our shore even when we do not consciously think on that which we are mourning. The world moves at its same pace, and we are spun into a different orbit with sorrow in our hearts as we grieve.
Ten years ago the week of Thanksgiving my family’s world flipped upside down. My Daddy had come to some terrible and terrifying days with his Parkinson’s disease. We had to rush to the emergency room in Knoxville and felt helpless and directionless. Three days later we got the news that he was dying. He would never leave Baptist hospital again. We were there for 2 weeks with him as we saw him slip away, and then, it was done. He died early in the morning December 6, 2005.
I was a different person after that–a transition from 30 year old girl to 30 year old woman.
There’s something about this decade mark of him being gone that calls to a deeper grief in my soul. There’s a heaviness to this season that reminds me of the heaviness when he went to be with Jesus. I think about the things he has missed experiencing–especially my children. How he would get a kick out of them. How he would horse laugh and think they were crazy boys. How his tender heart would ache for challenges they are facing. And, Oh the joy Jack and Luke would have knowing “Pops!” I cannot adequately describe him to them. I cannot get them to see the depth of his importance, his legacy.
What a legacy he left. What a gift he was. What a Daddy. The longer I live, the more clearly I see that, and I would like to hug him and tell him that one more time. I have peace knowing where He is and the joy he is experiencing, but the grief is still there.
As a celebration of Herbert and a way to turn that grief into gratitude, I want people to share what he meant to them. It may even be a story that no one has ever heard. I want grief to be turned to gratitude and praise to God!