New Normal

I agree.  But I don’t like it.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  I spent today getting ready to have the “new normal” shift.  The festivities will be at my house this year

Much will be exactly the same.  Same family.  Same holiday. Same traditional dishes. There is comfort in same.

But Some things will be different. A new, important person at the table, and in my life. A couple of twists on traditional dishes (it is my house, after all!). Most importantly, an extremely empty place in our hearts this year.

We miss you, dad. We think of you all the time, often with laughter and smiles, but just as often with tears.  Tomorrow will be hard and painful without you, but we are doing it. We will return thanks.

The new Thanksgiving normal started when we remembered that we are thankful.

Thankful for what we have.  Thankful for what we have lost.  Thankful for the ways that people we love have poured into our lives and for opportunities to love others.  Thankful for the gift of memory.  What an amazing blessing.

We will remember you tomorrow, dad. With thankful hearts.

A little glimpse

It isn’t all that common to see children pile into a car on Sunday morning to go to “Sunday school”.  I do not know any nor hear of  dads polishing kids shoes these days, either.

I am much of who  I am because of my dad.  I can’t really imagine life without him.  His advice.  His questions.  His smile.

We had polished shoes on Sunday mornings because my dad gathered them up on Saturday nights and made sure they were clean and buffed and ready.  Four little girls went to Sunday school every Sunday because my dad and mom knew it was important. We went, and go today, because my dad went.  I had a dad who loved God.

There are nearly endless things I could say about my dad.  I won’t, because those things mean more to me than anyone else.

I will say this: His priorities were very, very, very sure.  At the top of his list was faithfulness to his wife and girls.  Those priorities were the same to the moment he died, holding my mom’s hand.

There isn’t one thing I wish I had said, or anything left undone.  He knew me.  I knew him. And although part of my heart drifted away with him,  He will forever be my fine, dignified, funny dad.

In one of our last conversations before he died, he called me by his favorite nickname for me and gave me one last bit of wisdom.

I feel so honored to have known him.