Today is my last day of being 59 years old. I guess it’s only natural that I am feeling nostalgic. But I’m also feeling sad and a little lonely. This is the first birthday without my dad.
Don’t get me wrong! I know how blessed I am to have had my dad with me for so many years. A lot of people aren’t nearly as fortunate as I in that, and, I have a bonus…my dad was a good and honorable man who loved God with his whole heart.
I can’t help but to reflect over the past years of my life when Dad was still with us. It has been over four weeks since my dad had a stroke, which set into motion the beginning of his last few days on earth. Three weeks since his spirit left his body to join our Heavenly Father, where Dad will live eternally with Jesus, and with all of his loved ones who have gone before him.
Most days, I am at peace because I know that’s where my dad is. Most days, I am grateful that my dad left while he was in relatively good health and sound mind, and I am grateful today, but still…today, on this last day of my 50s, I miss my dad.
He wasn’t a perfect man nor a perfect dad. He knew that too, because there is only One who is perfect, Jesus. My dad and I weren’t super close as I was growing up. It was after I became an adult that things changed. Was it me? Maybe that’s just the way it was supposed to be for us.
Today, I miss how my dad’s eyes would light up just a little bit when he saw me. I miss how he would tell me I was pretty. I miss his voice and his laugh. I miss his hugs and his “Love you” as I was leaving or hanging up the phone. Today, I miss my dad.
There will be more days like these, I’m sure. But for today, I’m going to miss him as I pass from the decade of my 50s into the next. After that, I will go back to being at peace knowing where my dad is, and that I will see him again one day. Until I miss him again. Then I will cry some more due to the pain of the loss of my dad. That is the cycle of grief.
I will rest in His assurance all the while, because I know that this is not my forever home. It was never meant to be, not since the Garden of Eden. From the first breath that we take, we grow closer to our last. Our days are numbered. Some people have more than others but we’re all headed to the end of life on Earth. I want to keep the end game in mind.
As I am turning 60 years old, I will embrace the fact, knowing that I am a day closer, a year or an hour, to the final days of my life in this world. I will use this time wisely. I will keep the end in mind as I conduct my life the way my Heavenly Father has instructed me to live. I will work toward that goal with how I treat others who God has placed in my life.
Relationships matter most. We will be held accountable for how we treated those God put in our lives once we take our final breath.
I’m pretty sure my dad heard those words I long to hear when I finally make it home…”Well done My good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord” (Matthew 25:23).
For you my friend who is reading these words right this very minute, I pray you feel His presence and to know you are loved with a fierce, never-ending love of an eternal, heavenly Father. Help them, Lord, to realize with an understanding they have never quite grasped before, that we are all headed in the same direction. Some of us will get there sooner than others. Help them long to hear those words too, Lord, once they leave this temporary place. ‘Well done, My child. Well done.”