Yesterday was father's day. As I walked through the day thinking about my Dad, praying for him, thanking the Lord for the sweet time I've had with him, the weepiness of my emotions overwhelmed me. This past week he's been sleeping in a hospital room with my grandpa, helping him go to the bathroom, helping him stand, walk, brush his teeth. The admiration for my dad welling up, I thought about how many times he had cared for me in similar ways- the tangible, practical, everyday things.
I thought of how he drove 24 hours and more with a U-haul hooked on his trailer to help us move. I thought of how he pays for AAA just in case my car breaks down. I thought of all of the times he would wait with me at the bus stop to make sure I was well accompanied and safe before happily making my way to school.
His love is like a father's. The kind that happens and you don't even realize you're being loved on sometimes. The kind that's hidden in the small departing gestures like 'drive safe' and 'watch out for deer.' The kind that gives you a call to make sure you've changed your oil and your car's tires have been rotated. The kind of care that carries the big boxes into your new home.
Sometimes we don't understand each other, or we're not on the same page. I swear the man knows exactly where my buttons are and enjoys pressing them at his leisure when he chooses. And yet at the very same time, no one has ever been able to snug his way into the soft spots of my heart so tightly. I have an overwhelming appreciation and admiration for who he is, and how he has sown into who I am. I'm thankful for every chore, every work detail, and every discipline he made me practice. He taught me how to work, how to prioritize, and how to focus.
I remember him playfully coining me as 'the space cadet.' And it's true, my former nickname has proven pretty unfortunately accurate, but I'm truly not half of the space cadet. I have the potential to be because of the way he challenged me to focus and drive myself towards a goal.
I truly wish that I had more words for how much I love him, and how thankful I'm for all of the times I've had with him. I could hear the hurt in his voice the other day as he shared with me how his own dad's health was failing. I think often times we forget that as we're getting older, our parents are getting older, too. They are facing their own challenges, grief, and hardships.
Maybe that's actually what we forget most about our parents, that they are navigating life too, with their own questions, their own mountains, and their own valleys. I hope that on this day and always, we can consider our Dads and see them for the remarkable people they are, for the hardships they've endured, and the mountains they've climbed. I hope also we can honor them for the heartfelt way they reflect our Heavenly Father.
There is something to be said about the way the assurance settles in when we are affirmed in someone knowing us and caring for us in all of the small detailed parts of life. When the familiar face and presence of someone can take us from angry to sad, or from confused to quiet. I feel like this is where I've made the connection between my own Dad and the Lord as a Father to me. He is so close to me, has adopted me as His own, and has captivated each part of Fatherhood, so perfectly. With love, sacrifice, daily provision, and an inheritance of life with him.
I am so thankful for Him, for him, and for all the Dads out there giving it their best. Here's to you!