As Christmas approaches, you are on my mind more and more. I find myself thinking of what Christmas was like in our home when Justin and I were growing up, and how hard you worked to provide a wonderful Christmas for us. I’ll never forget how you ALWAYS waited until Christmas Eve to shop for Mom’s gifts and you would then come home and have me wrap them all. Then there was always the gift that you “accidentally” left in the garage, only to surprise Mom with it on Christmas morning after all the other gifts were unwrapped.
I’ll never forget the Christmas when you “surprised” Justin (who was under a year old) with a brand new grown up fishing pole….i’ll never forget the look on your face as you helped him hold the pole while he was standing in his walker. you were so proud to have a son and promised to take good care of his fishing pole for him until he was old enough to use it. 🙂
i’ll never forget the Christmas when we had gone to Grandma and Grandpas for Christmas, only to find that Misty (our sweet dog) had decided to “undecorate” the tree while we were gone. You were so mad at her that you made her go outside for a while, where she happily ran laps in the snow. 🙂
i’ll never forget the many Christmas’s where you were so excited about opening gifts that you would be the one begging Mom to let us open them early. 🙂
Dad, you were always so giving….to the point that it was almost a fault. You would give money any time the church needed it and you were the first one to offer your help when it was asked for. for years, you gave up your Monday nights to go visit people in the church who were sick or hurting. you would always ask Linda (the church secretary) for the names of any people who had been out of church for a few weeks and you would go visit them and encourage them.
I remember the years that you selflessly drove the church van to pick up the teens for youth group, otherwise they wouldn’t have had a ride. you had such a love for everyone around you and there’s nothing you wouldn’t have done for someone in need.
i remember when you and Mom were separated for those few months…..I remember the many times you called me, just to chat and to let me know how much you love me, but even more so to cry and beg me to pray for healing for your marriage. you made it clear that you would do anything to make things work between you and mom, and you did. i remember you coming to Minneapolis by yourself during that time and just hanging out with me and sharing with me memories about mom. i remember how happy you were when you and mom started dating…you were like a teenage boy, falling in love for the first time. and i’ll never forget hearing you tell others about how God healed your marriage.
Dad, even though you’re still with us physically, you’re no longer with us mentally and you can’t relate to us anymore. i can’t tell you how much i miss you, how much i miss talking to you on the phone and hearing you tell me how thankful you are to God for giving me a godly husband. i would give anything to see you reach out to me for a hug and to feel your arms lovingly embrace me. and i would pay millions just to hear you say “i love you” one more time. the one hope that i hold on to is the fact that we’ll be together in Heaven and that nothing will ever separate us again and no disease will take you away from me. you are so precious to me and i miss you more than you could ever know. i’m so thankful that you had the opportunity to meet, love, and hold each one of my babies before Alzheimers took you away from me. you loved your grandkids more than life and you were always talking about how proud you are of them. even though you and Matthew Dean didn’t have much time together before you got sick, he will always carry on part of your name and i will never stop telling him all about his wonderful papa. i love you dad…merry christmas.