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Dad’s birthday….62

January 24, 2011

today took me by surprise.  i knew his birthday was coming, but with the busyness of our weekend, i totally forgot it was today.  until i opened my calendar this morning……Dad’s birthday, 62.

then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  first it was the guilt of having forgotten and then it was this overwhelming sadness….

it was the reality of another birthday spent in the nursing home.

another birthday not knowing his family and us not being able to celebrate with him. 

i could go down many roads with this, but i won’t…or should i say “can’t.”

in all honesty, the reality that my dad has early onset alzheimers is something that still shakes me at times.  i can still easily ask the question, “how is it possible that someone so young can look 90 years old and not know his family anymore?”

i know that with time things get easier, and in some ways it has.  but the “missing him” part hasn’t gotten any easier.  just the thought of today being his birthday makes me long to feel his hugs, long to hear him say, “i love you”, long to hear him ask for another piece of birthday cake.

but none of that will happen. 

i could let  my mind go a hundred different ways today and i could grieve the loss of this wonderful man and allow myself to be ruled by my grief. 

but i won’t.

instead, i am choosing to remember the good times with my dad.  i am remembering his ornery smile and his mischevious ways and i am remembering the way he loved his favorite cat, mrs. b.

i am remembering the way he often worked 2 jobs just so he could afford to put me and justin in a Christian school, and the way he always paid his tithe before anything else.

i have so many wonderful memories of this man who made sure that his family knew  the love of the Savior and knew that he himself loved the Savior with all of his heart. 

Dad didn’t just talk of his love for God…he lived it.  everything about his life spoke of  his love for God. 

i am so grateful for the legacy my dad has left for me and my family….

 

{ a legacy of faithfulness, even through the hard times.}

 

there is one thing that i will never forget about my dad.  even after his diagnosis, when he was still able to understand what was happening to his brain,

~my dad never stopped praising God.  never.  i remember the last visit my parents made here before the alzheimers made it too hard for him to travel.

we were at our church and it was during worship…i looked over at my dad and was blown away by what i saw.

my amazing dad was worshipping the Lord with all of his heart…..hands raised towards heaven, a smile on his face.

i lost it…completely lost it.

that image has left an impact on me…one that i will never forget.

if my dad could talk to me right now, i know what he would say.  he would say,

“don’t be sad for me. this world is not my home.  i am one step closer to being with Jesus, and that’s where i’ve always longed to be.  and one day, we will be together again and we will worship Him together, forever.”

i am so thankful to God for the gift of my sweet dad.  i am so thankful that even though he can’t talk to me anymore, God is still using him to grow me and to remind me of God’s amazing love.

Happy Birthday, Dad.  i pray today that you will experience sweet fellowship with our Lord and Savior.  I pray that you will know his peace today and that you will find joy in the comfort of his love.

dad, i will forever be grateful for the gift of you…for your love, and now for your legacy.  you are the best and i adore you now as much as always. 

i love you…..

~patty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Carolyn Johnson permalink
    January 24, 2011 4:56 pm

    Very well done….don’t spend time on the could have and would have, spend time on the legacy, the part of dad that you will always have with you. That he is one step closer to his Saviour is a beautiful thought. And since we can’t know what is on dad’s mind, I would suppose he is already with the Saviour, while sharing his time here on this earth. God is good, he is holding your dad’s hand the same time you are!

  2. January 25, 2011 2:37 pm

    What a wonderful tribute to your dad! Praise the Lord that this is not the end. This world is not his home, and one day he will worship Jesus in a new and perfect body!

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