Sunshinelittleone's Blog

All about my love for the Lord

Twenty years…

on April 28, 2012
Sunset over mountains

Sunset over mountains (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.” Deuteronomy 10:18

The Lord is always faithful to His promises.  He does defend the fatherless.  He has defended me. The past twenty years have found me fatherless. But, my heavenly father has guided my every step.  He has never left me or forsaken me.  He has carried me.  He has held me tight in His loving arms.

On April 28th, 1992 I came home from school to learn that my father had gone home to be with the Lord while I sat in US Government.  It wasn’t a complete shock, he had been sick with cancer for nearly two years.  A year and a half longer than the doctors had predicted.  We were given the gift of 18 months. The Lord gave us those days to prepare for my dad’s home going.  While we knew that he would soon leave us, his passing was profound nonetheless. When someone so close to you dies, you can feel the ache in your heart. I had hoped that feeling would ebb with time.  It is still palpable.  The ache is for very different reasons now.  There are still days when the news of his passing rings loud in my ears and I feel like I am hearing it for the first time, but mostly the ache is for what I can’t not share with him now…my sweet husband (who he would have totally approved of! Two little children who share so many of my dad’s amazing qualities.  What a blessing from the Lord…a glimpse of the one I loved so much and miss so deeply!)

I miss him.  The Lord has blessed me with sweet memories.  He has given me a son whose smile and eyes remind me of my dad…a little boy who has an insatiable curiosity like his grandpa.  He has blessed me with a little girl who could tromp around in nature, all day, like her grandpa…who isn’t afraid to bait her own line, like her momma!

My dad embodied the role of fatherhood so well.  He was suited to parent. He was fun and adventurous. But most of all he listened well and loved even better. He allowed me to confide in him.  He never judged or condemned me; he just always listened.  He provided me with a safe place to land.  He was the world to me.  I have spent the past twenty years trying desperately to honor his name and memory.

I imagined this day coming.  Twenty years.  I imagined it wouldn’t be so hard.  But it is.  And I am thankful.  I am thankful because the hurt reminds me of the deep love I had for my dad…for that I am eternally grateful.  I had 17 precious years with a man who loved me so well.  I am thankful because I embody so many of his qualities…inside and out.  I am grateful because I was blessed to have a father who was also my best friend.

Today’s gratitude…

  1. A dad who taught me to love fully and deeply
  2. My dad’s hazel eyes, similar to the color of Max’s
  3. His laugh, that even after all these years I can hear in my heart
  4. His encouragement
  5. The strength he pulled out of me
  6. The wisdom he shared with me
  7. The life he lived
  8. My mom
  9. Today…because I have precious memories that sustain me
  10. Heaven

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

I am grateful beyond word for the opportunity to have loved such a wonderful man. I thank you for making him my father. I thank you that you took him home and that someday we will be reunited in Heaven.  Thank you father for the blessing that was Dale Rowell.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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