Still Learning to Cope with the Loss of My Dad

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Today, November 4, 2015 marks the 21st year I have lived without my dad, my old man, my pop. As I was talking to my oldest son the other day it dawned on me that he is just a year younger than I was when my pop died. And how I have lived more of my life without him than I ever did with him.

Just because he is gone I am not going to sit here at my computer and pretend that life was all rainbows and unicorns. Because it wasn’t. It also wasn’t all bad either and that is what I choose to remember instead, the good thing you know, the things that make you smile instead of wanting to curl up in a a ball and cry.

My old man was like me, or should I say I am becoming more like my old man. He hurt all over all the time so trying to do things with me was hard and took a lot of effort. But, he did it, for me because he loved me. I am trying to be the same way for my boys who need a dad.

My dad was around for a while, during my cub scout years and it just so happens that I am a cub scout leader for my youngest son. Even though he wasn’t technically a leader he still helped out a bunch when he could. I remember one time, we made wooden chairs that were like recliners. It involved two pieces of wood and using jig saw to cut a hole in one and cutting to size the other. I remember “Doc” and I making a chair for each of us, they were used a lot around the house and on camping trips, we painted ours blue.

I miss him most around the holiday’s since it is near when he passed. People will often tell you it gets easier as time goes on, I must be in-normal because missing him has not gotten much easier over the years. In fact when I think of life events he has missed it actually makes things harder. I still have a few things I remember him giving me in the few Christmases before he passed. I still own a chocolate colored teddy bear named “Brownie” and I have my first Crossman air rifle he gave me. Those are two of the most important material things I own not because they will bring me a ton of money, but because they hold a ton of memories.

If things pan out how I hope they will I will graduate with my Masters of Divinity degree in May of 2016. This is joyous and saddens me at the same time. My father has missed every major milestone in my life. All of my graduations (from high school, both my AAS degrees and my Bachelors), the birth of his grandchildren, my wedding day, if it was a big day he has missed it (apart from my birth that is).

I am not sure how to reconcile the emotions I feel this time of year with how I am supposed to always feel. I know the gospel is a very strong change agent and I thank the Lord for that. I just wish my pop could have seen any of this take place.

My hope with this post is to share some of my heart with you my readers and to offer you encouragement to love those you love in your life because you never know when they will be gone. If you have lost a loved one try and not harbor hate or regret in your heart it will only build up and tear you down. Find even one good memory and hold fast to it. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ and so was the one you lost then you have assurance you will see them again.

May the Lord Bless you and Keep you,
PMHorne

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