Sunday, June 19, 2011

Not Father, but Daddy

As with all special occasions and holidays, they come around every year.  Father's Day is no exception.  God called Daddy home forty-six years ago.  He was only forty-nine and had finally stopped drinking, remarried and was happy, probably for the first time in his life. After so many years of turmoil and unhappiness, I ask again, Why, God?  

I didn't know Daddy very well.  I won't bore you with all the details, but briefly, Mother and Daddy divorced when I was seven - the typical dysfunctional scenario - young parents who didn't have a clue, throw in alcohol, very little money, struggles within the family members to stay afloat and stay together, and there you have it.  As I look back, we didn't have a lot going for us - that's not an excuse, it just was what it was at the time.

After the divorce, Daddy and I were, you might say, estranged.  Oddly enough, I didn't think much about it then - my life was moving along, ordinary but okay.  I was married at eighteen in my sister-in-law's home - I don't remember either Mother or Daddy being there.  Later, the children came along, and from time to time we would visit Daddy and his wife.  As well as I remember, it was always an obligatory thing - not a 'real' family gathering - I guess it was because we were never a 'real' family. 

After he quit drinking, Daddy was a different person, but perhaps by then, we had grown too far apart, too distant in our own everyday lives.  Had I realized, of course, that our time was limited, I would have made more effort - but isn't that always the way?  As they say, you never miss something until it's gone - and my Daddy was gone way too soon - before I could say, "I love you, Daddy - I'm sorry we weren't closer, but we'll do better from now on."

Daddy died in a tragic car accident - taking someone else's place at work one day.  Why that day?  Why couldn't it have been the next day?  If this doesn't confirm the adage 'being in the wrong place at the wrong time'  - or maybe not.  My beliefs have changed over the years and today I know in my heart, it was his time - I don't know why, but I know God was ready for him to come home. He gave Daddy that opportunity to change his life and to come to know Him - if not for that, I would have some serious doubts, but thankfully, I am comforted knowing he's with the Lord and hopefully can look down on me and my family and look forward to the day when he can meet his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and we'll finally be a 'real' family.

So, here's to you, Daddy - I hope you can hear me when I say I love you and miss you.  Sorry we didn't spend more time together, but one day we'll have all of eternity to catch up. 

Happy Daddy's Day

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