Recently, I was engrossed in a small and unassuming book entitled A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis. It is a heartbreaking, and honest account of the great loss of a man who proclaimed his faith to the world and who wrote about his journey through grief. Everyone’s grief is different (so I’m told), and I believe it to be true, but all pain is pain. All sorrow is sorrow, and we grieve those that we’ve lost, because we loved them.
C.S. Lewis lost his wife. My Dad lost his love of more than thirty-three years. This is something I couldn’t possibly understand, but just as my heart breaks for losing my Mom, my heart breaks just as deeply for my Dad. My Dad’s fridge is still always filled with apples, because my Mom loved apples. My Dad has photos of my Mom all throughout their house and lovingly remembers her in our conversations. If my Mom was here today, she would tell my Dad that she is so proud of him for all that he’s done on his own. She’d tell him that he’s been so strong for our family and that he is a great example for his daughter.
This past May 12th would have been my parents 34th wedding anniversary. I’m sure that they would be the first to tell you that their marriage wasn’t perfect, but their love for each other was real. The day that Sean asked my parents for my hand in marriage, my Dad told him, “Marriage is not about compromise, it’s about sacrifice.” And that sacrifice that my Dad was talking about is what I was so privileged to see my whole life.
This past Father’s Day I meant to publish this post, but it just sat in my draft folder, until now. It’s difficult to put into words how much of an inspiration my Dad has been to me. He has taken on the role of Dad and “Mom” and I know he tries very hard to help fill the void of not having my Mom here. My Dad packs food for Sean and I just as my Mom had always done, he always insists on putting money in our hands to buy nice meals while we’re away, and he thinks of what to buy Sean for his birthday three months in advance. My Dad’s courage to do things on his own, challenges me to be less afraid. I know that my Dad purposefully does things to help me worry less about him, and for this, I’m grateful.
When I see what my Dad has endured, and the courage that he has shown, it gives me strength to live a fulfilling life, one that both my Dad and Mom would be proud of. When in the midst of pain, it is difficult to focus on our blessings, but my relationship with my Dad is a true gift from God. I think it’s safe to say that I have the best relationship a daughter could possibly have with her Dad. When I was little, he was my favourite play-mate, and now as an adult, he is the one I turn to for advice. For me, there could be no better example of courage, sacrifice and kindness than my Dad.
On a side note, my Dad’s jokes are some of the funniest, and my Mom was his number one fan. She would laugh so hard that she could barely make out the joke when telling it to me. I never got the joke because she would never make it to the punch-line, but I’ll never forget the sound of her laugh, thanks to my Dad.