Sunday, June 15, 2014

Dear Dad…What My Father's Day Card Would Say Today

Anyone who's lost a parent can identify with me on special holidays such as Mother's Day and Father's Day. It doesn't matter if you had a great relationship or a stormy one, these days evoke emotions in the core of our being. If we're honest with ourselves, we'll face our feelings, deal with them and live a healthy life, emotionally, that is.

If your relationship was one that was deep and meaningful, you treasure the memories you have and recall them with fondness. If not, you stumble through life with a hole in your heart.

For many years it was difficult for me to choose a Father's Day card. They were sappy and filled with lines such as, "You were always there for me," and, "I can always look up to you." I'd walk around the Hallmark store reading each one carefully until I found the perfect card that expressed my feelings…very difficult as I said.

While I knew my dad loved me, I questioned many things he did after my mom died, which shattered my trust, and eventually I came to question his love for me. We also didn't communicate well and that contributed to the breakdown in our relationship.

Because of the sovereignty of a loving God, my relationship with my dad was healed before he died. If I could send him a card today it would read something like this…

My husband and Dad at the only game he would
ever attend of his beloved WV Mountaineers
Thank you Dad for marrying a wonderful woman, my mom. Thank you for loving her completely, not perfectly, but faithfully and unconditionally for seventeen years until she went to meet Jesus. Thank you for taking care of her, for carrying the burden of her illness for ten long years, emotionally, physically, and financially. You paid a high price for losing a wife at a young age.

Thank you for taking me to church where I was taught about a savior, named Jesus. I met that savior personally in the basement of our little church when I was five years old. It gave me a foundation that would establish a pattern for my life. 

Thank you for giving me happy, early memories and shielding me from the ugliness of cancer. Thank you for making me feel safe. Thank you for your discipline…like the time I had to go to bed early, while everybody else was still outside playing, because I rode my bike in the street. I remember you tucking me in bed, telling me you loved me, but I had disobeyed.
Dad and Bailey celebrating her second birthday

I'm sorry we lost our way when you remarried.

Thank you for loving my children unconditionally and abundantly. They adored you. They were the life line that brought us back together. Children have a way of doing that. Thank you for remembering their birthdays and making them feel special with a trip to their favorite fast food joint. I'm not sure if I should thank you for all the candy you fed them. I turned my head on those days. Mom would have loved it since she worked for a dentist.

Thank you for trusting me, and my family to care for you and love you when you needed family most. I will never forget our time together. Every day, every hour was planned by God to knit our hearts back together again.

Andy and Dad at Christmas circa 1992
But most of all, my dearest Daddy, I want to thank you for your humility and your heart. It took a big man to admit he was wrong, that he made many mistakes. 

I'm so thankful for the man I called my dad. His memory will live on in his final, "I love you's, and his final hugs. And the way he could say, "awe shucks."

We still laugh at how he could never call my cat by the right name. Her name is "Livvy," but he called her, "Liddy, Libby, Linny and several other versions. He brought laughter to our home for a year and we will never forget him.

It took too many years for me to find the right card for my dad…I'm sorry I had to write this too late for him to read it.

Don’t wait too long to tell those you love how you feel. Offer and receive forgiveness where needed. Your dad won’t always be here to read your words or hear your voice. Trust me on this one.

Have a blessed Father’s Day,


  1. What a beautiful sentiment, Cindy! I'm glad you are able to see what a wonderful (though imperfect) man your father was while you were growing up, and that you were able to come to peace with him in the end. Blessings all around!

  2. Thank you Kendra! It was truly a gift from God to have him here for that year. I saw it at the time, but have fully embraced God's sovereignty in the midst of my pain. He is so good indeed! Thank you for your continued friendship…you are a delight!

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you Jo Ann! Your comments are always appreciated! :)