I’d almost dreaded the day. I certainly wasn’t looking forward to it. Especially since my mom, sister and I wouldn’t be together for the two-year anniversary of my dad’s death. I seemed to have a chip on my shoulder about it, too, as clichés echoed through my head, like him being in a “better place” and “at peace.” What those meant? He wasn’t here with me anymore. I didn’t like it. Not one bit. My body seemed to be feeling it physically this year: a late-night trip to the bathroom with my stomach reeling, headaches. I was one big ball of negative energy. Simply put? It sucked, I told my mom.
I woke up early and decided to make a Starbucks run. As I pulled into the Drive-Thru, a song (by Building 429) that has become one of my favorites and really spoken to me the past 18 months played on the radio. “All I know is I’m not home yet, this is not where I belong…” A few tears escaped, but I recovered quickly and buzzed home for some journal time outside.
My positive outlook continued out on our deck, where I wrote “two years without dad and things feel pretty messed up down here.” I penned a laundry list of things, complaints, I guess, really just letting my feelings flow. At the core, the idea of feeling like I’m continuing to find my footing without him.
I sat there and wrote, getting everything out, and things started to shift inside. Rain had fallen overnight, giving the air a crispness and freshness that I breathed deep. The sky was filled with clouds and patches of blue, beautiful textures and dimensions to start the day. The garden that my mom and I planted stretched out across the lawn, the “giant pumpkins” starting to take over. A breeze whipped through the yard.
I ran, showered and went about my business. A short while later, I sat at the computer, checking out Pastor Rick Warren’s devotional in my in-box. The subject? “How to respond to a messed up world.” The verse? “This world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home in heaven.” (Hebrews 13:14; The Living Bible).
So there it was. Not a cliché. A reminder. The thing that had shifted inside me was something I could recall, and really believe. The power of Heaven that I remembered feeling the day dad died. Not empty words, or things you tell yourself just to make yourself feel better. Real words. Promises.
All I know is I’m not home yet.
But dad is.
I believe it for him.
I believe it for me.