Grateful for Love

Today marks the first year I turn another year older without my Dad to celebrate with. I think about all the birthday’s prior and how special they were – maybe not then, but how they are now. I didn’t think that February 14th, 2019 would be the last birthday spent with Dad.

The fact that my birthday and Valentines Day are the same day is probably great for other people for a few reasons. Many times I’ve gotten a combined Valentines Day card and birthday card, all in one. Sometimes a gift is really more of a Valentines gift or its pink and that’s cool… if you’re into that kind of stuff. These are reasons for other people to be thrilled. For me though, my birthday is separate from Valentine’s Day. Period. It would be like my birthday falling on St. Patrick’s Day. Do I really want four leaf clovers everywhere?

My Dad though would make me not feel sooo bad though about sharing a birthday with a holiday. He’d many years buy me a stuffed animal of some kind. He’d say “I thought you’d like this one!” Yesterday, my Grandma actually bought me a stuffed animal when she ran up to the store and came back. I was looking at it, with its scrunched up nose and crooked little stitchings for a mouth. My Dad is a perfectionist, he even knows that. As I was examining this bear, I thought of Dad and how he would have commented on it. Had he gotten me an animal, he would have said “Well, I picked this one out, it was the only one they had that didn’t have a crooked nose. It’s a little off, but not like the others.” I’d look at it and laugh and say it doesn’t matter. Even if it had a crooked nose, I would love it just as much because I knew Dad had been thinking of me.

After today’s over, maybe I’ll feel different. There’s this hole, this emptiness about some days. I feel like I haven’t seen Dad in so long. A sliver of myself thinks I can message him whenever still but I never have tried. I know the truth. I keep playing over in my head things he’d say or remember how he’d respond to certain scenarios.

A part of Dad will always be with me. I’ve always been told I look and act like my Dad. Some girls would probably be like ewwwww or I even actually think of that meme of the Rock dressed up as a girl and it says “When people say you look like your Dad” or something. I would always share that meme! Hilarious! The truth is, I don’t mind sharing these attributes with Dad. I’ve always admired and looked up to him. I had so much to learn from him over the years – how could I not look up to a man like that?

Birthdays always remind me of how far God has brought me. Things happen for a reason and that reason is God’s purpose. If I didn’t have God right now, if he didn’t go get me when I was far from him years ago, I’d be handling this situation far differently – I probably wouldn’t be typing this either because the idea of a blog didn’t mean as much until I started talking about Him. I thank God for giving me parents who raised me in the church which then allowed me to have this community that’s my family full of brothers and sisters. I feel extra grateful this year for what He has done through my life and what He was able to do through my Dad, even in His last days on earth.

I’m grateful for love from my earthly father this year. I’m also grateful for the love I’m shown daily, through the midst of pain and grief, by my Heavenly Father. Nothing compares to remembering the hugs of Dad and feeling a spiritual embrace by someone who is always in control and always has me in his arms.

I’m also grateful for having this day to celebrate in the first place. I don’t normally like celebrating on my birthday because.. for obvious reasons it’s pretty busy at restaurants and we always go out to eat for the special occasion. I’m going to enjoy the day though. I get to sleep in for however long as possible, day off from work, read, enjoy lunch with my mom and Grandma – life is good. It’s a good reminder – even when life isn’t perfect, it’s still good. #Grateful.

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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