4 months ago today my dad died. I knew before he died that I’d never see him alive again. 2 years ago I had a purchased airline ticket for a conference in his state. The conference had been cancelled and he asked me not to come. Out of respect, I didn’t. It wasn’t that he didn’t love me; he was sick. I thought then that I had come to terms with the day my dad would eventually die.
But I was wrong.
Buried deep down there was still a hope. The hope to be daddy’s little girl. The hope that he just may wake up and one day want a relationship with me on earth.
On March 31, 2015 that hope burned out. I finally had to accept there would be absolutely no chance that would ever happen.
And the grieving process started.
I have not found a manual for the right way to grieve. I think pulling out of the post office screaming at some guy at the top of my lungs, because he was cursing me for pulling out the wrong way was not the right way to grieve. Turning that anger to God the whole drive home and in my rage in my house by myself and in my journaling was a better way to handle it.
March 31, 2015 also marked another big event. My mom had gastric bypass surgery to regain her life. The 15 months leading up to this surgery, I had been by her side, going with her to appointments and cheering her on as she had decided to start living. Prior to the surgery, she had already lost so much weight and her perspective on life had changed. It was a joy to be around her. I finally had a great relationship with my mom, that was mutually enjoyable.
The day she had surgery to save her life, was the same day my dad died. See that irony. One started living, the other died.
In the midst of my grieving, I was ecstatic that I had another living parent. Not just breathing, but partaking in life. I fixed my eyes on that, and it seemed to help. Perhaps I set up some expectations from her new choices. Perhaps she set me up for some.
At the end of the day, the expectations were unmet.
This week, my mom moved back to her hometown, 8 hours away.
She left her husband, packed up and moved.
I’m not saying her choices are right or wrong. It’s her life that she is finally living and I’m not going to judge her decisions. I ask you not to as well. She did her job and raised me and really owes me nothing more.
What’s wrong is in the midst of this divorce, I want to point fingers and call people selfish for their decisions that impact me, when in doing so makes me selfish.
I want my parents to know how much love I have for them. I want them to know Jesus. I want them to know nothing will ever fill them with love or peace or happiness like a relationship with Jesus does. Here on earth, and in the eternity.
John 13:34 “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you. You should love each other.”
Today I choose love. I choose to honor my parents. I choose gratitude they are still here and that God isn’t done with any of us yet.
When we are faced with anger, really we are faced with a choice. Which perspective will you choose?
What’s your story? Loving others isn’t conditional to our parents. It extends to everyone around us. Who is most difficult for you to love right now? Why? What can you do to love them anyway?