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Father’s Day, Anniversaries, and The Longest Day

Me and my Dad

I’m exhausted.

I never realized until now just how tiring going through grief can be on a person.

I’m so tired of being sad.

Father’s Day came and went.  Seeing everyone’s tributes on Facebook to their dads made me sad.  Post after post.  People thankful for their dads.  I could hardly stand to keep scrolling.  I was jealous that others still had their dads here on Earth, to love on and hug, and call and tell them they loved them.  And I sat there.  Crying.  Sad.

To me Father’s Day is everyday.

I think about my Father everyday.  Multiple times a day.

Most of the time they’re happy thoughts.  But then again… they just end up making me sad.

How much longer will I be sad at the thought of him?

How much longer will I miss him?  Wish he were still here with me?

I’m scared.

Scared that I’ll forget the sound of his voice.  Scared that I’ll forget his laugh.  Scared that I’ll forget the funny things he was known for saying.  Scared of the day that will eventually come when I don’t think of him everyday.

Ugh.  Grief.  It’s just exhausting.  I’m so over it.

Mom and Dad on their wedding day.
Mom and Dad celebrating their 40th anniversary.

And then not a few days after Father’s Day came what would have been my parent’s 41st wedding anniversary.

Last year we all celebrated with dinner at The Beef House.

We had no idea it would be the last one we would celebrate.

Can we just talk about 40 years here for a second? FORTY YEARS.

My word that’s a looooonnnnnggggg time.

480 months.  14,600 days.  350,400 hours.  160 seasons.

Good times.  Bad times.  Great times.

Children, grandchildren, a cat, dogs, a fish we thought would outlive us all…

So much crammed into those 40 years.

Is it wrong that I want 40 more?

My Dad, the ball player

And then came The Longest Day, June 21st.  A day the Alzheimer’s Association designates as a day for people that have loved ones fighting the disease or have passed from the disease to do something that loved one loved doing.  I had big plans.  I still do have big plans.  My Dad loved softball.  I wanted to arrange a softball game or tournament or something along those lines, but summer schedules and time restraints prevented me from getting it together.  There’s always next year…

Running for Dad

But something I could do was run.

My Dad loved running.  That boy…. he was running up until the end.  He thought the halls of Amber Glenn were a race track.

So, I downloaded a Couch 2 5K app and the Rock My Run app.  Bought a new pair of kicks.  And I ran.

And it felt good.  Actually, it felt great.

One of these days I won’t think of my Dad and immediately be sad.

Just like the 160 seasons that my parents experienced together as husband and wife, this season of grief that I’m going through will one day pass as well.  I look forward to this season passing and moving onto the next one.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance…

I’m ready to laugh again…

But not today.  Not yet.

 

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Just Visiting

Me and my niece, Adelynn

June 3, 2016 God blessed us with the sweetest baby you may ever meet.  Adelynn Denise was born shortly after 8pm and has had us all smitten ever since.   I honestly can’t even begin to tell you just how much I love this baby… like a.lot.

Me with my amazing sister, Ashley, and Adelynn
The new family of three

So, with the arrival of her birthday, it had me reminiscing about that day exactly one year ago.

Checking out Watson’s Shack & Rail

Ashley was in labor and wanted my Mom to be in the delivery room for the birth, so after work we grabbed my Dad to entertain him while we waited.  Having had two kids I knew it would be awhile before she made her big debut, so we checked out downtown Champaign as it was kick off weekend for their Friday Night Live event.  We ate at a new downtown restaurant and then went and listened to some music… and waited.  We finally got the call that she was here and off we went.

Dad with Adelynn

And she was perfect.

I recall handing Adelynn to Dad to hold and Mom and Ashley being so incredibly nervous.  I was right there the whole time, as you can see my hand, but I knew he wasn’t going to drop her.  He loved babies.  And there was no way I was going to let anything happen to her, it was such a sweet moment.

Me with the birthday girl

And now fast forward 365 days.

We blinked and Adelynn turned one.

And yet it feels like so much has happened in those past 365 days.  So much joy mixed with so much sadness.

Thankfully, there was so much to be happy about on Saturday as we celebrated Adelynn’s first birthday.

My sister went all out with a Lemonade themed party and everything turned out super cute, in true Roberts fashion.

Adelynn’s Lemonade Stand party

Dan built an amazing lemonade stand as well as a little pint sized one for her.  Ashley documented Adelynn’s stats every month so those were on display.  She had little cards for a time capsule where she encouraged guests to write down their hopes and wishes for Adelynn as she would be given them on her 18th birthday.  (Jillian predicted that she would be a gymnast.)

I made cupcakes.

Pink lemonade cupcakes
Pink lemonade cupcakes and white cupcakes

And Adelynn ate cake.

The birthday girl with her smash cake
Hey baby doll… is that cake good?

It was a lovely day filled with all of my favorite things: Food, family, and friends.

And yet someone was missing.

Mom, Dad, and Adelynn

The night before Adelynn’s birthday, TJ and I were able to have a date night and he was wanting to go check out the Friday Night Live event downtown, as once again it was kick off weekend.  It was hard being back downtown, thinking about the last time we were there exactly one year ago, entertaining my Dad.  So, I was scrolling through my pictures on my phone, looking for the ones of my Dad with the newborn Adelynn and I found this one above.  I thought it was perfect for Instagram, so I posted it.  And then I got to staring at it.  What all do you see in that picture?  I see a beaming grandma.  So much happiness on her face.  Is that a scrunchie on her wrist?  Are those making a comeback? I see a newborn baby, a gift from God.  A new life.  Promise.  My Dad’s wedding ring.  Another promise.  His watch.  An ever present reminder that time can’t stand still, even though I wish it could.  My Dad’s face gazing at that sweet baby.  I wish I knew what he was thinking.  Then there’s the cross.  A symbol and reminder of what God gave us, His only Son.  His baby.  The sacrifice Jesus gave for us. I see love in that picture.

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  My Dad’s white visitor name tag.  He was a visitor that night, as were we all.  But not just a visitor to the hospital.  He was a visitor here on Earth.  This world wasn’t his home.  It never was.  His home is in heaven and I was lucky enough that God sent him here to “visit.”  I wish his visit could have been longer.  I wish he could have seen Adelynn’s first year of life and love on her and hold her and never want to share her like he did with my kids.  She would have had him wrapped so tightly around her little pinky finger.

“This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.  My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue.  The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door, and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”

And then I get to thinking about Adelynn.  I told you how much I love that baby, I love her so much my heart could burst.  And when Dad died, my heart did burst.  It burst into a million tiny pieces.  But God gave us a gift.  He not only gave us his Son, he gave us her.  He knew how much joy she was going to bring and what a light she would be during some of our darkest days.

My Dad was with us in spirit.  I always feel him when I go home.  And he’ll always be “at home” in my heart.

The tired birthday girl

Thank you God for the gift of baby Adelynn.  Thank you for choosing her just for Ashley and Dan, knowing full well how much joy she would bring into our lives.  You always have a plan.  While life may be a mystery to us, it never is to You.  Bless this sweet baby with all the joy and happiness she can stand.  Thank you for letting my Dad be a visitor to this Earth and for allowing us to enjoy every day of his short visit.  I wish I were able to call him and tell him to come back soon, as my heart misses him terribly, but instead, I say… how about YOU come back soon?  I’m ready for your visit and for You to take us all home so we can be reunited once more.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17