October 12, 1928 – April 12, 2018
Dad died a few days ago. I did the eulogy at his funeral and concluded with these words written by F.B. Myer to his friend, George Truett, in 1928:
“Our lives on earth may not meet as often as we’d like but this thought expresses my hope. ‘The only thing to do is for us to make a tryst to meet, as soon as possible, if not before our arriving in heaven, at the Middle Gate on the East Side of the New Jerusalem. Then we will go off together, for a ramble by the River of Water of Life, and will doubtless find a nook, where we can have a quiet talk…and perhaps the Prince Himself will join us. There will be much to talk about.’”
I love that visual.
But let me share this. It’s been tough—a mixture of sadness, tiredness, confusion, anger, and triggered emotions of all sorts. One minute I’m in tears and the next I’m laughing over a funny “Dad story” and the next I’m reverting back to my eight-year-old self (who internalized some wrong messages) and the next I’m doing the mundane and it all seems so surreal.
Even so, life goes on.
My story is interwoven with my dad’s story. I can take all these pieces of grief and weave a new story out of old fibers. I can be glad he’s now happy and healthy. (He hadn’t been for such a long, long time.) I can cry for no particular reason. I can tell people about his solid principles, intelligence, loyalty, and faith.
Our beloved stepmom gave this benediction to my sisters and me as we were heading home. “Go and live a good life and be happy. That would honor your dad the most.”
I think she’s right.