Reflections on Father’s Day
Happy Father’s Day to all fathers who are blessed with the gift of children. Peace to the fathers who have lost a child and to all the children who have lost a father.
What You Don’t Know About Me
What you don’t know is that I struggle every day. Sleeping has not been easy since Ellie died, especially waking up in the night and just wondering how I arrived at this point. I believe that we are what we eat, and that “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Waking up is hard. Who can control your first thought when you wake up? My first thoughts are usually not good ones. Then the battle of the mind begins. I become my own coach cheering me on. “You can do this! Your family needs you and loves you. I love my wife and kids, and I’m going to make a difference today in this world.” I pray for God’s help to do what I’m supposed to do today. And, I stand up.
What you don’t know is how much I lost. Ellie was a sweet little daddy’s girl who was better than I ever imagined. I lost a child that understood me. She thought I was funny and wanted to be like me. I’ll never forget our talks in bed about her dreams and her struggles. We shared so much. I lost the warmest welcome home every time I came through the door. We shared encouragement through sticky notes. I don’t get those anymore. I can only dream who she might have been today.
What you don’t know is that I am fine most of the time, but I’m fragile. I am motivated and energized to share my heart and love to the world. Even though it has been over two years since Ellie’s tragic death, I’m still on an emotional roller coaster of highs and lows. I’m not sure what I’m doing, but I’m doing lots of things. I’m not even sure I’m recognizable from the previous me, but that’s not all bad.
What you don’t know is the old me was ruined and broken faster than I thought possible. My world had shattered. Little did I know, but Ellie had planted a seed in me that would save my life and birth a new me. Ellie loved Jesus, prayed with me and for me, and shined God’s love into my life. Her joy for life and faith is a constant inspiration and will never be forgotten.
What you don’t know is how much I miss Ellie. I wish she was here and we could enjoy each other. I remember her every day. But, I would not want to be the old me. I’ve found a richer life that I had never known. I’ve found a profound sense of purpose and compassion. I know that Ellie will never be forgotten and that I’ll see her again when my time here is up. I live in the moment of every day, enjoying the people and blessings in my life more than ever before. I’m not anxious about the future or the world. I’ve learned to be me right now, whoever that is. If it’s crying in the shower, or laughing with my wife and boys, it’s all part of the evolving me and I’m okay with it.
– Ellie’s Dad
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