3 years ago today my dad died.
I still miss him very much. I plan to spend the day with family and remember what made him so special.
A few years back while I was writing another blog I spent a week sharing stories about my dad and what he had taught me. I thought you should hear them. So every day this week I’ll be re-posting the posts from a few years ago. They give you a real sense of where I come from and why I am how I am now. It’s very much because of my dad.
So I invite you to get to know my dad this week. I think you’ll find him as amazing as I do.
Coffee Thursday – February 28th 2011
My dad is gone.
It may sound blunt but in the end that’s how it is for me. I go to my parents home and I find my mom and my younger brother and I sit in the chair that once was my dads.
My dad and I had coffee almost every Thursday morning. I worked late on Thursdays so I’d meet him for coffee in his office and he taught me about life. He taught me about respect and love, about God, about hope and fear. There were two things that he taught me however that really made him such an outstanding man.
And I’ll be clear my dad was amazing.
The two things he taught me about were grace and generosity.
So for this week I’m going to remember my dad and the wonderful legacy he left me as I recount the stories and the experiences I had with him. Today is about grace and generosity
My dad had terminal cancer. Before terminal cancer dad was a cancer survivor, physical changed but a survivor. Before he was a cancer survivor he battled plain old normal life changing cancer. And before all of that I was 11. I knew my dad sick longer that I knew my dad well.
Dad had chronic pain at the level that when doctors asked if he wanted morphine he’d laugh because it would do nothing to help how he felt. But here is where I become proud and here is the part where knowing my dad made me a better person, and I hope moves you.
While my dad was sick people would come to him and encourage him. They would say such up lifting things as ‘you know I know what your going through I have bad migraines’ or ‘I know what it’s like I have arthritis.’
He would smile and look them in the eye and say ‘that’s terrible. How are you copping with it? Is there anything I can do to help’ and he would mean every word. In the moment where he has every right to be angry or rude and scream ‘do you know how far away that is from what I’m dealing?!’ he would join them in their pain. He would be gracious and loving and instead of belittling their attempts to show him love and to connect he would comfort them.
I hope to be like that one day. That when I’m openly struggling and my friend or colleague just doesn’t know what to say I’m gracious with them. When I go to a friend for help and support and in the end find we spend the night talking about them I’m loving and caring.
I learned from my dad that the situation does not dictate my actions but I do. I’m choosing to be a person who gives whenever I can and to show grace to those who at times don’t do what I want or need from them. Look past their words to their heart and their intentions. To look past myself and see their needs and hurt not just my own.
It’s not easy and they often may not deserve it but what is grace if not undeserved.