The hardest part about writing letters, is trying to condense everything that the heart is singing into adjectives, nouns, verbs. But on this Father’s Day, I’m going to do my best to put words onto paper (so to speak) for you.
You came into my world right after I’d made the decision to hide from it. Life had become big and scary and overwhelming and awful. I was lost. Completely unable (or perhaps unwilling) to find my way. Too much had changed too quickly (at least for this girl, who has an aversion to change), and I was determined to keep myself closed off.
But then there was you.
You didn’t push me. You didn’t rush me. You didn’t judge me. You also didn’t condemn me. Which surprised me, because I felt that I had much to be condemned for.
My children adored you instantly. They never once hesitated. In their hearts, you were a part of our family from the second you gave them their first hugs. You were Grandpa, without question. I would sit back, watching you interact with them. Wondering if their energy, their endless questions and chatter would bother you. But instead, you enjoyed their company as much as they enjoyed yours! They loved you. And you loved them.
My biggest fear, however, was that surely you couldn’t love me. I could understand why you loved my babies. I could understand why you loved my mama. But me? No. I had held myself back from you for too long; allowed too much time to pass. How could you possibly love me, now? Besides, I wasn’t even your biological daughter. Surely you couldn’t love me.
However, I loved you. I enjoyed being around you! You shared my love for Jesus, for music, for wide open spaces and big grins. You even understood my introversion. And before I knew it, I was seeking out your company; texting you to share things from my day and to see how you were, even forgetting to help Mama clear the dinner dishes because I was too busy chatting with you after we’d eaten.
It was during one of our text conversations that you said, “I love you. You are mine. Don’t forget that.” And just like that, my world shifted hard and righted itself once again.
And so, on this Father’s Day, I am writing this letter to you for all to see. Thank you for loving me, for wanting me in your life, for being proud of me, for cracking up at how loudly I laugh, for teaching me when to pick my pea pods, for sending me home with artichokes, a baby pomegranate tree, a fresh oil change, big hugs and words of affirmation. Thank you for your wisdom, your encouragement, and your smiles from across the sanctuary when I was nervous visiting your church. I wish that I could be with you today, but I will see you in a couple of weeks and we will party until Biff and George come home.
Also? I love you. You are mine. Don’t forget that.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.
“I did all that I could to undo me, but you loved me enough to pursue me…”