Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tearful Reminder

             It hit me out of the blue.  When I preach, I like to use graphics and photos to support what I am saying.  This Sunday, I am telling a story about my dad, shortly before he died.  I think I might write it out in a blog after this one…anyway, I was looking through old photos to find a photo of him.  Before we came to Bolivia, we took all of our photo albums and sent them to a company in California. This company scanned them so that we could have them electronically.  We had six thousand photos.  Yep, six thousand photos!

           So, I decided to get out the drive we have them on and get a photo of dad so that I could put it up on the screen while I am telling my story. 

            The tears started in about five minutes.  Then they hit me hard, including a little sniffle and snob in about 10 minutes.  Now, I am suddenly challenged and feel like I may be a little short on what should be happening. 

            The tears started when I could not find a photo of my parents.  During my growing up years, we didn’t take many photos.   I got married as soon as Denise graduated and we began a life in the fast lane…of work/education.  I worked three jobs and went to school full time until I received my Master’s Degree.  We then moved to Colorado, 800 miles away from my parents.  After Colorado, we moved to Virginia, 1200 miles away from them.  Then, we moved to Bolivia, 4,000 miles away.  I am saying this trying to make an excuse for what happened.  But, the bottom line is that there is no excuse.  I started crying because both of my parents have passed away…but that isn’t it…I wept because I realized how little our lives interacted from the time I was 15 years old.  When I was 15, they moved to Buenos Aires and left me to live on my own.  From that moment on, they were pretty much out of my life.  I went through my last two years of High School on my own.  Then college, marriage and seminary. 

            This isn’t bashing.  It is what happened.  Now that they are gone, I realize how much I missed.  I should have pursued them.  I should have made them a priority.  I should have called and scheduled visits. 

            This was driven home when I finally found a photo of my dad.  I saw it and cried out loud. 

            Time to evaluate.  I am examining the emotions that I am experiencing as a child, an orphan, and as an adult and a father.  I am typing this asking myself, “What will my kids think?”  Will they look at me and be blessed?  Will they say, “Dad was always there.  I know that I was important to him.  I know that he loves me.” ?  What will they think/feel?  What DO they think or feel?

            Dads, are you investing TIME and ENERGY in your children?  Are you telling them how important they are to God and to you?  Are you there, REALLY there with them?  Do they get more of your time than your computer?  Do they know that when you are not with them, you want to be…or do they feel like the opposite.

            As I look at my life, and realize that my first three kids have left the nest, I feel some pride, some regret, some happiness, some sorrow…and a huge challenge.  I have 8 more here to pour my life in.  I am going to do it.  I can FEEL the power of a father’s love by the emptiness not having it leaves. 

            How about you?  Why not go do something with your kids right now?


Denise said...

You, my dear, are the absolute best daddy I know and our kids are certain they are of the utmost importance to you. I love you.

Mrs. G said...

Such a good post that now I'm crying too.
But I'm glad to have this to send to Danny.
Better to think of these things now rather than later...

Mollie Griffith