Wednesday, March 7, 2007

the circle of life

Every year at Easter time my Dad would bring me a little pot of spring flowers. I always thought they were so pretty and of course I always appreciated the kind gesture. My mom had passed away in 1995 and when he was invited to come over to dinner he appreciated the invitation so much. It is hard to imagine the loneliness that comes after 50 plus years of marriage with your soul mate and then suddenly overnight, just being alone. Of course he had his children, but how could we ever replace the woman he loved. He brought her flowers so regularly and after she went to be with the Lord, often I would be the recipient of that mindset of picking up a little something at the grocery store on his way home.
At Easter 2000 he brought me a little basket of spring bulbs in bloom. We have all seen them, sometimes they are on sale and they are never more than ten dollars. I'm sure I thanked him, of course I would have, but had I known they would be the last flowers I received directly from him, I'm sure I would have flung my arms around him and wept. Isn't the Lord good? I often think of the personal care that we receive from our Heavenly Father. Instead of my Dad picking up a bunch of daffodils or tulips he picked up live flowers still in the dirt. After they finished blooming I planted them in the dirt. Do you do that? Maybe they'll come up or maybe they won't . . nothing to lose.

It wasn't' long after Easter that my Dad's health began to fail. His attitude was always cheerful. My sister-in-law Mary and I were his morning visitors at the hospital. Each and every day when we came, he would tell us how good the nurses were. He just couldn't get over that those young student nurses would have to deal with his personal care and they were so gracious to him. After 3 weeks in the hospital he passed away. Forever with Jesus and with our Mom. We rejoiced for him and yet the shock of being without a parent was quite unexpected. I knew that I had been blessed beyond belief to have not one but two loving parents, and on top of that they loved one another. There are no words to say what is in my heart concerning the two of them. So . . us as siblings regrouped and did the things that are necessary after the last parent passes on. One kind and well meaning person came to me at the cemetery and put her arm around me and said . . .well, now you are an orphan. That saddened me and yet the reality is that when we have our Heavenly Father we are never ever truly orphans.
Since that Easter I look forward to Spring. I always did and yet now I find myself looking out my kitchen window waiting for the sign of rebirth. When I see those first green shoots peek out of the ground I feel my fathers love, all over again. My thankful heart swells with gratitude for the simple gift that continues to give year after year.
Having said all that, one can not help but be a bit introspective and wonder how we are treating those we love on a daily and consistent basis. There is no kidding ourselves, we will pass on and when we do, we will be remembered.
Well, today I will not be going on my 30 minute walk. I am taking my beloved on a date. Perhaps I'll take my camera along and you will be treated to pictures. In the meantime enjoy your day and tell someone that you love very much . . just that.
PS . . . It is an hour after I wrote this post and have thought about nothing else since then, and I wanted to add, that for some of you, your memories will be very sad. I wanted to encourage those of you who read this with a heavy heart. You may not be able to change your past and the heritage that was left for you but with the hope the the Lord has given each one of us who chooses it, we can effect the generations to come. Be the beginning of hope and love in your own family. I say this with love. Alright now I'm leaving on my date, for sure.

18 comments:

  1. Okay, that one brought tears to my eyes. Something about Dads and daughters. I am always so touched when my dad gives me little gifts, even just a hug. I have a rose bush that my dad gave me when I was going through post pardom depression after our fourth and I get teary when I weed around it. And now when I see Rudy with our daughter, well it is just so special. They say that the father-daughter relationship is the most important relationship in the family. I say the mother-son one is very important too.

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  2. Oh Corinee, thank you for sharing that. You are so right.

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  3. Thank you, Lovella! The hope that we have as beleivers became more real to me in this past week, as we watched my dad leave us. I wonder what he saw as he turned his head at the end and looked up? Before the funeral we went and purchased a whole bunch of miniature daffodils (in their dirt) and used them as centerpieces at the reception. Later the grandkids (family) took them home to plant in our gardens. They are supposed to be a reminder of Opa (Dad) and new life that we celebrate in the Spring. Heaven just became closer in this past week.

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  4. Anneliese, I thought of you as I wrote this post and almost mentioned your loss, but then I always try to remember that I am here to tell my story. I was touched by Kristal's post.

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  5. *eyes are wet*

    Daddy where are you?

    Oh I am so happy I have a Heavenly Father!

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  6. oh Lovella - we can never be orphans when we have had loving parents who have simply gone ahead..and are waiting for us to join them ..Yes, your parents were special...and left you many invaluable comforting memories!!

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  7. What a sweet expression your father had in that photo! I'm glad I've seen his picture...it will be fun to meet him in heaven and notice the changes that have been made upon his countenance to accomodate pure joy and eternity.
    (and I think you favor your daddy.)

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  8. It brought tears to my eyes as I read this and I too, thought how blessed I am to have had parents who loved each other and were committed to each other until death parted them.
    I miss my mum a lot but how true it is that we can never truly be orphans and that Spring will come again.
    This was a beautiful post. Thank you.

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  9. Lovella, your post was beautiful made me think of my grandma i really wish that i'd taken better care of the African violets she gave me. But i was young and didn't realize how precious time is with the people you love.I would give anything to have those violets now.

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  10. What a beautiful sentiment. This was so lovely. The heart you have for your dad is so evident in your words. Thank you for sharing this so intimately.

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  11. Loevella,,

    How blessed you are to have had such a caring Father....

    I'm thankful to have a loving Heavenly Father who cares about me and loves me in spite of me!

    Hope your date was fun........

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  12. It's such a blessing to have great memories of our parents. I also cherish the memories of dad.He was such a great example of a tenderhearted and loyal man. He was a great father-in-law and a wonderful grandfather to our children. Spring always makes me think of the pussywillows that dad would bring mom. Have a great time in the big city Mary

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  13. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing!

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  14. Lovella, I think your "PS" was meant especially for me. Thanks for coming back and adding to your original thoughts.

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  15. Beautiful. I have no other words to describe it. You always keep me thinking (and I'm sure others)and I like that.

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  16. Thank-you for your care Lovella (regarding the P.S.)~I hope you had a great date ;)

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  17. Where are you?? It's already 3:50pm on Thursday and there is no post from you for today and I need to know how your date went...(It must of went really well ;) Hee Hee!)

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  18. I was having a really bad day and then I checked your blog and this post cheered me up. Both of my parents are still living and although I don't get to see them much, they are coming out from Alberta next week and I get to have supper with them. You have taught me to cherish even the little things/times I get with them. Thanks for cheering me up. Can't wait to hear about your date.

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Thank you!