Ya’all this post is brought to you by no other than my incredible husband. I love his willingness to open up (because if you know anything about him, he does not open up often) about his very own daddy. I challenge you to read it and not cry. I challenge you to read it and not feel the amount of emotion that goes into losing your dad at such a young age and what that does to you when you have a child of your own. Oh, how I have said many times I wish I could have met Jeff. But I highly suspect that when I look at my husband I am seeing as close to meeting Jeff as I can. He has the same integrity, the same profound effect on many people, and the same love of Jesus his dad did.
I’m writing this blog post on December 10, 2017. Today is my dad’s birthday. He would have been 57 years old today. My dad was a teacher and in 1994, while driving to school, he passed away due to a car accident. I was 9 years old and my brother was 6. Our lives changed forever.
My dad was a man of great integrity. He had a profound effect on many people’s lives. When he passed away, we had the service in the school gymnasium because there were so many people who wanted to be with us. I’m thankful for social media because I especially enjoy talking with people to hear their stories and listen to how my dad changed their lives. Whether it’s someone who became a teacher, someone who became a Christ-follower, or someone who shared that my dad believed in every one of his students and held a high (and equal) expectation for all of them. I learn something new each time I talk with someone new who knew my dad. It’s kind of like adding another puzzle piece to my memory of him. Oh how I wish I could have known him just one more day, month, year, or even decade.
I think about my dad every single day. As I’m playing with Jackson, I think about how my dad played with me and my brother. I can remember some of those games we played like it was yesterday. Let me share one of my most favorite memories with you. My mom had these beautiful precious moments figurines displayed in the corner of the living room. Our living room wasn’t that big and if I remember right, it was L-shaped. In front of the TV, in the longer part of the living room, we played nerf baseball. My brother and I would be the catcher and batter, and my dad would be the pitcher. It wasn’t too long before all of my mom’s precious moments figurines were broken because when we would hit the ball, if it hit the back wall, it was a home run. Often times, we would hit the figurines, which were next to the back wall so it probably counted as a home run.
The older I get, the more I realized that our time on this side of heaven is numbered; we just don’t know how long we’ll be here. I want my time with Jackson to be as amazing as my time with my dad was. One of my favorite things to do when we go back home is to stop by the school where my dad taught. The fitness center is named after my dad. There’s even a small glass case next to the fitness center doors with his picture and a couple other items. I haven’t been inside in years, but now that I’m writing this, I think I’m going to stop there the next time we’re home.
Dad – I miss you. I love you. I hope you’re proud of the husband and father I am. I always wanted to be just like you when I grew up.