My Dad passed away on Monday after a brief fight with lung cancer. He was 67.
What am I going to do without my Dad ?
I’m 39 years old and have instead felt more like a 9-year old for much of this week. Sometimes it’s difficult just to get from one room to another without breaking down. So many things remind me of him. Things feel so empty. It is so hard.
My family and I have been blessed this week to be surrounded by so many people who love us. I’m especially appreciative of those who have spent time comforting my Mom. Friends and family members, some we haven’t seen in a long time, have helped so much to ease some of the pain. But the pain is just so persistent. It hurts all the time.
I’ve been comforted by the Psalms this week. I read Psalm 41 this morning. Psalm 26 earlier this week. Psalm 23 was read at my Dad’s memorial service. I’m also reminded by this familiar verse from Revelation…
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:4 ESV)
This week I’ve found myself envying those who lived when Jesus was here on Earth. The woman at the well (John 4:1-45), the paralytic (Mark 2:11), the blind man at Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26). I feel a longing for Jesus to be here physically as He was then to comfort me as he did those individuals. Of course, I know He can sympathize with my trials now. But I just wish He were sitting right beside me now. I guess that’s a lack of faith on my part, but I can’t help it…
I can’t begin to count how many times in my life I’ve thought or said, “I have to check with my Dad on this.” I always felt the need to have him weigh in on things and was always so glad when he did. He always enjoyed going with me to buy a car and haggle with the salespeople. One time we were at a Toyota dealership and the salesman and my Dad kept going back and forth on a certain discount that my Dad felt I was entitled to. Finally the salesman came back from meeting with his manager. He said to my Dad, “Look, I’m giving you everything but my pants on this deal !” My Dad said, “Keep your pants, Jerry, just give us the discount !” He made everyone laugh. I will miss his sense of humor terribly.
Sundays at our house were always a hub of activity growing up, usually revolving around sports, good stories, and lots of food. What else could you expect with a predominantly Italian family ? And even as a mix of Irish, English and who knows what else, my Dad fit right in 🙂 They all ribbed one another, but it was always in good fun. Sadly, many of those family members are gone now, and we talk about how difficult it is to see the empty chairs. And now there’s one more…
My Dad did not talk about his faith much, and to my own shame, I talked about mine with him very rarely. I guess I always thought there was still so much time to do so. In that regard, I failed my Dad – and God – miserably.
My eyes just have a constant burn from all the tears. It’s so tough. I can think of no real way to get comfort other than to draw nearer to God and to stand on His promises. So that’s what I plan to do, by His grace.
Thank you Dad – for everything. Goodbye for now. I love you.