Growing up I never imagined I would have to live majority of my life without you in it, I never thought I would have to experience grief the way I did after you died, I didn’t want this, I still don’t want this. The day you died replays in my head often. Some people shut those memories out but I remember everything so clearly — the way I felt, what I did and what people said. I remember thinking: “how could I possibly live my life when you’re not here”. Dad, my heart broke into a million tiny pieces that day and I want you to know that even though I am living my life, there is always a part of me missing.
Today marks 7 years since God called you home. I often think about the days leading up to your death and how truly sick you looked, I knew you were deteriorating but I didn’t want to believe that I was literally watching you die before my eyes. You never complained though, not once. Through every bit of pain you showed me what true strength and sacrifice looked like.
I genuinely can’t believe it’s been 7 years but at the same time I can because SO much has happened. Let me start with Gideon, my Gideon. I’m married now dad and he is the most incredible man in the world!! We met 2 years ago when I travelled to the States to work at a summer camp. We live over here in NE (Nebraska). I didn’t even know this State existed before I came to work here. It’s the opposite to the central coast, I’m land locked but there is something so peaceful about it here.We are living the sweetest little life together, we even have a cat! Her name is Maple and she makes me so freaking happy. Yes, you read that right, a cat! She snuggling me as I write this to you. Gideon and I did long distance for majority of our dating + engagement but that all seems like so long ago now. He reminds me of you in some ways — He is a man after God’s heart just like you were, he has so much knowledge on the bible and on pretty much everything for that matter. He’s gentle, quiet, kind and very level headed. Sometimes when we are being silly he will pull the same face you used to pull to make me laugh, it’s my favourite when that happens. We didn’t have a big wedding, we actually eloped, in the snow!! We wanted something super simple and God focussed after being apart for so long but I’m not going to lie, part of me felt really relieved we decided on that because you weren’t here to walk me down the isle and that’s not fair, I wanted that, I really did but it was never ever going to happen for me. This year has been particularly hard in my grief, I think it’s because of all the big changes you haven’t been here for. I’ve spent many nights in Gideon’s arms having an anxiety attacks because I just miss you SO, so much.
Mel and Micheal bought a house and have 2 kids now — Lucas and Imogen. They are the cutest little family dad, you would just be so proud of Mel. She reminds me of you a lot. She really held mum and I together after you died, who am I kidding, she still holds us together. It’s been amazing to watch her grow into the role of being a mum, she’s so good at it. The way she loves the kids is something so wonderful. I remember when Lucas was little he would often stare at photos of you, it’s like somehow he knew you were this really important figure in all of our lives. They named him Lucas Allan after you. Lucas is so much like Micheal. He loves to play with his trucks and get dirty in the garden! Immy is very cheeky but also kind of shy, it’s really cute. I’m devastated that I have to watch them grow up from the other side of the world. But so thankful for FaceTime and overseas visits!
Mum — the most beautiful person in the world. She’s been through the most out of all of us since losing you dad. 2 years after you died she got cancer. It was genuinely the most out of the blue and shocking thing for all of us. I was petrified I was going to lose her too dad. I don’t know what I would have done, I don’t even like to think about it. I got really angry at God at this point of my life. I couldn’t wrap my head around you being gone and potentially losing her too. It just wasn’t an option, it couldn’t be. You will be so proud and so happy to know that after major surgery, chemo, a lot of tears and the sheer strength of God, she kicked cancers butt! She’s in remission now and she’s absolutely thriving.
She got married last year dad. His name is Ian and he is the sweetest, most caring and loving person. He will never EVER replace you and the role you had in our lives dad but I know you would really like him. Seeing mum so broken, sad and alone for all of those years after you passed was heart breaking. It’s just really nice to see her happy again.
Ian has such a special place in my heart dad. He has sat with me numerous times when I have cried about you, he’s been so generous and it’s just really nice to be able to have a dad hug again. Writing about this is kind of hard because I would never want to hurt you or make you feel second best because you’re not, you’re my dad but Ian has been the biggest blessing in so many ways and he has genuinely bought so much joy back into this family. I feel so thankful for both of you.
The role of a Father is SO important and I am beyond thankful to have had your love, guidance and influence over my life for those 16 years. After you died I kind of went a little wayward and had a bit of a rebellious moment that lasted a good few years. I was doing anything and everything I could to fill that gaping hole in my heart but nothing satisfied. I came full circle and by the grace of God fell back in my Heavenly Fathers arms ready for forgiveness and a new beginning. That’s exactly what He gave me. He is SO good.
Losing you has been the hardest thing my heart has ever had to endure and a part of me always feels like something is missing, because it is, you’re my dad and I would give anything to be able to hear your voice again, give you a big cuddle and go on an adventure with you.
Gideon has really helped put things into perspective, he takes me back to the bible in every circumstance. I told him it was unfair that you died when you did and he reminded me that it was simply just your time and that God numbers each of our days in a book and the 27th of December 2012 was your day. Most of the time that realization gives me peace but sometimes I still get confused and I genuinely feel guilty for moving on with my life. I know that moving on is exactly what you would have wanted but it’s conflicting to wrap my head around the fact that it’s even possible when one of the most special and important people in my world is gone forever. I think that’s just the journey of grief paired with living in a fallen world, these feelings are probably always going to be with me, it’s just how I process them is going to be different as the years go on.
I could fill a hundred pages writing to you and sharing my life with you. Weirdly enough, it makes me feel close to you, even though I know that’s not possible because you’re living your very best life in Heaven with our King Jesus. It’s nice to process my emotions differently this year, knowing that there is no right or wrong way to do it.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. We are who we are because of you! We had the greatest leader to look up to, to follow and to be inspired by every day. Thank you for being the greatest dad in the whole world. Today I get to remember the incredible man you were and thank God a little extra for allowing me to be YOUR daughter. A blessing I will truly never take for granted.
I love you and miss you more than you will ever know dad.