Memories flicker through my head today of my father and my heart is heavy. Today isn't just another day to me. Today is my father's 57th birthday. To me growing up I always thought that was old. Actually at times I still think it is. Yet as I near my 30th birthday I know it isn't that old.
My father was 45 when he died. That is 15 years older than me. 15 years more of life he lived. 15 years more of trails and pain he experienced. Yet I know that those 15 years weren't all that bad. There were some good memories. Some smiles. Some laughs.
More often than not I try to imagine my father's life. What it was like for him. What he thought about not being in touch with my brother and me. Was that what he truly wanted? Yet despite the questions that run through my head I remember the life of my father. Who he was. What he stood for.
My father was loving and kind. A truly amazing person. His life to me spoke love and hope. My mind takes me back to when my younger sister, Alicia was born. She was premature. When she was born she was so little she fit in my father's hand. There wasn't much hope for her to live, but that never deterred my father's faith for her life. I remember him building a little speaker to put in her incubator so he could play praise and worship for her to hear. He had faith that his daughter would live and she did. Today she is serving in the United States Navy and is doing amazing.
I tell you the story of my sister not to just show you that side of my father, but to show you that despite the pain he was feeling in that moment he found the strength to carry on for not only himself, but also for Alicia. That is something many have shown me through life, yet my father is the one who always brings it home for me.
Today and everyday I find the strength to carry on without my father. I find the strength to inspire others through their pain. My father gave me much in the short time I had him in my life. He also gave me much in his passing. My father may of lost his battle to depression, but he gave me and now many others a hope and love for something more. Something much better than the pain in the hard moments.
Let us hold to this example of strength and remember that despite the trails and pain, there is something far greater waiting for us. We aren't alone for we are all in this together.
You are loved!