A year has passed. How can that be? Somehow it feels as if the time got away from me and yet it also feels like this past year, since August 23rd 2019, has been the longest year of my life. My Dad has been gone a year today. As I sit in my room and look around I try to picture how we were all in here with my Dad. He was surrounded by so much family. He was so loved and I don’t think he ever realized just how much love his family had for him. How he had earned the title of Dad and PawPaw. The title of husband (Mom’s person). Those title’s aren’t given out free of charge. Just because you can be all of those things doesn’t mean you are.
My Dad was just that. My Dad. He loved me and my brother and sisters more than his life. He would have done anything for us. He loved his grandchildren and great grandchildren the same way. There is nothing any of us could have done that could cause my Dad to withdraw his love. His was unconditional. He was truly an example of my Heavenly Father. I know he earned the title of husband. He was my Mom’s person. Good times, bad times just ok times they stuck together. I never once ever remember feeling uncertain about my home life and the fear that one or the other might leave. I just knew they were there and that would not change. Don’t get me wrong, life in the Bailey household was not like the Brady Bunch but we always loved each other and it was always home. My parents have always been home no matter where they are.
I miss him just as much today as I did a year ago. Don’t let anyone tell you time heals all wounds. It does not. I may cry less today than I did a year ago, but I find myself missing him and wanting to share things with him only to remember I can’t. There are days that I laugh thinking of him and days that I cry. Then there are the days of anger. I feel like I was cheated. He should still be here. We had things to do, to talk about. We all thought he was going to be here for much longer after he got treatment and we got 3 months. 3 months to the day he was diagnosed and that was it. He should still be here. Sitting on my front porch, letting me push him around for walks outside and saying hello to everyone that he doesn’t know and greeting them with random names. Hi Chuck, Hi Steve, Hey Bob long time. Yes they would look at him like I must know that guy, and say hi because if I don’t, it’s rude. I guess that’s the thing. We don’t know. God chooses the time, the day, the place, the minute. He’s ready when he’s ready. Don’t waste your moments. You may not get them again.
I think my Dad is the first person that I’ve lost that has been that close to me. It’s certainly the first time I have ever had an urn in my home. My Dad has been sitting on my mantle for a year and it has been bothering me. He just sits up there. Kind of like a trinket or conversation piece. So, Wyatt hates when I start sentences out with so. So, I wanted to go to the beach this weekend. It just felt like a way to be close to my Dad. He and my Mom love the water. I took my Dad with me. Just stick with me guys. I know that sounds weird and creepy. I wanted to take my Dad to the ocean and just put him there in the surf. His little urn right there in the surf beside me. Listen, if I saw someone on the beach with a tiny urn before my Dad passed away my thought would have been, that’s creepy and personal so yeah. You just don’t understand until you’ve been inducted into the club. It’s not a club you want to be in and you can’t fully understand the actions or words of the people in the club until you are inducted. It was a little word from God to not judge people when you see them doing something you deem as weird. You don’t know what that person is going through. So yes I took him to the beach and I was glad I put him right there in the surf. I don’t like him sitting on the mantle so I’m going to plant a tree and bury him under the tree along with a bench to sit on. He loved to sit outside and that seems like a better place for him. For me really. I know he is pain free in heaven and all these things we go through after someone we love so deeply dies are how we deal with our pain and loss. I will enjoy sitting on that bench and thinking of my Dad.
I have really struggled this past year with the loss and it felt like someone just kept saying, “I think you need one more thing for you to work through.” Who hasn’t though. 2020 has come with a lot of challenges for almost everyone. I would like to think I am coming out the other side and seeing clearer. I look forward to my tree growing big enough for a bench and a garden stone. I can sit there and read a book or just enjoy the outdoors and think of all the ways my Dad earned the title Dad many times over.
May the Lord Bless you and Keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26.
My Dad used to pray this over all of us kids and this is what my garden stone will say.