Last night I wrote to my baby girl, whose birthday is today.
what you might not know is that today is also the birthday of someone very special – my daddy.
Dear Daddy –
I hope today is an awesome birthday for you. 60! Sixty whole years you have been on this earth, changing lives and helping people. When I try to think of just how far reaching your life has been in the lives of others, i can hardly fathom it. For as long as I can remember, you have made it your life mission to help everyone around you, to bring the love of Christ and His saving grace to their lives. You did it in a large way from the front of the church every Sunday and you did it in quiet ways by picking up hitchhikers and giving them your last $5 every other day of the week.
You poured yourself into your ministry, your family, and everyone around you.
You were the best daddy any girl could ask for growing up – always so involved in everything we did, making sure we knew how loved we all were, laughing with us, lecturing us, guiding us in the way we should go without being a dictator. I don’t know how you did it, never having had a dad yourself. How did you know? (I mean, i know it’s because you took the amazing advice of mary jane mostly!)
Family trips, driving around the county looking for picket fencing, or just racing home from wherever we were at – we learned that together is the best place to be.
and as I think back to some of the times we’ve had this past year, that still held so true.
I think most poignantly to me, the memory I will hold close to me this year is that night in the PICU. Ben had called you and told you guys to come, and you flew there. I didn’t even know how much I needed to see you and mommy that night, until you were there hugging me, telling me it was going to be ok. We were all taking turns standing at her bedside, willing her numbers to come into the right ranges, begging God to give her back to us, to heal her, to make it all better. I saw you bent over her puffy fragile body, stroking her nose like you do to put her to sleep, gingerly trying to find a place to connect with her that wasn’t covered in tubes/wires/monitors, some place that wouldn’t cause her vitals to skyrocket in the wrong direction. And while I don’t know exactly what you were whispering to her throughout that long night, I’m betting it was stories of the little jokes you two have, telling her we all needed her JOY back in this world, begging her to keep fighting.
I cannot remember a time I saw you that depleted. To be honest, I don’t think i’ve ever been that depleted myself.
during our darkest times, you were there with us. During our times of elation as she came back to us, you were with us. You prayed over us, you cried with us, you rejoiced with us. All of those lessons taught over the years, that God is good when things are good and He is still good when things are bad – they were put to use that night.
You exemplify what it means to know a father’s love.
I am so honored to be able to call you my daddy. Thank you for everything you’ve taught me in our years together.
Here’s to 60 more.
i love you daddy.
your baby girl.