Sunday, July 15, 2007

Always a Daddy's girl...

I have sat here for a moment trying to decide upon some of my favorite Dad memories. Maybe it was the way he would wrap me up in the covers so tight as a little girl that it took my combined leg strength to get out of the safe cocoon wrap. Maybe it was that time he looked at me in absolute bewilderment my freshmen year of college as he picked me up at my dorm for my first Georgia Tech football game with him - he was decked in his black and gold school colors. I, on the other hand, thought fashion was more important, and wore some red and blue plaid pants (I know - you can cringe), with a blue shirt. It just so happened that I was also sporting the opposing teams colors! He looked at me absolutely dumbfounded, shook his head, smiled, and held my hand to walk to the game. Or maybe it was all those teenage years that I went roller-blading with him as he jogged around St. Simons Island; he would always buy me my beloved fresh boiled peanuts afterwards!

Today would have been his 54th birthday. It has been about four years since his unexpected death, and I still find myself wondering what I need to get him for his birthday this year (while vowing to not get the dreaded tie or socks that every Dad seems to be stuck with :) )

I miss his smile. It put any anxious thought or way within me to rest.
I miss talking on the phone with him. Four years past his death, and I still have days where I forget that I can't call him like I used to everyday.
I miss standing on top of his feet in hug position to dance with him.
I miss the way he smelled.
I miss the way he said my nick-name...
I miss his bear hugs.
I miss him believing in me.
I miss him making up songs that rhymed about me.
I miss listening to him try to sing an oldies song, only to mumble his way through the stanza, and barely know the chorus. It was always an opportunity to laugh at each other.
I miss catching him loving on my cat, while he pretended to be too manly for that.
I miss the way he cared for me.
I miss his phone messages he would leave from work, "just to tell me that he loved me."

And so now,
I will miss his grin, or concerned glance, when I bring home the next 'man' in my life.
I will miss knowing if he approved or not.
I will miss him walking me down the aisle to be married. No other person seems fitting to give me away and I just don't know what to do about that.
I will miss him cradling my future child in his arms the way he held me.
I will miss knowing what his face would have looked like at my college graduation. It was his biggest dream for me, and the day seemed so incomplete without seeing his face as I walked off that stage.
I will miss him raking up a big pile of leaves for my children to run and jump in the way he did for me.
I will miss him knowing what a wonderful grandfather he would have been.
But most of all, I will miss him knowing (despite his imperfections) how wonderful of a father he already was to me.

Call me crazy, but to me, it's still his birthday. He is too much of the reason I am who I am, and thus is ever-present in my heart. I miss him to an amount that hurts nearly everyday.

To a man never to be replaced in my life, the LORD alone has given me something worth counting my 'loss'. Himself. He would be the only One able to fill such a void. Let me assure you girls that He is always the 'more' that you need. Christ Himself, the Word that became flesh, the King of Kings, has become my gain. May I never be satisfied with nothing less than all of Him. He is It for me. The One who sustains my universe has stooped down, and allowed me to climb into the lap of the Father.

Psalm 119 "It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. Your hand made me and formed me...may those who fear You rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your Word."

Given to one Father by another dearly missed one...I have found Him to be my Life and Love.
A birthday...even if only in my heart.

27 comments:

Boy & Girl said...

Sweet Shelly,

The tears won't stop flowing...I am so sorry that you lost your dad. Just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you girl today. And Happy Birthday Shelly's daddy!!

Debra said...

It is his birthday. A celebration of his beautiful life. What a legacy you are! I am praying for you today.

MelanieJoy said...

Aww... Sweetie I wish I could reach over right now and give you a big ((hug)). My heart is aching for you tonight. I'm praying you feel God wrap you up in the 'safe covers' of His love. You and your family are in my prayers tonight.
Melanie

Lyndy said...

Shelly,

What a wonderful tribute to your dad. How blessed you were to have such a loving relationship with him. I know his untimely dealt must have really rocked your world. My dad died when I was a year old, so I have no memory of him. He was a strong Christian, so I am blessed to know that I will see him again one day.

I was extremely close to my grandmother and when she died I was so afraid that I would no longer feel close to her but oh God blesses us with those memories and I feel just as close to her today, as you do your dad. Hold those memories close always.

Hugs, Lyndy

Teri said...

Shelly,
Thank you for sharing your heart in that incredible tribute to your Dad. The relationship you described is a beautiful one, such joy tucked into the grief. That seems to be how death is for those of us left behind.

Father God, hold your daughter this day as she remembers the love of her earthly Father. Comfort her and grace her through yet another day. I thank you for your everlasting love and I pray now that Shelly will feel it in her life in a tangible way this day. God, you are her all in all. I thank you for this and pray that her heart will be lightened by your touch. In Jesus name, amen.

jennyhope said...

Shel,

I am sitting here crying my eyes out about your daddy...I am so sorry.
It will be 3 years coming up since I lost my first born and I still make her a cake on her birthday and I buy her a card.

praying for you!!

Love you girl!!

Profbaugh said...

(((Shelly)))

What a wonderful testimony to your Father's love! Today is truly a day to celebrate his life.

Hang in there siesta. May you experience God's perfect peace and comfort today.

Lifting you up,
~Cheryl
St. Louis

mandy said...

......wish we could've talked longer yesterday..... wish i could've sat with you in this moment as you remembered your daddy...... has it really been four long years? seems like yesterday......
i'm so thankful for your heart and for the chance i've had to know you and share life's struggles with you. you have climbed out of so so so much and i'm unspeakably proud!
i wish i could tell all these women that read your blog that this is the truest and most real picture of who you are... you don't make this stuff up, its just you --- typed out on the internet.
and you're so real.... so honest.... so transparent.
you're the real thing.
i love you a lot!
thanks for being my sweet dear friend....
me

Sharon said...

My sweet little sister- that I have not known long--I love you!
My heart is tender as I think about the words that you shared.
He would be so proud of His little girl.
She has grown in great wisdom and stature and her words are teaching even the older women. She has a huge heart for the Lord.God has great plans for her.

God, I don't know if this is possible. But I know you are listening and I was wondering if you could lean over and tell Shelly's Dad--"Happy Birthday and I love you", from his little girl. Thank you!
Love ya girl!

JentheNewlyWed said...

Sweet Shelly- thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. You are a strong woman and it sounded like not only did your daddy have a great impact on YOUR life, you had a TREMENDOUS impact on HIS. I'm sorry that he left you sooner than you would've hoped. But you know what? He was there on your graduation day. He'll be there on your wedding day. We love you precious sister! You're in my prayers!

Patty said...

My Sweet Shelly,
If I could, I would give you the biggest hug!! I am so sorry that you lost your father. What a sweet tribute to your daddy. I agree with Debra, it is a celebration of his life. I loved reading everything you wrote about your dad. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I can just imagine that you will be finding a speical place to sit with Jesus and celebrate your daddy and celebrate the love God has for you!!! Have a blessed day!!

Love,
Patty

Shae said...

Wow.... where's a kleenex??? Shelly, that is beautiful and you are SO beautiful! This was so encouraging for me. I'm trying to feel a much smaller void in my life right now... getting over a wound... and your words were perfect for me and ministered to me in so many ways. Thank you for being so real, so transparent, and such a beautiful representation of Jesus. I love you girl!

NspiredByFaith said...

This was such a sweet tribute to your Dad, Shelly. I know that he must have been so proud of you, and of the wonderful woman you have become. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Deedra

Lisa said...

Hey....you don't know me but I came to your post through another blog. I haven't been in the blogging world very long and sometimes I just browse. Your post caught my attention. I am a daddys girl also. I am fortuate to still have my daddy but he will be 77 on his birthday in Sept. and I can't bear the thought of losing him. He will admit he doesn't like birthdays....he knows he's getting up in age and it really bothers him. One of the memories that came to my mind was riding on my daddy shoulders down my grandmothers (his mother) long driveway and being tossed up and down and back and forth through his legs. if someone bothered me I would run and jump in his lap.

Just bathe in the memories and know I am praying for you today. Stop by my blog sometimes......

Love,
Lisa
(Calhoun Falls, S.C.)

Linda said...

what a beautiful post. It is obvious that you had a sweet relationship with your daddy.
Blessings

Kelly S. said...

Shelly,
I must confess it took several visits to your blog today before I got the courage to actually read it. It was so heartfelt and sweet, as I knew it would be. I miss some of the very same things about my dad. My heart goes out to you as I know your pain. I am still struck by the similarities within our different lives. Only a soverign God could have introduced us. July 15th is also my sweet little Owen's birthday, he was 2.
I heard Ms. Beth say this at LPL not long after my dad had passed away. Regarding to changes in our lives..." it hurts so bad because our bodies are subject to time, but our hearts are subject to eternity" (see Ecc 3:11). And our El Olam (Everlasting God) "longs to reaveal himself to us when our love outlasts our loved one." This has helped me so much through the years and I hope it speaks to you.
I would like to echo Teri's prayer for you...she said what I was feeling.
Love you,
Kelly

Lindsee said...

Shelly...I read this last night and could not comment because of the tears running down my face. This is the most precious post ever.

I would love to give you a big hug now. Not that I haven't wanted to hug you before! ;)

So, I guess that means you and Abby should make a trip to Houston.

Love you, sweet girl. And praying for your tender heart!

My Heavenly Wings said...

I am so moved by your story. I so totally understand what you're going through. As you already know, I lost my mother 4 yrs. ago and I still have a hard time on her b-day and mothers day. I'm not sure if that ever really goes away. I guess it gets a little easier over the years. I guess what helps me the most is that I have this beautiful picture of heaven and her standing there with arms open wide waiting on me. I just know that it will be the most glorious moment after meeting my Lord. I don't know if that helps at all but it makes me feel just a tiny bit better to picture that in my hearts eye. I will be praying for your comfort today while you go through this moment of hurt and grief.

Lisa said...

Sweet Sista Shelly,
What a wonderful way to remember your Dad on his special day. How lucky you are to have so many beautiful memories. And, how lucky he was to be your Dad.
I'm sure he is watching over you with a big smile on his face - very proud and full of love.
God be with you.
Blessings

ang baylis said...

This really made me cry! You are such a sweet daughter!!! I understand how difficult it is to miss your dad! I am SO sorry!

Much love and prayers this evening!
-angie xox

p.s. Thanks for your encouraging words on my spot! I WILL take your advice! :)

Sharon said...

Thank you sweet sister.
One day we will know and be known and I will gladly take that hug.
Until then we will hug with words. :)

Amy Kate said...

Shelly,
Thank you for being willing to be that open and honest about something thats so real and still so painful in your life. I'm so glad that you did. Whenever I meet people who have that desperate need for Jesus, who love Him in a way that makes others want to love Him more I automatically know that they didn't just wake up one morning with that sort passion in their hearts. I've found in my own life, and in the lives of others I know that this kind of love comes from a need, often a very painful desperate need that we've learned can only be filled by Jesus Christ. I always wonder why people love Jesus the way that they do, sometimes I find out and sometimes I never do. Thank you for sharing your love for your Dad and in doing that revealing your love for the Father.
Amy

Little Steps Of Faith said...

WOW!!! I had no idea that a hero in your life anniversary was the same week as my Pop Pop!

I am glad you have held on to those memories, like me probably once thought you wouldn't remember enough, but God showed you differently.

God is awesome isn't He, He just knows when to bring us together:)

I praise God for you siesta:)

angie

Janelle & Ella said...

This was an incredibly sweet post. Each point of how you are missing him made me cry even more. You and Dad had such a special relationship. You are such a sweet daughter.

SeekingHim! said...

Hey Siesta!
I'm so sorry for your loss! Praise the Lord you will see him again! I am bawling as we speak! Thanks for sharing!

connorcolesmom said...

Shelly,
I have just returned from vacation and am trying to catch up on your posts. I just finished reading this one and am wiping away the tears!!
I too am a Daddy's girl and your post reminds me that everyday with my dad is a blessing. I love that my dad still calls me and checks on me daily even though I am
34 yrs old and have been married 8 yrs :)
By the way, your dad and I share a birthday!!
God bless you sweet sister!
Kim

CrownLaidDown said...

Mmm, I never got to read this, Shelly, but I love that heart of yours! I think you make both your Daddy and your Father God smile hugely at your huge heart. May God bless you with a wonderful man who will honor your Daddy in a way that wraps you up and makes you feel warm all over. That will be my prayer!
Your precious!
Love you much in Jesus,
Holly