Last Sunday we celebrated Father’s Day here in America. Although my precious Papa passed a few years ago, the legacy of his love continues to shine brightly in my heart and life (as shared in last year’s post: Fatherless on Father’s Day.)
Being fatherless on Father’s Day is hard, but being fatherless every day is even harder.
Dusting off old files I recently found a letter written to Papa many moons ago. Even though his address is now in Heaven, his love and affirmation continue to pop me up when stress makes a mess of this redhead.
LOVE & HUGS FROM YOUR KID (ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD) TO THE BEST-EST FATHER IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!
Mere words are not enough to express my gratefulness for your love. From the time this redhead was just a wee one, your love has always been there (supported by Mama, of course, which made it doubly strong.)
The secret of your love? “God Loves You Anyway” therefore “I Love You Anyway.” Remember the signs you put up in the house? Given how persnickety children can be, that was not always an easy task.
Divine help was often needed to love me despite my unruly ways.
I know what God’s agape love is, because you and Mama have been – and are – that Love to me. You have supported your kid in her successes but your commitment didn’t waver during fear-filled valleys and failures.
You also made time for us, as Dwight and I as children counted your laps around the Laskin Road Health Spa, up and down the boardwalk, and enjoyed dinner and movies out with you – you always kept communication channels open and have been our wise counselor.
Patience is another part of your love. Remember how low-blood sugar me turned into a grumpy tyrant at football games? Yet you stuffed me with good eats then (enthusiastically) explained the strategies of football. You held your tongue during the punk clothes phase and patiently have loved your kid through her (ongoing) adulthood phases.
Enduring faith, hope and love: you and Mama have showed us how the basis of love found in Jesus Christ can take us where we need to go, because His grace has been (and is) sufficient for you. Despite all the challenges of your lives, you and Mama have loved us in and through them all.
In the midst of your pain, you have been the most amazing instruments of the Love of Jesus to each other, to us (as a family) – and to me.
You have shown us how to hope when all the cards are down, how God is made strong through our weakness. How we can still laugh and rise above pain.
How to hope in God and enjoy life abundantly.
How to pray, to keep the faith, to stay committed: how to LOVE.
Papa, I want you to know that I thank God for you and Mama every day. When I see the devastation and sordid side of humanity, your love shines out like a beacon. For this treasure of Light, my heart bows before God in grateful humbleness.
How blessed we are to have you and Mama leading and guiding us, it makes my heart burst!! Thank you for your love as my precious Papa and for being a powerful prism of the love of Jesus Christ to me (& so many.)
Virginia (a.k.a. “Ginny Lea”)
p.s. I still thank God for the legacy of my Papa’s (& Mama’s) love each & every day.