Saturday, May 22, 2010

Daddy



Next weekend, I will be taking a road trip with my daddy. His only grandson, my nephew, is graduating from high school. It is sure to be a family affair as relatives I haven't seen in years will all be converging upon the Big "D", (Dallas for all you non-Texans) for the graduation festivities.

Daddy, as seen here in a hospital stay last year, will be 90 this year. (Those are not his reading glasses by the way. He, like the majority of those in my inner circle, finds it best to humor me from time to time.)

Yes. NINETY! ...at least we think. He would tell you he is in his early 80's but he would only be pulling your leg. We're not even sure he really knows anymore just how old he actually is. My sister and I tease all that time that he will certainly out live the both of us, but if he doesn't his tombstone shall read...

Died: xx/xx/xxxx
Born: June 7, anybody's guess!

He is truly a character!

Not too long ago, I received word that my birth father had passed away. Yes, I am adopted. So look again at my daddy's age and compare it to my almost 42 years, and what do you see? A man who was called to become my dad.

I have to say I had very mixed emotions when I received the news of my father's passing. I had never met him although I knew his name and where he might be living. How does one respond to news like this about someone they've never met, yet is so much a part of them? I did what any girl would do. I called my daddy.

We decided he would be my proxy. He was going to attend the viewing the next day and survey the land. He made me laugh. I needed that, and so it was settled.

Later that evening, while at a friend's party, I began to really think about why I didn't want to go. I wasn't bitter nor did I feel any malice or animosity to this man who had given me life. It just simply felt weird to go see a man lying in a coffin whom I had never seen waking or breathing. Yet, I made the awkward decision to go for several reasons.

Walking into that funeral home the next day was quite surreal. I ignored the somewhat awkward but congenial glances from the few visitors who were present, no doubt wondering who we were and if we were indeed in the right place. I graciously acknowledged their presence, realizing their loss was surely deeper than mine, but I kept walking toward the front with my daddy in tow.

Finally, looking down on this man who's face I did not recognize although I could see our resemblance in his obituary photo, I had an even more surreal revelation. I was actually standing there looking at my father with my daddy by my side. Wow!

Immediately, I had a picture of my heavenly Father standing there with me as well, silently watching as I was processing all of this. Eventually he asked me the same question my daddy did, "You okay?" WOW! I was more than okay! I was surrounded by a Father's love on all sides. How could I not be okay?

I have to say, that my dad and I have had our moments over the years. That's no doubt, but something seemed to shift during that encounter. Consequently, I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about not having to share him with anyone on our drive up to Dallas next weekend. By the end of that trip I'm sure I will be ready to hand him off to my sister and other relatives, but for the meantime we're stuck with each other. He is quite a mess, but then again so am I!