Friday, July 5, 2024

Friday Favorites-- Fridays with Dad (7.5.2024)

 


Happy Friday, friends! I'm linking up with Andrea and Erika for today's blog post. 


Because it's Friday, and I always spend Fridays with Dad, I thought I'd update you on one of my very favorite humans on earth, in this post that I've been unable to write until now. My sweet dad went to be with Jesus on Tuesday morning July 2nd at 10:30 a.m. He lived a long and healthy life, and passed away when he was 93 years old. The details aren't important, now that he's with Jesus, but I thought I'd share some of my favorite things about him here today. 


We loved our Fridays, and have been using that weekly date since I was first married. Even when I worked full time as a young wife, Dad worked nearby, and we would meet for lunch at least once each week, but usually twice. When I started having kids, that waned a bit, but when they were all a little older, we picked back up. I have memories of being at the zoo with the boys and having to stop to change a diaper along the way. We put thousands of miles on the twin stroller! 


Dad loved Jesus, his wife, his kids/grandkids, going to church, his career as a mechanical engineer in the HVAC industry (and helped design several units for bit hospitals and airports), singing, eating good food/going out to eat, traveling, watching his favorite movies time and again, and he loved to laugh and share stories. He loved to travel, as I mentioned, but his favorite trip was the trip of a lifetime, when he and Sandy traveled to Israel in 2009.







This trip changed him for the rest of his days, and whereas I had never seen him shed a tear before, he would cry more freely after this trip. He said seeing the spot in the tomb where Jesus lay after His crucifixion was the day that he became more permanently choked up about things that mattered the most to him. 


Dad loved beautiful things, and he loved their home. 





The front doors were imported from Mexico, and I love the blue tiled entryway. Dad lived in that house for over 50 years; it will always be home to me no matter my age. 




Dad was quick with his affection, and was always hugging us, kissing our cheeks, and telling us he "loved, loved, loved" us. I have an old voicemail on my phone from him that I've been hanging onto for years, and I just listened to it yesterday and then had a good cry. He said that very thing in his message, and his voice was strong. It had started to fade over the last few years, understandably so. 



Dad loved the land on which their home sat. The upkeep of it all kept him young, and nothing brought him greater joy than cutting the grass, planning for Christmas lights, and maintaining the property. When he was diagnosed with dementia a few years ago, this was one thing that was hard to see him go through; the older he got, the worse his memory got, and the less he could think of things. He loved the bird feeders, he loved his tall flag pole that he proudly displayed his American flag on; he was fiercely patriotic and loved talking about politics, with the exception of the last year or so. 


Dad loved festive Christmas lights on their property, and it brought great joy to know that it brought others joy as well. He referred to John 8:12 a lot when he talked about decking his property out for the holidays:


Jesus spoke to them again: "I am the Light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life."


Dad loved to talk about Jesus with anyone who would listen, and his prayer was always to know that his loved ones would be with him in Heaven someday. 


Dad loved to drive, and he taught both me and all my sons how to drive using his old truck on their property. This wasn't exclusive to me; it was something he shared with all of us siblings, our kids, and a lot of bonuses as well. That was something else that was hard for all of us to watch: seeing him become legally blind and no longer able to drive. Sandy was amazing and was the primary driver for years; I was sad for him, though, because he could no longer do something he loved to do. He prayed that the Lord would take away his desire to drive, praying that instead of physical sight, he'd receive spiritual sight (or insight).  


Dad never wore jeans, except for when he would do the yardwork; on those days he would wear jeans, a long sleeved button down shirt, a straw hat, and boots. I can remember many a time when his straw hat would fly off his head, only to be mown up with the grass in the blade of the tractor! 🤣


Dad loved to sing, and up until just a few months ago had a beautiful tenor voice. We loved to sing together and sang in choir at my old church when I was younger. I was able to sing to him some while he was in the hospital bed this week, and it seemed to calm him down. On this same note (See what I did there?), he also loved all kinds of music. On our Fridays, we often ended our day by listening to music. I like to think that I get my eclectic taste of great music from him. In fact, I know I got it from him! We shared this love, and we talked about this often. 


Dad was brilliant, and as smart as he was, he couldn't teach me how to do math. An accurate description of this would be like me asking him what time it was, and him explaining how the watched worked on the inside. His brain was incredibly sharp, right up to his very last breath. Dad also loved to write and was a beautiful and gifted communicator; I like to think that my love and talent for writing and storytelling came from him. 


Dad wasn't perfect, as none of us are, and he would tell you that he did a lot of things wrong over the years. We all have, right? But he always did his best, and he made sure that we remained close all of my life, and he always encouraged me to be a faithful church attender. That was his favorite place to be, other than with his wife, family, and friends. He was an incredible man and dad to me, and I am eternally grateful for every second of time that we had together. 


In the last month, I've had a discernment that he wouldn't be here for much longer. I had already made it a habit years ago to say all of the things I had to say to him at the end of the time we spent together each week. I'm a firm believer that we should say all the things that we would say about about someone at their funerals to them while they're still living. I had learned to treat every Friday as if it were our last together. I am so very thankful for the hope that we have in Jesus! I will see my dad again someday, and I have such peace knowing that. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:6-9 that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord; what we have believed in our hearts, he is now experiencing face to face! I'm also thankful that this end part of his life didn't drag on for too long; I didn't want to see him suffer. 


I will miss him so much, and it will take my brain a very long time to deprogram my Fridays with Dad, but I am so glad we had so much time to experience abundant life together. Thank you for loving my dad through the stories about him you read here, and thank you for your love, encouragement, and prayers. Keep them up for my family, please! Additionally to this, we've had a devastating ten days, and we're not through them yet, and won't be for some time to come; I don't mean to be vague here, but I'm not ready to put it all out there yet. I still don't know when I'll be here to write, but I'll pop in and out on occasion. 


Thanks for reading my blog today, friends. Love to all.















20 comments:

  1. Aw, Jen, he really does sound like such a sweet and wonderful man. You are so lucky to have had such a wonderful father and such a close relationship with him. I am sure you are so thankful for all those Friday memories and knowing that you've said everything you needed to say to him. May those memories give you comfort in your grief. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  2. I have tears running down my cheeks after reading this and seeing the pictures of him you posted- and I never met him. So I can´t imagine what you are going through right now (I mean, my own dad died so I know what it is like to lose your dad but I was only 13 when my dad died). I enjoyed reading about the memories you made with your dad, learning about what a man of good character he was, and how he shaped you into the woman that you are today. I will be thinking of you and praying for you and your family as you process your temporary loss- for as you said, you will see him again in glory!

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  3. I'm so glad you wrote this and that you were able to write this. What a beautiful tribute. I didn't realize your Fridays have been such a long standing tradition. It may sound trite, but he lives on in you, your siblings, and your kids. You will feel the beauty of that and be able to smile one day. I hope you get a cardinal visit or something that brings you peace. Please be kind to yourself in the coming days.
    Sending you a hug!

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  4. I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your father. He sounds like a wonderful man and I hope your fond memories will help keep him alive in your heart always.

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  5. I am so sorry for your loss of such a wonderful father and man! I’m so thankful you have such wonderful memories with and of him.

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  6. What a great man and father he was! This is such a great way to remember him and share with us more about him. I am glad I was able to meet him and remember him just being so kind and smiling. On a side note, those front doors and tile at his home are really beautiful ! I know you will miss those Fridays. Maybe we can go grab lunch on a Friday sometime. Thanks for sharing this and I am praying for you and your family.

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  7. May you find peace that what he sees is far greater than what we see on Earth. I lost my dad last month. Hugs

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  8. Thanks for sharing this love story and such precious memories. Blessings on you and yours.

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  9. What a beautiful tribute to someone who I know was an amazing man ❤️

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  10. What an amazing dad you were blessed to have! Praying for you and all the family. . . My dad has been in heaven almost 42 years, and I still miss him so much. But knowing we'll reunite someday is comforting. Thanks for sharing so many sweet memories and pictures of your dad.

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  11. I'm so sorry, Jennifer. What beautiful memories you have of your time with your dad, and what a tribute to him in this post. Prayers for strength and comfort for you and your family.

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  12. What a beautiful tribute to your dad! You certainly made so many wonderful memories with him and took advantage of all the time you could spend with him. In our family, our motto is "no regrets" when we are preparing to say goodbye to someone and it seems that you have none for all the time with your dad. I hope that knowing that he is in heaven with Jesus and you will meet him again (in a very long time) brings you peace. Sending prayers and hugs to you.

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  13. I feel like we all know your dad through your stories about Fridays with Dad. He sounds like an amazing father and grandfather, truly from a different generation with solid values and priorities. I know this time must be so hard for you, and I'm praying for strength for your entire family.

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  14. What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing. Sharing your heart today and especially sharing your dad with us through so many posts. What a beautiful imprint he left on so many hearts. He has even touched us here through your writing. I certainly will say a prayer for you - today and in the days ahead - for strength, for joy through the memories and for God's continual comfort. Hugs to you, my friend.

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  15. This is just beautiful and Jennifer I am so sorry for your loss but I will tell you that you maximized your time with him- you had such wonderful times together and you were such a great daughter! May he rest in peace

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  16. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm so glad your boys got to grow up with him and that you truly spent as much time with him as you could have.

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  17. I am so sorry about your dad and your loss. Thinking of you and your family. Sending love and hugs. It sounds like you have some lovely memories of your dad. He sounded like such a wonderful man.

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  18. Oh Jennifer -- I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your dad with us through your stories and your memories. I am praying for all of you as you mourn his loss and celebrate his life.

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  19. I'm so sorry for your loss. Sorry this comment is a bit delayed.

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