This is a picture of Hydrangea blossoms that I saw while at the beach last week. Around here they bloom in the end of summer as the other plants are giving off the last of their color. While looking at this picture today and thinking about my encounter, it stuck me how the blossoms remind me of butterflies taking flight and new life.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Dad was on my mind when I woke this morning. I had made the long distance call to San Antonio, Texas a couple of days ago to see how things were going for him and I could tell when we talked that he was feeling out of sorts. He is walking through the stages of grief with losing his spouse and that is a hard roller coaster ride that takes a long time to go through. He misses her of course but is also grateful for her to not be in the cruel pains of cancer any longer.
There was a time when things were very strained for us. We never meant for it to be. It is just the way things sometimes happen. Sometimes we lived as far as a half of a world away from one another; me becoming a young wife and mother while he participated in a new marriage complete with step children and grandchildren all around.
There is a subtle thing that seems to be happening now that she is gone. He has a lot more time to himself. My step siblings love him and profess continually that he is the father that they never had. But their busy family raising lives keep their schedules wrapped up more and more. Though they all live in the same town, he sees them less and less now that she is gone.
He was quiet for a while while silence hung between our conversation. Once that silence was unbearable, now it is a shared thing like we are sitting next to one another.
Finally he said, "I am so looking forward to visiting you in the fall."
I swallowed and said, "Me too Daddy. But how I wish I could just hug you right now."
"I know Angel. I wish the same thing."
This is new for me. My dad has always been strong, a resilient military man who never shows emotion. But now he is in a new season. Me, being the fixer and emotional nurturer for everyone....I can't fix this. He has to walk through this and I can only listen from afar.
I was thinking about all of this today while taking a walk on the butte. My mind was counting the minutes till he comes to visit, as if that could will away his turmoil. A grandmotherly woman with 4 children around her snapped me out of my thoughts. In her broken English she asked if I would take their picture for her so that it would help her remember her visiting time.
"Sure no problem", I said. "That is wonderful that you can visit. Where are you visiting from?"
"San Antonio" she said as she smiled and discussed flowers with her grandchildren.
Isn't it amazing how God does that. As I snapped her picture, smiled, and bid her a wonderful visit, on the inside my heart was jumping at the reminder that God was telling me. "Don't worry about your father precious. He may look alone because they are busy and you are far away, but I am always with him."