Dad: Greatest hits.
My Pastor asked me to speak last fathers day.
Rather than speak out of my extensive 2 month experience of fatherhood, I decided instead to reflect on my relationship with my deceased dad.
What came out was one of the hardest and most personal letters I’ve ever written. Its called ‘greatest hits’. Figured it might be appropriate after my last blog of going home. Hope God uses it somehow to speak to you...
I’m not sure how this works. I don’t know if you are watching me write this right now or if you are actually here. Either way, I just want to say I really really miss you. I know I spent most of my life acting like I didn’t need you. And that I would be okay without you. But the truth is, I wasn’t. I wasn’t okay. I’m not okay.
I still haven’t looked at the pictures from your funeral yet. I can’t face the fact that you are really gone... for good.
I know someday I’ll have to face it. Someday. Just not today. I’m not ready yet.
I do want you to know though that i am really thankful that I had a dad. I don’t believe it took me 30 years to come to that conclusion.
I’m thankful that you were my dad and I’m thankful for every moment we got to spend together.
I don’t know what you remember most about our relationship but I made a list of the ‘us’ moments I cherish the most and I wanted to share it with you. Its like our greatest hits... hope you enjoy them.
* I remember being a kid and waking up every saturday morning with you. We would watch the three musketeers every single time. You must have been so bored but you didn’t seem to care. You let us interrupt your day and just be kids. And then you would flex for us and we would hang off your arms. I honestly thought you were the strongest man in the world.
* I remember when I was a teenager and you took me out to go hang out with you and your friends. I’ve never felt more like a man. I couldn’t believe that you wanted me to hang out with your friends. I felt so grown up. I’ll never forget that day or how i felt.
* I remember hearing you say ‘I love you’ on the phone before I came to the US. That day changed my life.
* I’ll never forget when you came back from the states and you kissed mom because you missed her. That was great dad. I felt so happy that night. I remember thinking ‘I love it so much that you loved mom so much’.
* I remember when I came back from the US embassy and told you I passed my interview and you said to me ‘I knew you’d get it’. I remember walking around the yard with my heart pounding. I couldn’t believe you just said that. The words echoed in my mind over and over again. “I knew you’d get it’. That was a great night.
* By the way, I want you to know that I still love ‘our’ musicals. Every time the 'sound of music', 'seven brides for seven brothers', 'mary poppins' or the 'king and I' comes on, my heart literally feels so much joy because it reminds me of what being with you felt like. I plan on making my kids watch them with me.
Few months ago, ashley and I saw Mary Poppins on broadway. I tried so many times not to cry because it reminded me so much of you. You would have loved it. I wish you could’ve been there.
I wish you could be here.
I wish you could meet ashley. She’s so good for me dad. You would be proud. I just chuckle when I imagine you two interacting. I really really wish you could have met her. I wish you were in our wedding pictures.
I also wish you could meet your grand-daughter. She’s so beautiful and full of life. She would have loved you so much.
Dad, I can’t tell you how many times i wish you could see me do what I do best, what God made me to do. I wish you could see me preach. I don’t like saying this out loud but I think I’m pretty good and I wish you could see that. I wish you could see God use me in his story. I wish you could see me fly for Jesus.
Its so much fun and I would never have dreamed that I would speak in some of the places that God has led me to but you know, sometimes I feel like I would trade all those experiences just to have you in the audience one time. I would trade it all just to hear you say ‘That was good’.
That’s how much you meant to me. How much you still mean to me.
I’m going to be 30 in a few months and you’ve been gone now for over 3 years. I haven’t seen you in 11 years...
And yet you still have such a hold on my life.
I guess it makes sense.
You were my father.
You were there from the very beginning... before I could say a word.
You raised me, taught me, shaped me.
You were my superman.
And You were the world to me before I was old enough to know what the world was.
You were dad.
The most influential person in my life.
Thanks again for being dad.
I love you so much.
I feel like there are some of you who will read this that God is really trying to speak to. God wants to do what he did in me in you. He wants to reach down into the dark, deep 'fatherly' wounds in your heart. I'd love to pray with you.
What part of this letter jumped off the page at you as you read? What might God be trying to say to you? Try to fight through the "I don't need dad" facade. Its a lie. Don't worry about filters. Just be honest.
Also, what are or were some of your 'greatest hits' with your dad?
dads/future dads... you have or will have more influence on your kids than you know. You will be amazed at what your kids will remember about your relationship with them. Its an incredible responsibility, one we should reflect on with much fear and reverence. We need the grace of God. We need to stop being boys and start being men. Are you with me?
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