These are my words today. Because a year ago today my father was lost to me. I can’t think about it most days, but today it’s like I have no choice. It’s as if my spirit needs to grieve all over again. Even though I want to forget. I want to pretend like he’s still here, just about to come through the door and smile at me and say, “Silly girl, that was just a bad dream. Daddy’s right here.”
But today, I face the horrible truth. Today, he’s only a collection of memories instead of a warm hand to hold.
And I can barely breathe, thinking about it.
So, I’m doing the only thing that I can to keep from crumbling into dust from the pain, I’m clinging to what he’s left me with, I’m clinging to the hope I will see him again some day, and I’m thanking God to have been blessed with such an amazing Father; a man who sacrificed for me, taught me how to laugh when life looks grim, showed me that my imagination is the most powerful tool that I have.
Not everyone believes in a great God who loves us, but my father believed. He lived his life to show God’s love in everything he did. Most people who knew him never realized all the amazing things he did in secret to bless others. He’d go every week to the boardwalk and sit with a homeless man, just to talk so the man felt less alone. He kept supplies for the homeless in his truck in case he ran into someone who needed it. Every Sunday and holiday when I was little we would go visit the “old folks”, as he called them, in the nursing home, and pass out gift baskets that we put together, then we’d sing and chat with them, letting them tell us all their amazing stories. He was always giving, always loving, and never asking for anything in return.
Today I’ll cling to what my father gave me, the most precious gift anyone could give; he made the love of God real to me, in how he loved me, how he loved others, unconditionally and without limits. And as his little girl, I want to carry on that legacy. I want to pass on that love.
So, today if he were here, I would thank him. Instead, I thank God. Because Gary Lant was the best son, the best husband, the best father and the most amazing grandpa in the whole world. My father was precious, and I was his for a little while, and he was mine.
Elohim Avinu (God of my father), thank you for your grace and blessings. Baruch atah Adonai elohaynu . . .