Father’s Day Without My Father

This will be my sisters and my first Father’s Day since dad died October 11, 2020. When someone you love dies you mentally mark the “firsts since.”
First Thanksgiving …
First Christmas…
First Easter…
First ball game…

The event feels different because of their absence. How could it not?  
I had 64 years with dad. I’m fortunate. I’m thinking of those who had much fewer years with their dads.  

My cousins. 
Cousins on the Wright (dad) side were young children when their dad died. Cousins on the Murdaugh (mom) side were young adults when their dad died. So many Father’s Days have they crossed off the calendar without their dad. 

…whose husband and father of their children, died at an age much too young. Some of them are experiencing their “first since” with this year’s Father’s Day.

A family who was told a few days ago that their husband and father had two months to live.  

People I didn’t know until I was asked to lead the funeral service for their dad.  

On this Father’s Day, I’m thinking especially of you. Contemplate these words from Mother Teresa, “Death is nothing else but going home to God, the bond of love will be unbroken for all eternity.”

To those whose dad is still in their body, remember to always leave loved ones with loving words. That’s what dad would want us to know.  

My dad followed the formula for a good sermon: Three points and a poem.  He often concluded his sermons with a poem. Never read. Always recited. The main message he left us as he left this world was a message of “Be kind.”  “Kindness” is the message of this poem, “Bouquets or Wreaths,” with which he concluded a sermon delivered at First Baptist Church, Poplar Bluff. Here is the last verse: 

God make me kind.
So many hearts are lonely
Are asking for this only,
The kind and tender word.
God make me kind.
To all who mutely ask it,
Before they fill the casket,
Our bouquets may be wreaths some day.
O Lord, so make me kind.

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