It’s my first post, and while my heart is full of things I want to say – I’ve sat here for an hour trying to organize the “perfect” wording, the “perfect” thought, something inspirational, something memorable. I don’t know that I will succeed, but God put this blog on my heart, and mom “Gram” told me to write, and so….. I will write.
2015 was a year of change for our family. My son Jackson (our oldest) graduated from high school in May, and then after a lengthy illness, my mom passed away August 7th, 2015. Two days later we celebrated Jackson’s 19th birthday, and two days after that, we had Gram’s funeral. The year had been a blur: work, school events, mom being sick and in ten days, we were taking our first to college (Texas A&M), and out daughter Alix would soon be starting 10th grade. I was exhausted to the point of not realizing it, we all were.
I was in a fog after the funeral, but I knew I needed to be strong for everyone. There was so much to prepare for. But instead of being strong for them, the opposite happened when they all walked in together and my wife (Kim) says “you and Jackson are taking Belle (our Lab) and going to the cabin to fish a few days, and Alix and I are gonna get things packed for school.” I could tell by her voice that there wasn’t going to be a debate about it – she had decided that I needed to get away, even if it meant more work for her. I’m not sure I ever told her how much this meant to me. Of all the 1000’s of way she has shown me she loves me, this one little act can never be forgotten.
The trip was great, the mountains have a way of making me feel closer to God; my heart calms and peace overcomes me. My mind is able to slow down and reflect and be thankful for all that God has given me. A wife “more precious than Rubies” ( Proverbs 31:10 ) and two kids that are truly gifts from God.
Ten days later, we dropped Jackson off at school and the drive home was the longest trip of our lives. 500 miles is never an easy drive, but when the car is silent except for crying…. brutal. I tried to focus on driving but my mind was everywhere. Was he ready for college life? Had I done all I could to prepare him and encourage him? Would he remember any of the wisdom he had been taught? Would the three of us be ok without him there? Is Alix ready for sophomore year – have I done everything I could/should to give her confidence. What can I do better for each of them? What can I do to be there for Kim?
It’s now a year and half later. The kids and Kim are doing great, and I guess you can say we have finally grown somewhat accustomed to life with “kids in college”. Jackson is enjoying school and we’ve enjoyed our family trips to Aggieland and time together during breaks. Alix is finishing her Jr. year and has college decisions of her own soon. Kim and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary in November; I can’t believe it’s gone by so quickly and I really can’t believe she still puts up with me….I definitely got the better end of the deal.
My mom was an English teacher and she frequently told me to write. She thought I was a good writer, but honestly, I think she graded my writing on a big curve. She was never specific about what to write, I think she just meant a journal. And in her final days, one of the last things she said to me was “you really need to write”. I bought this domain for that purpose, but it wasn’t till a few days ago that I got the drive to do it. I turn 50 this fall and had been reflecting on that, and when I was praying, God planted on my heart a reminder of my mothers words, “you need to write”.
And so I write to my wife and kids; just daily thought, prayers, blessings, whatever inspires me. I don’t know why I put this off as long as I did but it will be a normal part of my week from now on. So that’s the story of Prayers from Dad, and I hope you will check in from time to time – I’ll try not to be so lengthy.
I’ll close with Psalm 139:23,24 – Search me, Oh God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; See if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.