Sharing Daddy

May 31, 2012

For days I have known I had something to say but I could not bring myself to write the words. Almost as if writing about it made it real. If I could just wake up maybe I would realize this is all a bad dream but as the days wear on I know things will never be the same.

Fourteen days ago I lost a piece of my heart.

It’s been exactly fourteen days since my father, Larry Albin Wilson flew away. He was just seventy-three years old. Not old at all by some standards but when anyone you love crosses that seventy marker you know they have beaten the odds.

Still nothing prepares you to say goodbye to someone so close.

I come from a family of farmers. We are the real deal.

My grandfather started the farm I grew up on. Dad took over the reins his senior year of high school after his father passed away. Now my brother and his sons continue on.

Originally a dairy farm, Dad is a master at sensing when the tide is about to change.

He switched from a dairy farm to pork production in the seventies and when pork prices tanked he and my brother turned their attention to row crop production.

Dad always diversifies. He’s never had just one source of income.

He is innovative, always trying something new and never afraid to break something apart to make it better or more efficient.

One of nine children, five boys and four girls, he stepped into the shoes of his father rather than attending college as he intended but never seemed regretful of the path that was set before him.

He has the mind of an engineer, building and developing projects that peaked the interest of the local media from time to time.

He is a real trailblazer.

I have never spent a single day that I was not proud to be his daughter and I boast often that my dad is one of the smartest people anyone will ever know.

As I try to cope and wrap my mind around my world without his presence I simply can’t bring myself to think of him in the past tense.

You see… it occurred to me as I worked in my garden the other day… Daddy is closer than ever.

Dad loves my garden and I love sharing it with him.

Last year I couldn’t wait to show him how I had laid out the rows and what I had planted. The tiller I use was the last thing he put together for me.  Of course it’s an older model with a few modifications but I doubt I will ever use anything else. It is way too special.

As I worked, thinking over the things I would not get to show him, I began to talk to him. I had told some of those closest to him to do the same. I wanted to offer a degree of comfort to those who spoke with him most everyday.

There is one young man in particular, he thought of my Dad almost like a second father. He and my Dad both love to learn and to talk about what they know.

Dad is much older than him so I am sure he never thought he had much to teach my Dad but Daddy is a person who assumes everyone has something to offer. He listens with intent interest to anyone who will take the time to visit. Dad reads constantly, not for pleasure as most do but to learn, because learning is his pleasure.

When I saw this young man at the memorial, he broke my heart. I knew well the relationship he had with my father and I grieved for him.

At one point I pulled him aside and told him something I told only a few others,  I didn’t mind sharing my Dad with him.

Sharing Daddy is something I have gotten use to.

Over the years we have never had him to ourselves. He is simply not that kind of guy.

I have several cousins that lost their dad when we were all very young. They were the first I grew accustomed to sharing Daddy with but over the years there have been many others. I can’t say I was gracious to them all. Some seemed to take and never give but Daddy never seemed to mind.

As I stood talking with those closest to my Dad something else occurred to me.

Dad is still with us. Not just in the way he influenced us over the years but with us… really with us.

Didn’t Paul write in Hebrews about a cloud of witnesses?

This was something that had occurred to me years ago but many would disagree when I suggested those who have left this life are watching us from the next.

They would typically respond, if heaven is a place of pure joy without tears and struggles, how can we expect those who have already gone on to look back to the sadness of a fallen world?

It is just in the last few days that I think I am finally beginning to understand.

We are told in scripture that after death we will be like Christ. Does that mean we will be able to see the whole picture of what this life holds and not just the snap shot we experience on a daily bases?

In the book, Heaven is for Real, little Colton talked about seeing his father taking part in a battle but quickly reassures his father, “it’s okay… Jesus wins.”.

Could that be what the witnesses see?

Life as we know it… full of the strife and pain that began as mankind turned away from our Creator?

Then beyond the pain can they see the ending?

Or maybe we should call it the beginning.

The fulfillment of the promise made in Paul’s letter to the Romans, that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Think about this… have you ever read a story that was full of heartache but had an ending so beautiful it takes your breath away?

If you read the story again, knowing the ending, would it change the way you view the story?

Can the cloud of witnesses see the ending?

Can they see the eternity waiting for us all?

An ending so beautiful and breathtaking that the journey is nothing more than a story they have all read before… pointless in the light of the conclusion… allowing them to be joyous… cheering us on through the strife.

As this occurred to me I encouraged others to keep talking to Dad and I began to do the same.

He’s really not so far away… Just because he is not standing beside us doesn’t mean he is not with us.

We just have to share him again.

This time with the cloud of witnesses he joined as he stepped through the veil.

If we listen closely maybe we will hear him cheering us on!

Encouraging us to persevere and throw off everything that hinders us in the race marked out for us all

Until we join each other again…

Anxious to hear the words I know my father heard to the thunderous applause of those who witnessed the life he led

well done good and faithful servant… now life really begins!

I love you daddy! Amen!

 

 

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Published in: Uncategorized on May 31, 2012 at 2:28 am  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Beautiful, LaVern. I believe that we can feel our loved ones’ presence after they have left this world and I have had many, many conversations with my mother and father since they left this world. I won’t go into detail here, but mine have left evidence that they are o.k. Some would call me superstitious, and I do carry DNA from some folks who were, but I don’t think I am. As you stated and now have me thinking, they are in the cloud of witnesses and those witnesses are there beside us, cheering us on. Thank you for your words and encouragement during a most difficult time in your life. Prayers continue.

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  2. God bless you and your family. Your right, we never walk alone, loved ones live with us and through us. Angels take many forms. Watching, protecting, and loving us unconditionally. Although words don’t heal your pain, the comfort you feel around you is a blanket of love and armor. Protecting and healing our grief from the loss.

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  3. A tribute to uncle Larry’s life, thank you for sharing your dad with my family! I loved your writing about your dad!

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  4. Beautiful, LaVern – you were truly blessed to have had a dad like you write about. We never forget the good times, the love, the feelings for our dad – no matter how long they’ve been gone (48 yrs for my dad). You are in our prayers and we love you.

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  5. Well said Lavern, well said–Uncle Larry was a remarkable Man of God and he left a G
    reat Legacy that will endure through generations because His Legacy was founded on His Love to God through service to others–He knew, through Faith in Christ, how we become righteousness that pleases God.

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  6. Lavern, I had to wipe away the tears to finish your loving words about your dad. My dad has been gone more than twenty years and I didn’t have as good a relationship with him as you did with your dad. He was very gruff and to tell the truth, we were afraid of him. It wasn’t until late in his life my mother let us in on the secret that he was soft inside and that he was that way because he didn’t want to spoil us. I wish I had known much sooner. Also you should thank God that he still had his mind to the end. My mother did not and believe me, it is worse than losing them too soon. I am so happy that you have such great memories of him. I can now picture Daddy in Heaven watching over me. Mama, too, with a clear mind and with Daddy again.

    With love and many thanks for your words,

    Lucy Moorre

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  7. Lavern,
    No one could have said it any better.
    Rene

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  8. I’m sorry for your loss. I found your blog through my sister’s Facebook page. We recently lost our dad, as well, and I’ve experienced all the feelings you shared. Some of them I’ve been able to write about and share with others, but others still tear at my heart too deeply to express.

    Thanks so much for sharing your dad’s story. You are a very talented writer.

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