Six months gone

When I was little, living a blissful childhood in a shoebox of a house with no TV and a big backyard, my grandfather sent a camcorder around to my mom and her siblings to capture moments of our days. I have no recollection of this, but happily, the proof remains. On a recent visit home, my mom and I watched those sweet and simple episodes from years ago. My dad was always the one behind the camera, occasionally adding his fatherly commentary, but mostly just watching in silent delight. He filmed me as I opened presents on my 3rd birthday, wiping my runny nose on the sleeve of my flannel nightgown, echoing my refrain of Another present! over and over. He filmed my sister and me as we twirled and leapt and arabesqued our way around the living room to classical music or Patsy Cline, inevitably bumping into each other. (I don't think I ever knew how small our house was, and if I did, I didn't care.) He filmed ballet recitals and cousin playdates and a track meet. I picture him sitting perfectly still on the couch or bleachers or a plush theater seat and patiently watching, recording, smiling, chuckling.

I miss him.

It was kind of funny watching those minutes of the tape roll by, nothing really happening. But in some small way, I got to see myself through my dad's eyes, through his loving gaze. And I heard the warmth and care and devotion in his voice as he watched us play and dance and live. His love for us was wholly unearned. All we had to do was be.

Even since his death, my dad continues to reveal to me the love and nature of God the Father. My dad was so much more than the unseen cameraman documenting those carefree childhood days of mine, yet even those snippets of tape point so obviously to my identity as a beloved daughter. Beloved by my dad, and beloved by God. A love that is unconditional, unending.

A home video isn't enough. Pictures and stories and memories barely scratch the surface of who my dad was, as a man and as a father. Six months ago today he died, and I have no idea what that means. Does the heart comprehend time? Mine doesn't seem to. It still grieves as if that day just barely passed.

Yes, I miss him. I miss him and love him. I know he loved me, and loves me still. How I treasure the glimpse of myself through his eyes, a shining example of the heart of a father.

And while my heart continues to ache, and while that ache has seemed to grow even stronger, I find a home in the heart of the Father, my one true comfort until we are together again.




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