This Father's Day seemed to creep up on us this year. One of my sons had already been deep in a grief wave, and I had been prayerfully, tenderly coaching him through it. I wasn't sure what to expect on this 4th Father's Day without Daddy. I let them sleep in and met with the LORD and read my Bible. Then I got ready for the day uninterrupted, a very nice gift from GOD. The boys got up and we did our usual routine of reading their Bibles then having breakfast. As we ate, Snapp shared how he had a dream about ice fishing. Then Snurr spoke up.
"Mama, I gots to tell you sumpton.....GOD loves me.........and.........Daddy loves me....................... And Daddy kissed me.........."
My heart just melted and I didn't know what to say. Tears threatened to spill out of my eyes. This wasn't a memory for him to remember; Snurr was still in my womb when his daddy went to heaven. I don't know how I responded. I just know how I felt. This wasn't little boy chatter. This was another gift from GOD. "See his hole isn't as big as you think. I got it covered:) I keep my promises."
After this jewel, we continued on our morning routine. On the way to church, Snapp asked for me to tell him a story as he often does. I pondered whether to share one of Jim or not. Then I felt the LORD prompting me to share about memories of my dad when I was a little girl. So I shared how he held me during the Christmas eve candlelight service, and took out my slivers, and made us scramble eggs with cheese on top, and wrapped me up in his beach towel the time I was shivering so much my teeth chattered, and other things. Sharing became a theme for the day.
Our pastor's sermon was on "Things My Dad Taught Me" and the Jr. Church leader for Snipp felt God directing him to share memories of his own dad then open it up to the kids. For almost half an hour, they shared. At one point, Snipp raised his hand and said my dad used to work at __________ _________. The teacher was then able to share how Jim came to his house one time and helped him repair his van. Oh, the warmth inside one's heart when someone has a memory of your loved one. Mean while, Snapp and Snurr were in their Jr. Church making bookmarks. As I shared in my other post, Snapp's said "I love you, Daddy!" on it. It was covered in scotch tape because he had told his teacher he wanted to put it out at his daddy's grave.
After church, Snipp shared the story of Daddy helping his teacher with his van and Snapp showed me his bookmark. (Snurr had had too much fun with cutting so his bookmark didn't survive.) I followed the LORD's promptings and ordered cheese sticks from Pizza Hut; this was a Sunday tradition of Jim's. Then I took the boys to a quiet place where Jim would go sometimes on his lunch break to eat and read his Bible. We ate our cheese sticks, then we went to a store to get hats. Each year for Father's Day, we would get Jim a new straw hat. A vivid memory to Snipp is Daddy riding the lawn mower wearing his straw hat. Snipp was really excited about getting a straw hat his size because just this year, I have allowed him to drive the lawnmower with supervision. As we checked out the hats, I snuck a KitKat to the checkout lady. Then we sat outside the store and shared our chocolate treat. I also shared how Daddy would sneak home icecream and also leave chocolate "Mommy"treats for me to find in the cupboards as I put away the dishes.
On our way home, we dropped of a gift I had gotten for my own father. Ever since Jim's death, it has been a struggle at times to honor my own dad on a day we feel such hole in our lives. I am so thankful to have my dad still here and a part of our lives. Yet I feel almost guilty, because I got something my boys don't have.
Another memory of Daddy was watching Monday night football with Uncle Ben. As Snipp got older and the commercials got worse, we watched it less and less. But it was a tradition for me to cook scrambled eggs and ham for the game with big glasses of orange juice. So for lunch, we had just that. Then we watched the Daddy Movie. It is one of Jim reading a story to the camera for Snipp when he was around two. It is just refreshing to see Jim moving and joking around. We read the story with him. Then we watched a DVD of our home video of the 2000 Mopar Nationals. The boys love watching the burnout contest!!
After naps, we drove to the roadside memorial to hang Snapp's bookmark. We had wrapped it in sealer tape to help it against the wind and rain. Snapp and I waded through the high grass and he placed it over the cross. The ribbon made it hang just right. He was very satisfied to have it reach the destination he had wanted it to go.
Then we headed to church for the evening service. We miss Jim extrememly!!!!!!! But it felt so good to celebrate him and the things he did.