In General

I found an old yellow folder in a bin. It was marked “Mementos” in my father’s handwriting. In it I found a letter he wrote to me in 1986, and it shared exactly the advice I needed to hear today. I could hear his voice in my head as I read his encouragement about perseverance and planning ahead. Also in the folder were Christmas cards, birthday cards, pictures my brother and I had drawn. Kind and loving cards my mother had written to my father for years after their divorce. A Christmas list my brother gave to my father…all marked with dates and times in my father’s handwriting. He saved it all. Treasures. We are one another’s treasures. Our lives weren’t perfect but they were and are marked by love. My parents co-parented and even loved each other after they weren’t married. Today I cried, missing my father. I wondered, “How can I leave this house where you were with us?” I made his bedroom into my office. I like being here. And then I realized, I am his daughter. I come from him, and he is with me all the time. We are from the same cloth. Going through family bins of things is both beautiful and hard. Now is about the time, when things like end of school and moving loom large, that I would sit in my father’s room and we would talk it out. He would guide me, coach me as to the next wise steps. And I realized again today how very blessed my brother and I were and are to have such a wonderful example of God’s father-heart toward us. Always patient. Always hoping. Always loving. Always eager to listen and help. At the end of his letter to me (written in 1986) my father wrote, “Start early, my Love, give yourself time to get lost…Do your best, my Love. It’s all you can do and feel good about it. Have a safe trip.” Yes, Daddy. Will do.

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