Like many others, I spent yesterday (Father's Day) celebrating my husband. It was a beautiful and yet difficult day. 

Josh and I have found so much peace when we have embraced nature, so Josh wanted to spend the day outside, exploring and enjoying some natural beauty. We booked a day trip to a couple scenic spots nearby.  As we listened to the sounds of nature, I couldn't help but think of my dad. As those thoughts arose, I suppressed them. Not wanting to remember...  

My dad passed away a year ago today. 

I didn't want to remember how it felt.  The day I got that call.  The day my brother told me he was gone.  I didn't want to feel that pain again.  I didn't want to accept it.  I didn't want it to be reality.  But it is.  

Being in nature yesterday helped remember some of the things I learned from my dad.  

  1. Patience - This is the lesson that I value the most. We live in culture where it's all about instant gratification and "wanting it now."  Patience might be the hardest lesson any parent can teach. In my opinion, it is also the wisest and most helpful. I've had to draw on his teaching so many times in life.  In fact, I referenced how I turned to patience it in my recent post Dear Adeline | Miss You. 
  2. Humility - My dad lived a very simple life.  He didn't have a lot of material "things." What he did have, he typically built himself.  I can't say I'd be able to build a house like he did (although my brother might be able to). What I can say is I look for ways to live a simple life as much as possible.  I do my best to limit the number of "things" we own because I've come to learned simplicity can be liberating.  
  3. Connection with Nature - My husband had never seen a national park until 2014.  I'd like to think he saw his first (Yosemite) because of my dad.  Because when I was growing up, my dad thought visiting parks was important. For that I am so very grateful.  As a child, I couldn't have known the impact nature would have on my ability to heal after loss. I've found refuge in the beauty of our world. 
  4. Waste Not - My motto for this year is "Use What You Got!"  That man, my dad, could make a barbeque pit out of the crap in his garage.  He was always creating things from what he already had. This year has been dedicated to finding ways to use, to reuse, to recycle, or to repurpose what we've got. 

Now, my dad and I didn't have the closest of relationships. We struggled with the daddy-daughter dance. I didn't always agree with all his decisions, and he didn't always agree with mine.  But no matter what, he is and will always be my dad.  Just as Adeline is and will always be my daughter.  The distance between us does not matter.  He is mine, and I am his.  Forever. 

Open your heart to others, even to those you struggle to understand. You just might learn something along the way.   

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