Today was my father's memorial. It was a beautiful celebration of my father's life and legacy. There were many stories, many tears, many hugs and many old friends that I would love to see more often. I was especially moved by my brothers loving words. They made me once again proud of my father and of my big brother. He said what he needed to say as did I, but still the pain does not subside.
I have not stopped hurting, but it is a different kind hurt. One that creeps in when the business and noise of the day fades away and we are left with only our thoughts. The children are tucked in bed and Jen is asleep on the couch. I lay on a foam mat in my parent's living room, and this is so different.
It is different in that tonight when I walked into this house I did not make a bee line for my Dad's office to say hi and discuss life or sit down on the couch near his lay-z boy recliner to watch the game and discuss politics. It is different because I didn't hear the familiar and comforting "goodnight" and "I love you son", that would normally come down the hall as dad would shuffle off to bed.
It is different because to night there is no man of the house, but there are men of the house. You see I no longer enjoy the comfort of coming here and deferring to the man of the house. The man that I loved as father and friend has died and is now with Christ. My brother and I will not fight any longer for position in this house because we are now both the man of our own homes. He and I are not the boys we were growing up trying to make dad proud. We should have no question that he was proud of his boys. He was proud and with good reason. He instilled in us the very essence of what a man should be. I for one am proud that my brother, asleep in the next room, is my brother, and today he was my big brother.
So I have not stopped hurting, but it is a different kind hurt. After years of struggles this little family of ours had become everything we could hope for; no not perfect, but close enough. We had seen God's healing hand heal old wounds and open closed hearts. We had seen love and understanding that we had often thought impossible. And we said the things that needed to be said.
It is different because I am not angry at God for taking dad. I am thankful to God that we got to have dad here to see his family together. Thankful that we had the time to love and forgive. Thankful that lessons were learned and wisdom was passed on. Thankful that this last year we got to laugh and love and hope and dream together. After all how can you truly love with out the risk of loss. And how can you truly suffer loss if you never risked love. All this I know.
..... but I haven't stopped hurting, though it is a different hurt, and I'm not sure that I even comprehend it's full extent just yet. I'm not sure how long it will take or even how hard it will get. I am not God, and I don't question God right now. What I question is how anyone makes it through something like this with out God. After all I know God and talk with Him, yet as of right now I am barely able to breath, yet he keeps me breathing.
I am laying here waiting to hear my father say "goodnight, I love you son". And just before my heart faints in despair it comes. Not from down the hall, but from within my spirit. "Goodnight, I love you son.", my heavenly father says, " I love you, just as I love your dad. He is here with me and one day you will be too".
So today passes and tomorrow I will wait upon the Lord to renew my strength, but I haven't stopped hurting, though it is a different kind of hurt.