Friday, June 13, 2014

Faithful Friday: Father's Day Reflections

Yesterday, I passed a lady with a broken windshield.  I cried the rest of the way home.

Unexpected washes of emotions passed over me, a mixture of sadness, in missing Austin, and gratefulness, in knowing how much we've healed the past five years.

Early in our grief, I wrote that our family was like a cracked windshield. It still functions; and to an unknown observer may look the same, even normal.  But, through the eyes of the family, there are pieces, fragments of what once remained.  You can't do anything without seeing and feeling the loss.  At points you feel as if your family is floating, forever paused in the pain and chaos, and yet everyone else goes on.

The windshield yesterday was severely damaged with huge cracks and fractures all across it.  For so long I remember how we felt that way, even though we managed to still function most days.  People would comment about how strong we were, but they didn't see the pain that ravaged us on the inside.

Slowly, as time progressed, we began to heal.
One by one.  Day by Day.

But just like a tiny chip in a windshield, it didn't take much pressure for us to break again.  Our family has replaced the "protective glass" many times during this grief journey.

Or rather, God has....

There was a point in the depths of our grief I felt the view above 
was all I'd ever see again.  I prayed without ceasing for my family, especially my husband.

Losing Austin changed all of us - forever - but I worried most about the changes in Tim.  There were days the loss was quite visible on him, as I'd watch the grief jacket cling to his body.  It was a part of him, something he couldn't remove and the cloud followed everywhere he went.

I prayed for our marriage, for the light in his eyes to return.  I prayed for his relationship with Noah, as I sometimes felt Tim distancing himself, surely afraid and counting Noah's every breath.  I begged God to return the Dad he was and the one I knew he could be...

Being a father was something Tim was made for, as every quality a Dad could have God gave him. Years and years ago, I prayed for a husband but I was blessed with a father beyond my dreams for my boys.

Austin was wrapped around Tim's finger from the very beginning.  
And a great big piece of his heart went to Heaven when our son passed.

While that void will never be filled, Tim still manages to be an amazing, loving father.  Both to our son, Noah, and even to our niece, Tina.  And he keeps getting better and better, growing more with time, as he furthers and deepens his walk with God.

There's so much love in his heart.  He's the funny Dad who makes you laugh, sometimes because of what he says and often because of what he does.  He's a busy Dad, the kind that never likes to sit around. So the kids get to explore, learn, and do with him.  He's the Dad who would give you anything and everything, like his time - or the last piece of pie.  He's the kind of Dad that has many "don't tell Mom" stories.  He’s a rough and tumble Dad, who loves nothing more than to wrestle in the floor or chase you around the yard.  

But most of all, He’s a man-of-God Dad, who shows his kids that being strong isn’t in how tall you stand but how often you kneel.

He's the kind of Dad you'll always look up too, even after you've grown taller than him.

And he's the kind of father that leads by example 
and makes memories in every day moments.

He's all kinds of everything good in a father and most certainly
 a one of a kind Dad.

Lifting prayers up for a peaceful, pain free Father's Day weekend for Tim.
One filled with fishing, food, and family.
He's earned it.


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