Five Months

December 17, 2003

Dear Father,

I just finished dinner with mother. I don't get to eat with her as often as I would like, but it was so nice to just sit across from her and listen to her share. She shared so much about you and the way you loved her. She shared about the long courtship you had together and the things you shared which were so meaningful. I heard a theme in mom's description of you. The word "team" continually seemed to surface. There's no question, you and mom enjoyed doing things together. You embarked on many projects together, often for the benefit of others. Your outpouring compassion never seemed to end.

As I sat there looking into mom's eyes, I held back a flood of tears. My emotions come so quickly to the surface at the thought or remembrance of you, especially when another family member shares something about you. On the other hand I don't want mom to worry about us, as I know she does already. So, like a dam, I hold back my tears as best as I can.

I feel quite sad these days. I just miss you. I can't put it more plainly than that. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to feel the intense feeling of sadness over your passing. Even when I look at Kole (our dog), I wonder if he feels some sense of loss as well. Part of me feels he does because I catch him laying by your side of the bed, a behavior you always said "no" to. Maybe he longs to lay in the same area you once did.

For me, it's just your presence that I miss - your "being there," and whether I was home or a 1,000 miles away from home, you were still close by. But now that you're actually gone from this earth, I feel such a huge void in my life. I've definitely experienced some significant losses before, with girlfriends I cared for deeply or friends that came and walked out of my life. But this is so different, unlike anything I've ever gone through before. I would never wish this on anyone, even though we must all face the finality of life some day. I just never expected you to leave so soon.

I find myself wanting to talk with you, whether it be when I'm walking Kole or when I'm alone late at night or just lying in bed. Many of the memories I remember of you seem so real and vivid that I want to reach out and experience some of them all over again. Other times, I have dreams of you that only bring out pain. I simply wake up feeling sick, wishing I didn't have to have such dreams of you especially the way you suffered..

Why does it have to be this way, dad? As foolish as this sounds, why couldn't I get a copy of the script of life, or at least get some form of preparation for the way this was all going to play out? I haven't found much solace in anything, as much as I want to find the good in all of this. Although I still hold on to my faith, I find myself feeling quite sad and angry. I especially feel angry when I see the way mother has to suffer now or when I hear her crying in another room. Hearing her anguish hits me right at the core of my heart. How is she expected to move on with her life when you're no longer around for her? And then, how am I to take care of her as you would want me to, or better yet, how does God want me to take care of and honor her?

Of course, we will watch over mom.When I think of the many times you modeled your love and protection over mother, I find myself wanting to watch over her also, as does Kristian and Tad. But at the same time, I realize I can't play the role of a husband. I simply want to continue in my role as the eldest son, but now with added responsibilities. Maybe that's part of what I miss - that privilege of asking you for sound wisdom on how to deal with this fittingly. These days, I'm not sure who to trust or if I can really trust another. And to be honest, I find it hard to trust God these days.

I never want to disrespect our Lord. I know he's much more capable of hearing my pangs and cries for help. But I have to say, if there was ever a time I wish I could hear the voice of the Lord, it's now. In a time when our world is intensely at war with one another, where CEO's are being charged with unlawful activity, where priests are being exposed for the mistreatment of precious children, where well-respected celebrities are being indicted for lying, now is the time I wish I could sit down with you and be in your presence. I trusted and respected you; you caught my ear and got my attention. I long for that time together and sadly, I know I will never find another like you again. Well, in spite of my limitations, I will do my best to follow your lead and step in the footprints you left deep within my heart.

I will continue writing and share more of my heart with you, but I feel so tired now. I head to bed thinking of you and pray that our Lord will somehow come near and show me that he still cares for us. I miss you so, so much,