I just want to pick up the phone and call my Dad.
The grieving process is slow going. The tears trickle out at random intervals and never last very long. One of the more predictable times for tears is late afternoon, about the time I’d call my Dad to check in with him.
For years, when I’d call home, Dad would spend the first ten seconds making a big deal out of the fact that I called and then within 60 seconds, he’d hand the phone off to my mom. He wasn’t much for conversation unless he had an agenda.
After Mom died he had to stay on the phone, at least for awhile. I called about every other day. There were some days when I wondered what we’d have to say to one another, but other days when I was eager to tell him something from my life or anxious to know how he was doing. Some days he kept it short and other days he seemed reluctant to end the conversation. We talked about our doctor appointments, the family, and our activities.
And I’m missing that now.
Like the day he told me I should quit my job and write a book. Or the way he’d encourage me to rest and “take it slow.” There were times he understood how hard something was for me and just listened and agreed. If it was Sunday or Monday, he’d want to know if I’d been to church. He took pleasure in every report of time spent with Kellen and Oaks (“wonderful.”) He was also so appreciative at the end of nearly every call, and usually ended with “the Lord be with you.” (To which I always wanted to reply, as a good Presbyterian, “and also with you.”)
I can’t wish my Dad back from heaven. I’m realizing what a difficult year it was for him and I’m truly glad that his loneliness and struggle are over. But I do wish I could pick up the phone and call him.
Only now it would be more for me than for him.
Wouldn’t it be fun to hear his stories of meeting his Dad and my Mom? He always said they would meet “just inside the Eastern gate.” Or what was it like seeing Jesus face to face? He could give me a glimpse of what heaven is like or help me unravel some genealogical mysteries. Maybe he’d tell me that certain prayers will be answered and that he is still rooting for me. Or maybe he would just remind me that the Lord is with me.
(And also with you.)