July Reflections: Missing My Dad and Remembering Our Last Visit

Though my dad died 5 months ago, it’s been exactly one year since we saw him on earth. We had spent July 4th vacationing all together on the beautiful Newfound Lake in New Hampshire. We swam and played and ate for days. And for the first time in my entire life, dad did not have his speed boat. The engine had died and to this day I remain most grateful for that. Because it meant, instead of spending days pulling people on tubes and skis, he waded next to us in the water in quiet conversations. 25It meant we borrowed a house boat and cruised the lake peacefully all together. 64It meant we all got a taste of what it might be like without that boat. That man. One day. I never dreamed that was to be the last time we were all together on earth, but I could not have asked for a better farewell, even though we didn’t know that was what we were doing.7 July 4th is now intermingled with memories of my father. And last night as we watched fireworks, 8 year old Sammy said through tears, “It’s like the fireworks are Papa’s voice. Or his drums.”

One of the things I’ve been learning is how to allow my emotions to simply be- without judging them, forcing them, or ignoring them.  As my mentor says, they’re not good or bad; they just are. Well, there’s a whole lot of swirling emotions these days, and they can often feel confusing or consuming. There are 2 things that help me get through those waves. The first is a meditation called Let Be, Let Go, Let In which I will explain in a video below.  It takes just a few moments and it really helps me ‘ride the wave’ of my emotions.  And second, I keep coming back to a dream I had of my father soon after he died.  Throughout the night I kept waking up to discover I was crying. Over and over I’d wake myself up crying. And then, as I fell back asleep one last time in the early morning, I found myself standing with my dad.  We were hugging and I was still crying, my face was buried in his chest.  He said, in a voice and tone that was SO him, and calling me by the nick name he gave me as child, Hey.  Tom Tom.  It’s ok.  It’s ok.

And then I woke up.

I’ve thought about that phrase quite a bit- It’s ok.  Not it will be ok or it might be ok, but it is ok.  It’s ok. All of it- all the emotions, the tears, the questions, the sadness, the longing, the loss, the whole thing. I’m glad I heard him remind me of that. 3

 

To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, a time to die…
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance…
A time to get, and a time to lose.

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