Twenty-Three and a Half Years

There is no place to begin with something like this; my dad is gone, and far sooner than I expected. The last month has been something of a blur. He had been noticeably sick since early winter, and as the months progressed so did the cancer. Throughout this past semester, I would come over a few times a week to print something off for school or just say “hi”. I’m so thankful that I did that; doing that gave me more moments with my dad. Then the last month happened and it felt like home was becoming a hospital room rather than my parents’ house or my apartment. Family and friends stepped in to take care of us when it was clear that we were facing something truly horrendous.

The sorrow I have felt in these past few months truly is potentially soul-crushing, but the love and support I have felt has kept me afloat and reminded me of the importance of the body of Christ. I have felt the Holy Spirit sustaining me through scripture and the children of God. This week the passage in Philippians that says “the peace which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” has new meaning to me. I have a peace that I don’t understand, and it is quite clearly guarding my heart and mind. This peace, love, and support can only be the result of a beautiful and glorious Heavenly Father.

Now my earthly father has gone to be with my Heavenly Father, but my Heavenly Father is still with me and my earthly father lives on in the traits that he gave my sister and I. Be sad for me if you must, but know that above all else I am thankful for the moments I was given with my dad. Some don’t get their dad as long as I had mine or they don’t get to have years and memories that sweet.

This next part is something I wrote for my dad and read to him about a week and a half ago when he was still in the ICU.

To the man who raised me. To the man who played board games with me during the summer. To the man who calmed me when I was in the midst of anxiety attacks at 2 AM. To the man who pulled a thorn out of my foot one Father’s day when I was a teen. To the man who is my biggest cheerleader when it comes to me wanting to do ministry. I love you. I am thankful for our moments. Thank you for giving me your twisted sense of humor and love for deep conversations. You’re a beautiful person.

If your parent is still alive treasure them. You don’t know when you’re going to have to look at the person you once viewed as one of the strongest people in the world in a casket. If you’re traveling and a couple of hours away from someone you care about; try your best to take the few out of the way hours to spend time with someone you care about and rarely get to see. Embrace your loved ones with the fullest joy you possibly can, and thank God for all the beautiful moments you are given with people who are dear to you.

 

 

 

Advertisements

I Love Tea

How did I become someone who is quite frankly a bit obsessed with tea? It’s not something that I grew up with, so there’s no childhood nostalgia attached. I don’t study the different types so that I might brew them in the most delicious way, so I clearly have no intent to be a connoisseur. I just love tea. I love the comfort that comes with sipping on a warm cup of liquid in the morning whether that morning is lazy or busy. It can be as bland or sweet and lavish as I want it to be. I love that there is variety, but also stability in this one type of product.

Perhaps I love it because of the journey I went on to get to the point of loving it. Before I drank tea I had lattes almost every day this was not good for my health or waistline, so I turned to learning how to drink tea straight. I figured if I learned to drink it straight it would be a healthier option. A few months later as I moved into a dorm suite full of tea lovers I had several opportunities to discover the loveliness that can be found in a cup of tea.

Drinking tea makes me think of sitting in the sun while listening to music, and it makes me think of tea parties on the floor with laughs and thought provoking conversation. It makes me think of the person who gave me the tea or what I was doing when I bought it. I love tea because it is both delicious and has a myriad of fond memories that I have the pleasure of remembering when I drink it or brew it. What is even more beautiful is the memories are constantly being added to. Maybe it isn’t tea, but find the thing that does this for you. Find the thing that you can enjoy both because it is something you can share with people dear to you and because you simply love the product.

Finally, treasure it. Perhaps this is cheesy, but treasure the moments you get to spend reveling in the things that innocently bring you joy. Revel in this joy whether it comes from a cup of tea or something equally as geeky. Life is stressful and chaotic, so stop and enjoy your tea.