We remember the ones not with us in times and seasons like these. This will be my first Christmas without my dad. He passed away in May of this year. Those firsts are such a mixture for me.
The first Father’s Day without him.
Mom’s first birthday without him.
Then, his birthday and his wedding anniversary.
We remember those not with us. We are aware of people around us who may not be as “cheery” during this time of year as they remind someone not with them in this season.
My dad loved reading the Christmas story every year. The grandkids would pile around him and he would read the story out of Luke and then pray. As my oldest son said at my dad’s funeral, “I don’t remember one present I got but I will never forget him reading to us.”
The last few years battling physical ailments and dementia stripped away a lot. But being with him even in those times are the moments I treasure.
This year I will see the Bible he read from. I will see the seat he sat for the last few years of his life. I will feel the absence and long for his voice. Just one more time. If I could hear him read the story one more time…
It is a season of rejoicing. It is a season of hope. May it also be a season of comfort in a time of loss. We will remember the ones not with us. We will carry them. It will hurt in many ways. It will strangely bring comfort in other ways. May we embrace all of it in this season.
I love you, Dad.