Monday, February 8, 2010

The things you love..

Some day, when I'm awfully low,
When the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you...
And the way you look tonight.

Yes you're lovely, with your smile so warm
And your cheek so soft,
There is nothing for me but to love you,
And the way you look tonight.

With each word your tenderness grows,
Tearing my fear apart...
And that laugh that wrinkles your nose,
It touches my foolish heart.

Lovely ... never, ever change.
Keep that breathless charm.
Won't you please arrange it ?
'cause I love you ...
Just the way you look tonight.

And that laugh that wrinkles your nose
It touches my foolish heart

Lovely...Don't you ever change
Keep that breathless charm
Won't you please arrange it? 'Cause I love you
Just the way you look tonight

Just the way you look tonight

My mom and dad met when I was 6 years old. I was going through some weird phase where I was acting as if I was a cat. Yeah, meowing is something I'm sure little kids do often, but not me. I was crawling on the ground, nuzzling up to people trying to get them to pet me on the head, purring, jumping on the furniture, pretending to clean my face with my 'paws'... I was a full on kitten. Mom dated quite a bit, but of course she saved only the prime choices for bringing home to meet the girls. Dad came over and I was in kitten mode and it didn't scare him away. In fact, I'm pretty sure he thought it was 12 kinds of adorable. From the day I met him, he took to me and I knew that he was someone special.

Mom and dad decided they should get married and I was the awkward little flower girl who cried during the ceremony because I was so happy that we were all becoming a family. Dad had what I would call a borderline mullet at the time, and mom wore a big poofy sleeved pink wedding dress. I remember the wedding and it was spectacular. We were a family. A happy little family, soon to be added to with a new little sister and a lot more love.

I remember dad always driving a truck, I remember singing along to Diamond Rio with him, each of us choosing a harmony and listening to the same few songs over and over until we had perfected them.. "Holdin'" and "Walkin' Away" were the two I remember the most but there were hundreds of country songs that we would turn up and sing along to every time we got in the car. On my 16th birthday, I had a party at a place with a karaoke machine. Dad goaded me into singing "When I Fall in Love" from the Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack with him. I was super nervous to sing in front of all of my guy friends but it was comforting to have him up on stage with me singing the male part of the duet. When I got married (we all know what a huge mistake that was.. and dad did too) we danced to "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra. I was thumbing through pictures the other day and my friend's husband had taken a bunch of photos of the two of us dancing. In one of the pictures it was obvious that he was singing to me while we danced and the memory flooded back to me. A month or so ago we were sitting at the kitchen table and both of us started singing the song together, talking about how we danced to it, and what a lovely choice it had been.

I guess the point that I'm trying to get at is that I remember music... and I remember my dad associated with music. Dad passed away on January 16th. He was hiking with his friends in Callahan and one second he was laughing and joking and the next he was gone. Dad was 41 years old.. in the best shape he had been in since he met mom and full of life and energy. He had a massive heart attack and he was gone. The past month has been a blur of people and tears and a sense of loss but it has also been a journey of spiritual growth for me. I have never felt God as much in my life as I do now. He sends all of the right people, the right scriptures, the perfect songs, He is comforting and healing.

The way that I deal with stressors is likely different than most people. I go into a shock, find something I can control and do it and then move on to the next thing. I don't think I have fully grasped the fact that dad isn't coming home, that our lives are completely changed forever... at least I don't think I've allowed myself to do that yet. All I know is that I had the best dad in the entire world. Every time I would go to leave the house he would take me by the shoulders and stare at me and say something like, "I love you, my daughter" or "In case I haven't told you lately, I'm so proud of you".. he would ask for extra hugs and kisses, he would tell us how much we meant to him at every opportunity. He truly is the best man I have ever known. There was a spark about him, a joy for the simple pleasure of having his family around him, a love for God and all of His creations. There was nothing that he left unsaid to any of us.

Dad emulated the unconditional love of God here on earth, and for those of you who don't believe in God, I'm so sorry for what you're missing out on. I cannot imagine having to go through this kind of thing without hope, without the promise of the things that He has for us after we leave this world. I cannot imagine not feeling God's love in the darkest of times.

We had bookmarks made with part of a verse from a passage we found to put on the back of the funeral program. The full passage is below:

Paul's Prayer for Spiritual Growth

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

Anyhow, I just wanted to let you all know why I have been away, what a great man my Dad was, and what a good God we have, providing comfort and support in times of sadness. I know that my dad lived his life without regrets, loving fully, experiencing everything passionately, and seeing beauty even in the darkness so I hope to continue making him proud by the way that I live my life. I know he'd be thrilled that this has caused me to seek God again, even though the situation sucks, I feel peace about what has happened because I know Dad is looking down at us from a much better place. Mom says he had to go so soon because he's building a perfect house for us to live in once we get there. I tend to agree. He and God are trying to find the best granite countertops for mom's dream kitchen right now.

I'm glad that over the past few months I stole extra hugs from dad. I'm glad that he was at my graduation and that I have the gift of the BEST picture of the two of us to hang on my wall. I'm happy about all of the memories that we made as a family, I'm happy that I let dad walk me to my car and give me an extra hug the last time that I saw him and I'm so glad that we had the relationship that we did. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have had him for 20.5 years of my life... and I'm horribly sad that he isn't with us anymore.. but I know that there must be something that God needed him for more than we did.. I can't for the life of me figure out what it could be, but it must be something BIG.

So please, call your parents, call your loved ones, tell them how much they mean to you. Give extra hugs and kisses, laugh, smile, create good memories.. you never know how long you will have with them.. so do what dad did and make the best of the little time that you have here on earth.


  1. I haven't been keeping up like I should have been and I just read this post, and while I'm still so sorry for your loss... I'm so envious of that relationship that you had while you had him. At least you know how lucky you were to have him in your life! You were blessed beyond measure.

    I'm not sure that you deal with loss/tragedy/stress is all that "unique"... or maybe we're more alike than I realized. I do the same thing... find something to control, keep going, do whatever, then eventually it all hits me and I fall apart (or do something stupid). I know we're not as close as we were once upon a time, but I want you to know that I'm always here if you ever need anything at all: coffee, a friend to just BS with, a serious conversation, whatever. :)

  2. Monique,

    You're absolutely right. I could not have possibly had a better relationship with my dad than I did. I am so thankful for that every day.. it makes it easier in a sense because there was nothing left unsaid.. but it also makes it harder because of the huge hole it leaves in my heart.

    I would love to have coffee with you anytime. I don't have much going on these days besides work and I'm still in the TCU area, so just let me know when and where.. I'd love to hang out :)