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A Time of Reflection

Life has its ups and downs.  I get it.  I have experienced it.  This week has really opened that up for me.  This week was bright, and then it was dark.  But in that darkness, again, I found light.  I found myself, I discovered what it means to be a mother, a wife, a human being dwelling on this earth.  I opened up, I closed down and then climbed out from the deep dark hole I so wanted to curl up in and hide away in.

I realized that life is great, and then it sucks at times – I have to embrace it and I have to learn to ebb and flow with the winds of time.  I can’t give up – little people are watching me.  I have to be strong for them, or who else can set that example?  No one.

I think back to when I was a little girl.  When I did not have to worry about what I was going to wear tomorrow, let alone how I was going to pay the overdue light bill.  Life was fun, it was exciting, I had nothing to fear – my daddy could fight off the big bad monsters, while my mommy could hold me, wipe away my tears and make my boo-boos and broken spirits heal with a simple kiss on my forehead.

I miss that.

I miss that child-like spirit.  I want that back.  I want my daddy back.

My daddy passed away when I was 4-years-old.  I shared this with my Facebook friends and family yesterday:

daddy-get-out-mama

“Today is a day of celebration, and some tears.

This is my daddy. He was an amazing man even though I only knew him 4 short years. Today is his birthday.

He, along with my mama, adopted me and my beautiful sister. He, along with my mama, was my hero. I remember his voice, his hug, his smell and his smile. I remember some things, not all things. But I do remember that our family was one, it was perfect.

Then God decided He needed my daddy. He needed another amazing man to join his chorus and heaven. I remember playing in the Highest Place Easter Drama at my church and at the end, all of us kids were to run to our parents. I always ran to my daddy. I wish I could run to him now, when I need him.

But, you know, God has a purpose, a plan. And His plan has made me stronger. I miss saying “daddy”, I haven’t said it in years…it’s weird to say it. I really miss MY daddy. But I have other “dads” here who have taken care of me and I’m so appreciative of that.

Life is short, hold the people you love tighter. Tell them you love them and soak up every memory you have with them.

Happy Birthday to an amazing Daddy, Husband, Brother, Son and Friend to many – MY daddy!”

My daddy was so loved in our community.  He was a man of his faith, a man of his word and a man of integrity.  He was the perfect picture of the future man I hoped to marry one day.  He was my Prince Charming, he was my best friend.  I was and still am a daddy’s girl.

I’m not really sure where this blog is going…but I want to share my heart.  So here goes nothing…

In that sadness.  In reminiscing on when things were “perfect”.  In thinking about what it was like to lose someone I loved with all of my heart, I know that I am the woman, the mother and the human being that I am today because of my past.  Don’t get me wrong, losing my dad was a horrible experience…

He had a heart attack in the backseat of our mini-van after a church softball game that he dominated in.  I remember that game – isn’t that weird?  I don’t remember much, but I remember that huge home run he slammed into the woods.  I remember cheering so loud for my daddy (I had no idea what I was cheering for, but I knew it was MY daddy and I knew that he did something amazing – because he was amazing).

Then the ride home turned into a nightmare.

All of us, me, my mom and my two sisters experienced his death.  I was 4-years-old. My younger sister was only 3 and my oldest sister was 14.

God needed my daddy.  He picks the best flowers, you know.  Daddy was ready.  And God knew that.

But I wasn’t.

I wasn’t ready to lose half of my heart.  I wasn’t ready to let go.  But I had to.  I had to give him up whether I wanted to or was ready to do that.

Yes, my daddy passed that day.  The sound of ambulances and fire trucks still haunt me to this day.  I hear them and I just stop what I’m doing and pray.  My son gets SO excited at the sound of them.  I cry.  I break down a little bit inside.  I still miss him.

But you know, something in that…something in his death…something in losing part of my heart required that I grow.  I had to grow more in my faith – I want to see him again one day.  I had to grow in my confidence – I want to be successful, I want to make him proud.  I had to grow in my mothering.  I just had to grow.

My daddy’s funeral was on a Sunday during the church service.  The church was packed.  My daddy was loved and still is to this day.

I’m not sharing this because I want your sympathy.  I don’t want you to feel sorry for me or think that I am sharing this out of emotion (I guess I kind of am).  I want you to know that I am thriving.  I am moving on.  I am OKAY.

If you have lost someone you love, you know how it is.  You know how it feels, how some days are harder than others.  You know that that person made his or her impact on your life.

But in knowing my daddy and knowing who he was as a man, I knew how to navigate this world through his values and morales that he instilled in me in those few short years.  He still lives on.  I see him in my mom.  I see him in the trees, the clouds, friends, my sisters.  I see him everywhere.  Because he is still here, just in a different form.

I had a dream.  My daddy was in it.  And he told me, “Mara.  I love you.  I am here.”  And then he drifted off with the wind.

I know he is here with me.  He lives on in my memory, in my heart.

I can’t wait to see him again, and I will!  But until that day, I will continue to reflect.  Reflect on his memory, reflect on how those 4 short years allowed me the opportunity to know a man that, yes, God took away from me, but he did it because my daddy was needed up there.  To look over me, to look over Haley, Erin, my mom, and my babies, to join His army, to sing in His choir, to welcome everyone through His pearly gates, and to play on the ULTIMATE softball team.

Until we see each other again, daddy, I miss you.  But know that I will use your memory as my encouragement, as my “push” to make you proud.  I can’t wait to hug you!!!!!

 

14 Comments

  1. This is beautiful Mara. Thank you for sharing your story with us…

    • getoutmama

      Thank you so much! Sharing my heart is sometimes difficult, but I love coming out of that shell! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving some love <3

  2. Shevell Martin

    Beautiful, Mara! Your daddy was an amazing man! He sure loved his girls! He was a true friend!

    Love you guys so much!

    • getoutmama

      Thank you! He was truly an amazing man, I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to know him for some time. We love you too!

  3. Vanessa

    Ok! I am bawling! So sweet and from the heart! I’m so glad we will all get to see him again one day!!! He’s truly missed but not at all forgotten!! Love you Peepers!!!

  4. libby

    Beautifully written from a beautiful heart! ♡

  5. Marisa

    Such a beautiful reflection from your heart. Hold those memories tight! He was an inspiration to everyone he came in contact with.

    • getoutmama

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I hold SO tight to the wonderful memories we have and had. My daddy was truly loved by many!

  6. Deanna Griffith

    This is beautiful. I never knew your Daddy but I know your precious Mama and it sure looks like she and your Daddy have raised a beautiful soul.

  7. Wayne

    I remember your father. he was one of the first people I met at West Asheville Baptist Church. He was a wonderful man.

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