Strength for the Journey

I have three dear friends who recently lost husbands. Although the cause of death in each case was different, these ladies are bonded together by grieving for the loss, nonetheless.

For several days I have had them on my mind and the fact that this Sunday (tomorrow) will be Father’s Day. You see, each husband was also a father and two were grandfathers. The losses are not just hard for my friends but for their children and grandchildren as well.

My sadness for them is compounded by my remembering that first Father’s Day after my husband died. I struggled tremendously in the supermarket and it took all my strength plus white-knuckling my shopping cart to get past the Father’s Day card display. Overhearing comments like “I don’t know why I bother. He won’t care what card I get anyway.” and “I’m going for the cheapest card, just like he got me for Mother’s Day.” only magnified my heartache. What I would have given to have had a reason to look for a great card for my husband.

Sitting in church that Sunday was unbelievably hard. As each category was announced, my mind ticked off where my husband would have ranked: “Father who mowed the lawn last.” (Nope. He had an injury that kept him off the lawnmower, which delighted him completely.); “Father who took his children/grandchildren fishing most recently.” (He had a list on the counter by the door of everything he needed to buy for that trip two days before he passed away so I guess that would be a “no.”); “Father who kissed his children/grandchildren most recently.” (Ding, ding, we have a winner! The morning that he passed away, he loved on the little ones and tickled them with his mustache.).

My friends will get through Father’s Day. They all three have faith in a Father Who will hold on to them with His Righteous Right Hand as they face – not just tomorrow – but each and every day ahead. It’s a hard, hard journey and they will get bumps and bruises along the way, just as I have. But our strength for the journey is a gift from God, to us, on this Father’s Day.

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