10.13.2013

Cycle of Life


On the cover of The Chicago Sun-Times today I can find headlines about the Chicago Marathon, Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade changing, Malala, Gun rights, The Cubs, GOP and Dems. It's in the Obits section I scan the towns to look for my father's name. Steven. I never knew if his official spelling was Stephen or Steven. Now I know.

None of the news for today really seems to matter. He doesn't get to read it. He is gone.

Someone who created me is gone, now. Despite not knowing him well, it still hurts. Staring in the face of the cycle of life feels pretty heavy at times.

I feel sad for the way the end of his life happened with poor health, cancer, and pain. I feel sad for what I never had with him - a strong relationship- and the hope of trying to catch up on any small portion of lost time coming to a close.

During the sacrament hymn at church today Mike grasped my hand and pointed to the words we were singing with the congregation:
Lord, we come before thee now; At thy feet we humbly bow.
Do not thou our suit disdain; Shall we seek thee, Lord, in vain?

Send some message from thy word; That may joy and peace afford.
Comfort those who weep and mourn; Let the time of love return.

Grant we all may seek and find; Thee, our gracious God, and kind.
Heal the sick; the captive free. Let us all rejoice in thee.

"Lord, We Come Before Thee Now"
by William Hammond, 1719-1783

*****

Normally the children seated between us to prevent fighting, but Mike rearranged the kids so he was sitting next to me.

"Liz, this song reminded me of your dad. Your dad got to meet The Savior. Isn't that amazing?" Mike leaned in and whispered in my ear.

We locked eyes for several moments and smiled, thinking of the joy of such an incredible moment. Imagining my father comforted by The Savior took my breath away. None of us on earth are perfect, Christ has made up the difference for each of us. I have known that much of my life, but today I felt the power of what that means for my father right now. And it consumed me with peace.

I didn't get to learn a lot from my father directly and I resented that when I was young. But today I realized that my experience being his daughter gave me the opportunity to learn the beauty and peace that comes with forgiveness. Although I had limited communication with him, I know I had the opportunity to feel unconditional love for him and from him. Wow, I have to tell you that is like no other gift.

They say time is different in heaven- years on earth might be like the blink of an eye in heaven.

See you soon, dad! Can you pull some strings so I can meet John Candy when I get there?
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