New Year's Eve is generally a time for reflection for most people and around here we are certainly no different. The other day as Mike and I sat at the table mapping out our day, we marveled at the fact that we are facing our eighth anniversary. How can it be that long? It seems like only yesterday that the day was chilly and snow-dusted and muddy and grey like this and our family gathered together here in our den to witness our vows and celebrate our union.
We had a bit of a hiccup as we got a call from Mr. Clyde Lynch saying that his wife had been involved in a car accident and would not be able to drive him over to perform the ceremony. So, Daddy volunteered to perform taxi services. The story of the trip was shared by our soft-spoken-brother-in-law, Dwayne. Daddy had hopped on I-840 at Arno Road and he and Mr. Lynch were carrying on a conversation as they zizzed down the road with Dwayne a passenger in the back seat. Just before the Nolensville Road exit, Dwayne peeked over the seat from his back-seat-nest to notice that the speedometer was registering over eighty and the exit was passing by on his right. Dwayne said that he asked Daddy where he was going and all of a sudden the brakes were slammed. Dwayne recalls, "Then, he simply backed down the side of 840 going forty miles an hour for about a quarter of a mile. And he never stopped talking the whole time."
I'm certain that my family recalled all sorts of experiences just like this as we weathered our first Christmas holiday without Daddy. I know that I did. I'm sure I will for the rest of my life. When you experience a loss, people will often tell you that it will get better. The wisest advice I ever heard, however, was that it won't get better - you will just get better at dealing with it.
I understand that the first year is often the hardest - and it has been hard. Yet, I often feel my Daddy with me via the voice in my head providing advice and instruction. I know it when I stiffly get out of bed each morning with an aching back and think about how he would do the same day after day, year after year. I sense it when I am listening to the news and his quips will pop into my thoughts. I feel it when I hear things coming out of my mouth as I talk to my husband or my children.
Even though living without my Daddy has been a struggle for me, I think there have been things put in my path to help me learn to navigate my journey without him. Today I share this link to an article which was particularly meaningful for me this holiday season. I am following suggestion number eight with this post. Another timely post set me thinking and helped me to shape my focus on the future. I do see this upcoming year as one of "profound opportunity and thus great responsibility." It helped me to pause and realize that there are a host of things I have started and need to work toward finishing. I have a huge responsibility and cannot delegate responsibility. As the missionary, I've got work to do on my journey and I'd better get busy! I have bookmarked this one and made calendar appointments to remind me to go back and re-read it periodically throughout the year. I also found a bit of courage and encouragement in this post and will use it to guide my New Year's Resolutions for the upcoming year as well. I've got a light to shine and I'd better use it wisely!