Nine years ago today, God called my dad Home to be with Him. I continue to feel the loss of my dad as strongly as if it were yesterday. I've mentioned previously how close my siblings and I were to our dad and how very thankful we were to have been able to call him dad.
Last night I called my sister Jodi in South Dakota. I hadn't shared with her the news that I was going to be a grandma. I anticipated her reaction would be much the same as the Ackerman-Kelly crew. Surprised, worried for Ashley and yes, the excitement of a new baby in the family. Jodi reacted in a similar manner.
We were truly blessed with an amazing father and to try and list all of the things he taught us, all of the things he did for us, it just wouldn't be possible. But on this day, I wanted to at least try to put into words what he meant to us. After visiting with Jodi last night, I knew what I wanted to share.
Sixteen years ago, Jodi & her husband Larry found themselves in the same situation that Ashley & Nick are now in. Jodi had just been awarded a scholarship and acceptance into the college of her choice. She was going to pursue a career in music. But then she discovered she was pregnant. To say that she was devastated is to understate the anguish she went through. The future she was going to pursue had vanished and her heart was broken at the thought of disappointing our dad. However, just the opposite happened. Dad didn't react in anger or disappointment. Instead, he expressed the same fears we've recently had. Scared for their future and the future of the baby and sadness that what she had planned for herself was changing so dramatically. He told them he would support whatever decision they made except one: ABORTION. No matter what may or may not be politically correct, in our hearts we've always believed abortion to be murder. Life begins when the egg is fertalized. Jodi was expecting his fourth grandchild and he would help her in whatever way possible to make sure everything worked out ok.
Jodi and Larry chose to marry and have been together ever since. Justin was born in August of 1990 and he's now a handsome, happy teenager. He's joined by his sisters Jessica, Lisa and brother Blake. And just like his big brother, Blake was a big surprise and a big blessing to Jodi and Larry. Jodi would be the first to tell you that life has been a struggle but she wouldn't change a thing. She knows this is the path that God has chosen for her life and she's happy to walk it.
My sister went to our dad with a splintered and broken heart and with his kindness, his love for Jodi and his family and yes, his love of the Lord, he began a healing in Jodi's heart that night that might never have happened had dad not said and done the things he did.
Nine years ago today...feels just like yesterday and I miss him more than I thought possible, even after all this time. But I am so thankful for the man he was and for all of the many memories.
Until next time,