Before I say all this, let me start with the fact that my life is wonderful, and I appreciate it more because of the following experience. When I was 2 and a half, my dad passed away in a hit and run accident after his car broke down and he was walking to get help. My Mom was a stay at home Mom at the time, and she went through the journey of being a single, working Mom (who had just lost her Mom a few months earlier) with two kids to raise...one of which was me...and trust me-that was a full time job for two parents....and probably a village of police officers and psychiatrist. My Mom has a relationship with Christ, and she passed on that knowledge to me, and I knew my heavenly Father at a very young age, and accepted Him into my life at the age of 8, which kept everyone sane. I've never been without a father, even when my earthly father left for heaven. There is so much more to that, but that's my life in a tiny nut shell. Emphasis, laughingly, on the word 'nut.' There is sadness in the experiences I wish my Dad could have gone through with me, but I know this life was necessary to become the person I'm supposed to be, and I know that God used this experience for good, though I do not pretend to understand, I just have to trust. I wish there was a different way, but I don't believe in 'what ifs' in life. We never surprise God. He prepares each of our paths, and doesn't let anything enter our lives that didn't first pass through His hands. Trust me, it took all of my 30 years to get to that point, and I didn't find peace in this path God placed me on until the last 5 or so years. I also believe the separation from my father is temporary, and that someday we will spend Father's Day together. I'll never fully understand 'why' on this side of heaven , but I see the benefits in my character having had this experience. I know I experience life much more deeply knowing this lose. I know my Dad is in a better place. The moments we missed out on here on earth are nothing compared to the experiences we will have together in heaven for eternity. I can tell you here on earth God blessed me with the most wonderful Mom in the whole world. If we were Catholic, they'd rewrite the rules and saint her now. She's eternally kind, she sees the good in everyone. Her greatest fault is her insistence on being optimistic. My Mom is unrealistically optimistic. It drives me crazy, and isn't that just the worst sort of situation a girl should have to tolerate? There is so much more to her story, and as much as I don't understand the situation with my Dad, I am even MORE baffled by my mother's ability to have faced lose in so many areas, and trials in so many others....with a smile....and a positive attitude. She doesn't complain. I didn't grow up in a home of sadness or suffering. God took one parent away far too soon in my human view, but He also provided me with a Mom far superior to ANYTHING I could have ever expected, who was more than equipped for what I had in store for us growing up. Having said this, and not even skimming the surface, let me move forward into this collage I made.
I've wanted to make a shadow box for years with some objects that belonged to my Dad. There are very few things we have. My Mom didn't know she had a pack rat on her hands when I was little, so a lot of my Dad's clothes and objects she donated, which makes the few things I have more valuable. I finally set a date and told myself there was no more waiting.
Here is the cast of characters in my collage.
-The picture is the most 'recent' picture I have. I wrote about this not too long ago, here.
-Lures from my Dad's tackle box that lived in my brother's tackle box for years (both avid fishermen).
-The string along the bottom is from my Dad's bow. We have the bow as well, but it wouldn't exactly fit in the box. My brother also shoots a bow and arrow....for fun. I've tried it out for recreation, but hunting isn't my thing. It was my Dad's thing, and Jason has wandered in and out of the sport through the years.
-Some sort of net contraption. There were several weird nets and traps out in the garage. I took the smallest in the series. I'm sure my brother could identify it, but I just decided to use it as a back drop. I tied up the loose ends, and hid those behind the picture. I thought about cutting out pieces of net, but I decided to leave everything intact, and it's all very carefully attached so that it could also be removed if I decide to later do something different with these supplies someday.
-Nuts and bolts-my dad worked on cars, boats, motorcycles, etc. He had a parade of vehicles through our driveway over the years. A little aside about the misc. nuts and bolts in the above picture. My dad had a cake pan (irony) filled with all these misc. nuts and bolts in the very back of our garage in a corner. These are remnants of his years working on cars. When I was little, before I fully understood what these were, I used to love playing with them. I loved exploring the different sizes and shapes. I don't even think my Mom knew they were back there. These sort of things have always held my interest. When we moved out of our house when I was 18, she found them and tried to get rid of this (more than 50 pounds) worth of metal. I refused. We've lugged them through a storage unit, and now they sit in my garage. I don't know what I'll do with the rest of these nuts and bolts, but their mine to do with as I please!
I found this thin wood card stock, and I used my cricut and basic alphabet to cut out 'DAD.'
The first letter are some tool charms I found (easier than putting regular tools in the box), the second letter has some of my dad's nuts and bolts, and the second D has a lure attached.
I'm hanging this in my guest room for now. It'll make me smile. Growing up this is the only life I've ever known. I've gone through a lot of emotions over the years, and I can't say I won't go through some of those again, but the one thing I have always known is that this situation is not permanent. I've missed my dad, but never doubted there will someday be an end to missing him, and a forever with him, and many others that joined him and wait for a hug, and a laugh, and a clearer vision of a gracious and loving God we can't clearly see through human perspective. My life has been too good to be bitter about this temporary situation! Happy Father's Day, regardless of the situation you find yourself in-with a grill, by a grave, or somewhere in between, know that you are loved by a heavenly Father who completes any gaps, loses, or lacks, and He loves you even more than the most love-filled perfect, or imperfect earthly father!
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