Sunday, June 21, 2009


Father’s Day and June 21, 2009 brings me great sorrow and great joy. It is a milestone on two fronts for me; on one hand joyful and exciting, on the other sorrowful and grief filled.

On the eve of Father’s Day 2008 we held my father’s memorial service in Houston ten days after his death. It was a great time of celebration of his life, fond remembrances, honor, and love. The service itself had actually been written by Dad some unknown date (likely after his diagnosis but not near the end), found later on a cocktail napkin in a file titled “final plans.” My brother and I were both awed and amazed by the gift he left us…the songs were selected, the readings and poems; we had no question as to what he wanted for his memorial, his last hurrah. The only challenge he left us was who to appoint for the task of putting his last “project” into action. The positions were filled by those close, special, beloved, and Dad’s service went off without a hitch. And then we partied, also in “Bob Gregory” style, an open bar, decadent hors d’oeuvres passed through the crowd by tuxedoed staff, live piano and songs sung by any who wanted to sing, guests dressed to the nines all elegant despite their heartache.

Father’s Day 2008 came and went for me as a colorless silence, finding time to physically recover from rejoicing his life. I was tired, exhausted more like, left lifeless, empty, and alone. Although my Hero was by my side and both my little birds danced nearby, I found little that day but the energy to take each next breath, not recognizing it was Father’s Day…for me, it was just the eleventh day of my life without my father.

Today, I find, the pain has been excruciating, gut wrenching, taking my breath away. The hole he left in me ripped open anew, a great chasm of emptiness. At moments I have not known which way to turn, my heart screaming, “He is gone! My father on this day is gone. How can I smile? How can anyone smile when I am so…” So what? What is this place I find myself, wanting all to know how I feel and no one to be happy around…alone? My heavenly Father touches the jagged edges of the gash, easing the throbbing emptiness, pouring the Holy Spirit into the crevasse, filling me with His love. It is enough, more than enough. And I take a breath, and a step, and I force my face into a smile, for I know no pain will ever be so great His love cannot overcome.

This day also brings great excitement as my Bird steps forth a bit less my baby and a bit more a boy. He eagerly awoke this morning (pre 7 am) and danced into our room ready to go to camp. This is his first camp, a rite of passage for many boys and girls, and he is going with our church. Each year they trek to the hills of Tennessee with the children to take them on a walk with God. His excitement was contagious, bubbling forth and taking over the morning… “Is it time to go yet?” Alas, my child you must have your breakfast first.

My Bird has grown such strong wings in his seven short years, time which has flown for me. He is ready, more than I would have him be, to leap from the nest and test his wings. Today I sent him off into an unknown (literally I do not know where this camp is located) praying the Lord keep His hand over this flight, and under if the little wings begin to quiver. My little Bird grows so fast, questing for knowledge and adventure, truth and light, excitement and challenge. I trust I have given this Bird the wings to fly this flight, and return to the nest stronger, wiser, and flying better than I know he can, for only He knows how this Bird can truly fly.

I know my father would be proud of my son today (and I like to think he also has his hands on Bird’s solo flight).This circle of life, revolving around me, this day bringing me such great strength and such deep sorrow, with His hand leading me on.


  1. Thanks for reminding me of how blessed I am to still have my dad in my life. =0) I'm sorry you have to celebrate without your Dad here on earth. =0(

    Next year, use Father's Day as a TRIBUTE TO DAD and tell us all about him so we can know him, too! I bet it will bring smiles to your face to relive his memory and keep it alive.


  2. Very cool tribute. I am glad you are able to have these awesome memories of him.