Dancing in Heaven

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One of my very favorite things about my dad is that he was a dancer. I’m not talking ballroom here. I’m talking middle of the kitchen after he served himself a GIANT bowl of ice cream, up from the couch after the 9ers scored a touchdown, or over my bed as he pulled open my shades and yelled, “RISE AND SHINE!” at 8am on a Saturday. And he wore hospital pants for his pajamas (because they were incredibly comfortable) so I picture those surgical green scrubs dancing around our house. It’s one of those images that my mind always goes to when I think of my dad. And when I picture him tired and weak and pale from the cancer, I squeeze my eyes shut and force that image to the forefront. And for a moment, I’m taken back to a time when both of my parents were healthy and alive and when the thought of that changing wasn’t ever present. When I think of my dad now, I like to think that he is somewhere, dancing. And now that my mom has left us, I hope that she is up there, too. I don’t really see her dancing. It is more like watching him and laughing and clapping gleefully. That’s my new image.

As a little girl, I was incredibly close to God. Seriously, he was my best friend. He was always with me. I talked to him all day long, just as I would with a tangible friend. As life happened, He was always my one constant. It wasn’t until the last 8 years or so that things changed. My friendship with God. My religious affiliations. My complete understanding in His plan. And I’m sure a lot of that can be attributed to the loss of both my parents. I get that. But it really is so much more. But today, that isn’t the point. Today I simply say thatI miss Him. And that I’m still, and forever, grateful.

Now I’m not looking for others to read this and immediately bear their testimony. I actually hope that doesn’t happen. I’ve started a new post on my relationship with God over the years and I’ll post it when I’m really ready. I wrote it with the hope that it will give some clarity to those who don’t understand my choices. But writing it did so much more for me. It made me start to feel His presence again. I love that. Anyway, more on that another day.

The point of this post is to address today. I woke up with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Seriously, like a heavy blanket over my soul. I have no doubt that it is because of today and what it means for my family. I know, with complete certainty, that families are eternal. We only get such a small time together here on earth and that is incredibly hard to understand. But one day, because of His ultimate sacrifice, we will be reunited.

The week before my dad died, he went to church with me.

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I should mention that he was completely against my chosen religion and had never attended a service with me. But he went and the opening hymn was “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.” There is a line in the song that says,

He lives and grants me daily breath.

He lives, and I shall conquer death.

My dad broke down in tears because at that point, he was looking for a miracle and he took that line as hope that God would give him another chance and he’d conquer death and live. I knew that it meant that even if he didn’t make it here on earth, he would conquer death by receiving eternal life, BECAUSE of the resurrection. And in that moment, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Quite like today.

Now, I’m not one to preach but the thing is, THIS knowledge is what holds everything together for me. It is the idea that one day I get to hear my mom’s laugh and see my dad’s smile. And that lights me up and carries me through. So on really hard days, I picture all of us, together. Dancing it out in surgical green hospital pants. Free of pain. Free of heartache. Full of joy. Forever. That is what today means for me.

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I know that my Redeemer lives.

What comfort this sweet sentence gives!

He lives and grants me daily breath.

He lives, and I shall conquer death.

He lives my mansion to prepare.

He lives to bring me safely there.

 

I hope that we can all feel this peace, today and every day.

by

I am a 30 year old California native who just moved back to the state after being away for 10 years. In that time, I’ve established a career that I love and spent the last 3 years completely invested in. I absolutely love teaching high school, but I have an overwhelming sense of regret that I let my love for my students and my desire to help them take away the time I could have spent with my mom and my husband. It is for this reason, plus my overwhelming desire for adventure, that I’ve asked my husband if we could move back to my home state. I’m coming back fulfilled and confident but completely broken as I’ve now lost both parents. I’m just trying to put back the pieces as I figure out how to honor both of them while truly being happy and moving forward. I’m essentially starting fresh, as a lifelong mourner. Each day is a tribute to them and to my marriage. I feel a rush of excitement and I know that though the change is HUGE, it is going to be incredible. My dream is to laugh every day, allow myself to grieve my losses, regain my relationship with God, and build a stronger relationship with my love. Cheers to new adventures!

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