I grew up in the "typical" American family. Or what I considered to be typical. My mom stayed home with us and dad worked a blue-collar job. We lived in a really small town and our nearest McDonalds was a few towns away. Simple.
Just like the "typical" American family, ours was divided by divorce. I was 15 and mom left dad.
I honestly think that their split still lives on in each of their three children (yes, I have two brothers). Each of us handled it in our own ways... to the best of our ability, I guess.
Dad didn't handle it well at all and never really seemed happy again.
Mom became super successful (she worked so hard for everything she's earned) and is extremely happy now. Remarried, great job, nice house, happy life.
Dad passed away in 2005. At the age of 50.
I don't really revisit his final few months too often as they are so extremely painful and filled with those dreadful "what ifs" that will just drive you down. But one thing that I remember most, is him asking for my mom to come and see him. He was in an accident and had a head injury and his memory wasn't what it should be. Eventually it came back, but while in ICU, there was a time when he thought that him and mom were still together.
And mom came. She sat with him for a while and talked to him like nothing had happened. And this was about 12 years post divorce.
He loved her.
It never fails that when I'm at church (whether it be Catholic or Church ABC) I feel close to my dad. Not that dad was a church going man, because he wasn't. His church was the lake. Dad dropped us off at church and he went fishing. That was just the way it was.
I think that being in church just opens my heart enough, to allow me to feel him with me.
Because on a day to day basis, I almost have to keep myself hardened to it because I can't go around crying all the time.
So yesterday, I was at Church ABC and we were singing (I did sing this time) and I kept having to stop because the tears were just filling my eyes. I was having a really hard time holding it together.
I kept thinking of the Bible that my mom gave me. It was hers and she carried it to church with us every week when we were young.
She has since lost her vision completely, and no longer can read it. I am assuming that is why she gave it to me....but maybe it's because my dad gave it to her.
You see, this is where I cry.
Dad was not a church going man (I know, I already said that), but he knew that his wife was a church going woman.
He had this made for her.
And while it's not necessarily what I would consider my "taste" or my "style" (do bible covers have style?), I treasure this.
But most importantly, I treasure it because of this.
He loved her.
I have no doubt. And having this Bible in my possession is my every day reminder that he loved her with all of his heart, until the day he died.
I don't know where I'm going with this.
I guess it just feels good to know that your dad loved your mom. Even though their marriage failed (and I know why it failed and I understand why she left, but that isn't something for this blog). I understand failing at marriage and sometimes how it can be the best option....but at the same time, it was MY mom and MY dad and I wish that it didn't have to end the way it did.
Because he loved her, and I know that she loved him. Otherwise, she wouldn't have sat in that ICU room for hours talking to him like no time had passed at all.
I am so thankful that he gave this to her. I don't know the occasion or the story about when he gave it to her...but someday I'll ask. Someday when I can do so without sobbing.
I'm sure he never dreamed that giving her this Bible would someday be the token to prove how much he loved his wife. And he was proving it to his daughter...who at the time was only two.