So it’s been just over 6 weeks since my dad died and just over 4 weeks since his funeral. (We had to pause in the middle of our mourning to celebrate my oldest daughter’s wedding on the weekend between the 2 events.) I’m not going to talk about his death here because, quite frankly, it was one of the most horrific experiences I’ve ever had. It was a roller coaster of emotions, deep pain and an awful mash-up of bad behavior. And I am still having trouble accepting that he is gone, that I will never see him again (in this world).
I miss my Jeffrey. I’m sure my mother misses him even more. They were married for 30 years last July. (Okay, yes, I’m 56, so I’ll come clean here, Jeffrey was my step-dad, or as I like to call him, “my dad by choice.”) He was a wonderful, loving man. My mother can only remember him getting angry twice in all the years she knew him, which is twice more than I remember. I deserved his anger more than once, my ex-husband probably even more. That doesn’t mean he never got angry, it means he never acted in anger, he never spoke in anger and he never let anger dictate his actions. He did, however, let love dictate his words and his actions.
He wasn’t a saint, he had his faults. Just ask my mother. But the point here is, he loved better than anyone I know.
My son wrote a beautiful eulogy for his grandfather’s funeral. So it got me thinking, what do I want people to say at my funeral? And what changes do I need to make in my life to ensure those things?
What do I want people to say about me? I want them to say I was loving. That I loved my family and friends deeply and unconditionally, even the ones I didn’t like. I want them to say I followed Jesus to the best of my ability. I want them to say I was a good friend, daughter and mother. I want them to say that they could see Jesus shining through my words and actions.
What changes in my life do I need to make to ensure these things? I need to get a better rein on my temper and a better rein on my tongue. I need to diffuse my anger and think before I speak. I need to entrust my emotions and actions to Him. In other words, I need to surrender my life more fully to Jesus. I need to remember that He loves me, completely and unconditionally, that He has my best interests in mind and I need to trust him completely. I have a lot of work to do but I do trust that if I continue to pursue Him that it is possible. After all, He is a loving and forgiving God and He loves me. He is the only one worthy of all my worship and praise. He went to the cross for me, for my salvation. I am not worthy of that sacrifice but He did it for me anyway.
How am I going to make these changes? I am going to place my trust in Him and return to reading and studying my Bible. I am also going to continue practicing daily gratitude. I look forward to spending more and more time with Jesus.