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  • Writer's pictureJason Brooks

First Father's Day




I woke early this morning…unable to sleep…


“Today’s the day”, I thought to myself. “This is my 30th Father’s Day as a Dad”


I always looked forward to Father’s Day.


It was a day I always knew my kiddos would be near to me…that we would share special times together…make memories that I’m reflecting on today.


Being a Dad has been an amazing journey and joy. In the rearview mirror of reflection, I know I messed up a lot through the years.


Every year I apologize to the little humans God trusted me to love and disciple and lead.


Every year they just smile and assure me I was a “great Dad”.


“Thanks!”, I say, knowing deep down inside how inadequate, scared, and clueless I felt most of the time.

_____


Today, Father’s Day has a heaviness I’ve never before felt.


Plans are made…But, my baby girl is gone.


A special part of my heart God designed for her ripped out.


I remember how Aleya would go above and beyond to make each Father’s Day special for me.


Her specialty was homemade cards.


Starting three days before Father’s Day, her bedroom door would be closed more than usual. It was the telltale sign there was a masterpiece in the making.


Calligraphy. Colored paper and pencils. An encouraging message or poem carefully crafted and created from her compassionate and caring heart.


I’d watch the smile on her face when we would read the cards. Eye’s lit with excitement as her love poured out through the page.


She didn’t have much to give in terms of lavish gifts…


But today I wouldn’t trade even the most extravagant and expensive gift for the homemade cards I keep neatly nestled in a box under my bed.


I miss my Princess today. My heart longs for just one more moment with her.


One more smile…


One more hug…


One more creative masterpiece…a personal and unique expression overflowing with her love.

___


But now, a thought pierces my mind. I try to hold on to the grief of loss because it’s become familiar…but the pain is being gently lifted away.


A whisper from God speaks to the depth of my soul…


”On this Father’s Day, my baby Aleya is home with Me.”



I am UNDONE!!


For 15 years, my Heavenly Father watched and waited.


Her love for Him and His love for her apart…distant…separate.


Watching. Waiting. Longing.


With tears streaming down my face and through soft sobs, I embrace the truth that on this Father’s Day, Aleya is in the arms of her ABBA!…Her Heavenly Father…Her Daddy!


I wonder if she made Him a special, handwritten card expressing her deep love for Him?

I wonder if she wrote Him a poem telling him how special He was to her?

I wonder if she curled up in His lap this morning, with an early day embrace?

I wonder if they will laugh, and play, and talk, and create special memories together?


I wonder if they will treasure this day like I did when she was in my life?


I wonder...

____


Even as I write these heart-wrenching words…


I know Aleya is covered in the eternal love of Jesus!


I know Jesus is overjoyed to have His beautiful child home!


I celebrate the love they are sharing together in this very moment as I sit alone.


My selfishness is real. I long for her to be with me. But, as her Daddy, I would not take her from the reality she’s experience today for anything.


I’m confronted with the reality that often in this life, great gain requires great loss.


My loss is their gain!


Created in my Father’s image for the first time I now know and experience the power of


AND…


In this exact same moment, aching my loss AND celebrating the gain my little girl and my Heavenly Father have found in each other…


…AND knowing in all that’s in me that one day we will all be together.

I will suffer in my present darkness for her with the promise and faith that someday soon, we will be together.

___


On this Father’s Day, I smile through the tears knowing God has brought His baby girl home. They are together now on this first Father’s Day. Forever!!


Jason



Creative credit of the hand drawn picture of Aleya in the arms of Jesus by Daxton Davis, Aleya’s first and only boyfriend. Amanda Davis

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