On a day that sandwiches me between Father’s Day and what would have been my dad’s 90th birthday, I miss him. I don’t just miss him being here physically. Alive. Lately, I’ve also been missing the extraordinary ways he reached out from Life after life, reminding me he’s with me still. Reminding me that Love lives on.
It happened a lot the first year he was gone. Incredible reassurances came again and again. But it’s been a long a time. So long that when I woke up yesterday, I wished him happy birthday, and asked him to please let me know he’s still close.
Before the day ended, he did.
I had worked all day revising, for the ten-thousandth time, a detailed synopsis of the book I’m writing about an incredible sacrifice I never knew my father made for me until he was dying. That singular decision set him on a hero’s journey like no other. I was eager to finish and send the synopsis to an extraordinarily kind person in publishing circles who has taken an interest in the story. I was determined to send it to him on my dad’s 90th birthday. Finally, I took a deep breath and pushed send, and then set out for my June 14th tradition: a celebratory ice cream cone for my dad.
Ice cream was always our thing, from the time I was a little girl until just before life eluded him in his 82nd year. On the night my father died, Heavenly forces moved in the unlikely form of our favorite confection. (Click here if you missed that story.) And then, last night, ice cream carried the Divine again as I honored his 90th at our local parlor.
My youngest son and I stood at the counter debating the multitude of flavors when I spotted the one I always ordered with my dad: peanut butter and chocolate. I had been at this same location only two weeks earlier and was told my flavor had rotated out of the selection with no plans to bring it back. But last night, there it was.
I pointed out to my teenager the gift of it suddenly being available for this day. He mentioned the word coincidence. I paid no mind. Curious, I asked the scooper if peanut butter and chocolate had been added back to the lineup. “No,” she answered. “It was just that we ran out of the regular flavor and needed a substitute. This one was left over, hanging around in the back so we figured we’d use it.”
With raised eyebrows, I looked at my boy who said, “Okay… that is weird.”
I smiled. What he calls weird, I call a Divine a gift, a reminder that the veil between Heaven and earth is tissue-paper thin, a reminder that Love lives on.
Today, as I sit between two days that are hard on a daddy’s girl, I still miss the physical form of the man who understood me best and loved me most. I miss his voice that I play again and again in my mind so I don’t forget it. And his hugs and his laugh. But I know he’s here. I suspect he has been all along, whether I’ve seen him or not. And I want you to know the loved one you’ve lost isn’t far either.
There’s a holy means by which we are all forever connected, a Love that defies our minds so cemented in the tangible, and allows our boundless Spirits to soar. If you’re having a hard time grasping this notion, I’ll help you hold it. I’ll be here to remind you. Just like my dad reminds me.