Happy Birthday, Daddy

I don't know if Heaven celebrates Earthly birthdays but I figure you're having a fabulous day regardless.  I know you are whole and well and overflowing with joy because that's the plan for God's children. 

I wish I could talk to you and hear you answer me back.  I wish you could tell me what you're experiencing and learning - I know beyond a shadow of a doubt it's beyond my wildest dreams.  Do you get to see Jesus anytime you want?  Is it so awesome that it's near 'bout scary to stand in front of God's Throne?  That rainbow that Scripture tells us about - do you get to walk around its entire circumference and does it take your breath away? 

I'll bet you've already conquered a lot of the books He has there.  The Science and History ones, anyway.  For theology, I suppose you get to ask all the questions you want of The Sovereign King Himself?  Do you get to hang out with your Mama and Daddy and siblings a lot?  And have you met David and Paul and Noah?  I look forward to chatting with Peter - we have a lot of similarities I think.

Compared to what you're living now, things down here are quite temporal.  Oh, we think it's dramatic and exciting and incredible but you know better - life here is just a warmup for Eternity. Training ground for what's really real.  I am not sure if you even have time to glance down from time to time but I know with all my heart that you think about us, especially Mom.  And I am absolutely certain that you talk to Jesus about us all.  Thank you.  We're doing OK, Daddy.  We're doing OK.  We miss you terribly.  How someone so quiet could leave such a void is beyond me!  But you have.  We talk about you a lot and wonder what you would think about such and such and so and so. 

I want you to know (in case you don't already) that we're taking good care of Mom.  Just like you wanted us to.  We did "black bags" for Christmas and Robert threw out the candy in your place.  Gotta be honest - it wasn't the same.  But we did it anyway because you'd want us to.  The kids are all doing great - you would be so very proud still.  They are smart and deep and kind, just like their Papa.  (And they are fun and witty and wide open, just like their Alice!)  The great grands are practically perfect, as you well know.  Baby Lucy made it here after you left, but maybe you met her on the way.  She is positively gorgeous.  Jonathan is still uncertain about that red Indian and Mary Alice is still the prettiest baby you've ever seen. They asked about you last time they were here.  It made me cry.

Mary's getting married in just a few weeks.  She's got something planned to honor you so I hope you'll peek down and see.  Katie pulled out pictures of you from her wedding and the memories flooded.  So did my eyes. I cherish that shot of us together.  Chip is loving school - I wish he could discuss his research with you.  The rest of us don't understand him.  Betsy is still swimming and singing.  I am glad she got to serenade you every morning. 

Thank you for the gifts you gave us, Daddy.  The gifts of intellect and of gentleness and of generosity.  The gift of valuing all lives and that of prioritizing kindness.  The gifts of loving to learn and to teach and to sing. The gift of faith, especially the gift of faith.  Because of that, we know where you are and we will see you again.

I wish you could've stayed here a while longer, Daddy.  But I guess we'd never be ready for you to go.  I wish I could've made you oatmeal cookies one more time.  Maybe somebody will fix you a batch today to celebrate. 

I think about you every single day.  I am so grateful I got to be your daughter.  I hope you hear me at night...I still tell you "Good night, Daddy.  Love you.  See you in the morning."

Oh, and if somebody does make you some heavenly oatmeal cookies today, I hope you don't like them as much as you do mine.  I'll make you some as soon as I get there.  I love you.