Saturday, September 12, 2015

Three Years.

Three years.  I can hardly believe it has been that long.  Most people that I have known for years know the significance of September 12th and why I hold this day dear to my heart.  It's the day my dad passed from this earthly life and stepped into his eternal life.  In some ways, 3 years feels like an eternity, but in some strange way, it sometimes feels like it was last week.  How has it already been three years since I've seen my dads big smile, or laughed at one of his corny jokes, held his hand, or heard his beautiful tenor voice belt out a song on the radio or the hymns in church??  I guess I shouldn't be too upset because if I close my eyes I can still see his face or if i try real hard I can still hear him singing Two Princes or Lift High the Cross...I know, 2 very different genres, but he loved all music.  

I had no idea that 3 years ago, at the age of 32, that I would lose my dad.  I had no idea that he was going to pass away before I got the chance to do so many of the things daughters get to do with their dads.  I had no idea that I could have a hurt that cut so deep into my heart that a part of my heart will never heal.  But I do know is that he is no longer struggling with Alzheimer's.  And I do know that he is still with me.  And I do know that I have those memories and pictures to remind me of the  kindness and love he had for me, my mom, my sisters, his friends, his co-workers, and anyone else that he would meet along his road in life.

On this past Thursday, a gentleman, by the name of Ted Green, stopped by my mom's office.  Ted was a family friend and also happened to be my dad's Stephen Minister at our church...he visited my dad about once a week while my dad was at home by himself.  They talked, they read the bible, they watched Andy Griffith...they did whatever my dad wanted to do for a few short hours.  Well a few days ago, when Ted stopped by my mom's office, he brought a single rose.  She wasn't sure what he was doing there as he walked up with tears in his eyes.  As he handed her the single long stem rose, he told her one day before Alzheimer's got the best of him, that my dad realized he was dying and had asked Ted that on the 5th anniversary of his entrance into heaven that Ted please take a rose to my mom to remind her how much he loved her.  Because my dad did...he loved my mom with his whole heart.  And even though we were only coming on to the 3rd anniversary, he thought my mom needed the rose this year...and then proceeded to tell her that he would bring a rose to her every year from my dad.  

That's my dad for you...always thinking about someone else!  Always there to remind us that he's still with us and that he loved my mom and us girls more than we will ever know!

My dad had a kind heart.  A thoughtful heart.  A loving heart.  And I miss him every day!  And though I still get that tear in my eye and that lump in the back of my throat (maybe even an occasional break down) when I see a picture of him or hear one of his favorite songs, even 3 years later, I feel so blessed to have had such a role model in my life for 32 years!  

James Spong Appelquist
Our first Walk to End Alzheimer's walk in 2008.
My last picture with my amazing dad!