Cassandra Moton – Children’s Programming Pastor
Dad died. Two words that turned my life upside down and changed everything. Two words spoken to me by my sister over the phone on Thursday afternoon. Two words that I was not prepared to hear. Two little words.
Five hours later I was on a plane to my hometown in Canada with my husband and our three girls. How we got there is a blur. I do remember fighting with the check-in Kiosk at the airport when my husband and daughter took over and a kind West Jet employee rescued us. I couldn’t even remember if I had packed any underwear or warm clothes? I just wanted to get home.
But home isn’t the same. The moment I got here I could feel the empty space my dad has left. It is quiet.
We were just here for Christmas and now nothing is the same. My dad was loud and outspoken. You never had to guess what he was thinking or what his opinion was. His Facebook posts alone would let you know everything – yep he posted at least ten times a day his thoughts on the government and the world. And yes, he knew he was right and everyone who didn’t agree with him was wrong. He loved a good argument, as long as he won in the end. His favorite thing to do was spending time with all his grandkids. My sister lived next door to grandpa – so her kids were blessed. They got cooking lessons, theatre outings, bus rides to the library, and walks around the neighborhood. He was a great grandpa. My girls loved visiting grandpa – he listened to each of them. Truly listened. He loved to hear their thoughts on life and the world. He always wanted to know what they were reading and had lots of books to offer up for their next read. He truly loved his grandkids. Each of them for who they are.
My dad and I got along for the most part. But disagreed on one big point. God. He truly didn’t understand how I ended up in church and became a Christian. It was a huge disappointment to him. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out if he and my mom spent time discussing where they went so wrong in raising me. So we hardly ever discussed it. I’ll never forget the day my dad said, “I thank God for giving me my life and now He can just leave me alone!” I was heartbroken. I could never find the words or the moment to really talk to him without evoking a fight. He was my dad, I loved him so much. But my love for God seemed to stand between us. Yes, we had brief small moments of conversations, little cracks of opportunity. But that was all. Funny thing is, he loved my husband Jon (who is a Pastor) and highly respected him. He never tried to sway my children from God or church, he honored us in that. Family is hard. Family is complicated. And I miss my dad.
As I write this, two big things weigh heavily on my heart. What legacy am I leaving in this world? What is the imprint I’m leaving behind? Will I have made a difference in this world? Will I have made a difference in a life? I try my best to focus on God and do whatever He is asking of me. I try to think of others before myself, and show God’s love to others. But seriously – it’s hard sometimes. It’s really hard with family.
Is there someone I should be talking to about how much God loves them? Is there someone who needs to hear about God’s love and I’m the one who needs to tell them? I prayed for my dad all the time, even though I knew he would hate it and be upset with me if he found out. But I never stopped. I didn’t care what he thought – I’m just as strong-willed as he is 🙂
Love you dad.Click here for the photo credit on this post