It was the sweetest visit.
The time went by way too fast, but it was precious. Three full years, almost to the day. Right down my street. He came and he stayed, with no rush or agenda. Just sitting, visiting and reminiscing.
We laughed so much. Sometimes we cried. We went on Father Daughter “dates” and drank the best cup of Main Street coffee (his favorite). I rocked with him every summer night on his porch. I signed every note and card “Daddy’s Little Girl”. He told me so many stories about his life that I never knew.
I didn’t think I could love him more than I already did. His visit changed all that, and my love grew deeper every day.
I wanted happiness for him, yet even through the fun times and the laughter, there was always a bit of loneliness in his eyes for home. For his sweetheart.
At times I could tell he was physically in pain, but he would never complain. He always smiled. He always laughed. He joked with me and he worried about me. Each conversation was like a comforting hug. Each “goodnight text” and each “good morning” Santa emoji made me smile.
I knew he wouldn’t be able to stay long, but in my heart I had hoped it would be longer.
He didn’t like goodbyes, so the day he left shouldn’t have been a surprise. He wouldn’t have wanted to say goodbye. He wouldn’t have wanted any sadness, so he quietly left. He went home. Home to his sweetheart. Home to his Father.
I didn’t want him to leave. The pain seems unbearable to not have him here with me anymore. I wonder if the tears will ever stop. At times I am completely broken and feel I can’t go on.
He moved in, right down my street on October 6, the week of Homecoming. We got to watch the school parade together. He got to see his great grandchildren marching and calling “Hi Pops!”
Three years later on October 8 he left.
The week before Homecoming.
Now he is truly Home.
And I think of him and how happy he is to be there. No more pain or loneliness or sadness. His little girl could never have taken that away from him while he was here, no matter how hard I tried.
I’m so thankful God gave us that three year visit. What a precious, happy time. I know without a doubt that I will see him again. I will get to go to his home and it won’t just be a visit. We will have eternity to laugh together with our Heavenly Father. No more tears or sadness, pain or loneliness.
It was the very best visit. Every day mattered. I’m so glad I realized that sooner than later. I’m so glad I rode my bike down to his house every day. I’m so glad I cooked him meals and took him to doctor appointments. I’m so glad he got three wonderful years with his grandkids and great grandkids. I’m so glad I didn’t have to say goodbye. It was just a visit and I will see him again soon. He isn’t gone forever, just for a while.
Thank you Jesus for allowing him to visit me. Thank you Jesus for writing me a love letter that gives me the assurance that this was not goodbye. Thank you Jesus for preparing a home for him. Thank you Jesus for preparing a home for me. Not a home on Prospect Street in Caseville. A home on streets of gold. Next door to my daddy in the presence of our Father.
He isn’t home in heaven today because he was such a great dad or grandpa. He’s not home because he went to church or tried his best to be good. He’s home because of Jesus taking away his sins on the cross. He’s home because he knew he was a sinner that needed a Savior. Jesus transformed his heart and life.
All of us are truly just visiting. This world isn’t our home for eternity. We don’t ever have to say a final goodbye. I’d love for you to know that you can have a home with my dad and my Heavenly Father someday. I’d love for you to meet the man that made my heart so happy and the Father who’s joy is my strength.
We can be free of the fear of death because of Jesus.
That’s something my daddy would’ve wanted you to know.
No sad goodbyes.
Just a sweet and precious visit.