I was an oops baby. A late in life baby. A surprise. Over the last 29+ years I've gotten used to that title. I embrace it. I love my place in the family. I'm the baby. What better place to be, right? My siblings are 18, 15, and 10 years older than I am. My parents were 35 and 49 when I was born. For most of my childhood my mom worked and my dad, who retired when I was 5, stayed at home. It is great. I am completely and totally spoiled, yes, still even now.
There was one part of being the baby that wasn't so great. Nine years ago today I lost one of the most important men in my life. After a long battle of smoking induced COPD my daddy went to be with our Lord. I was 20. Before Daddy died he was very sick for a long time. Due to his illness he missed most of my high school basketball games, my FHA events and even my high school graduation. I have more memories of him being sick than I do of him being healthy. He still had a great spirit, even when it was hard for him to get out of bed. Sometimes I'm jealous of the years my siblings had with him when he was healthy. When he golfed and played with them. When he coached other men out of their shorts and changed the lives of so many. Yes, being the baby does come with some green tinges of jealousy.
I remember that night when Mom called to tell me he was gone. I woke up so many of my Chi-O sisters that night with my sobs. They comforted me and helped me pack my bags. They traveled in weather that was down right miserable to come to the funeral. They warmed my heart. I haven't talked to many of you in years.....thank you. And I think it is time we changed that. :-)
For years, this day hasn't bother me that much. I was sad, but knew that he was in a better place. "On earth I have given you glory by finishing the work you have given me." John 17:4 Last year one of my student's fathers was very ill, fighting cancer. I wrote him a note telling him my story and throughout the following weeks he learned to confide his emotions and feelings in me. One year ago today, his dad went to be with the Lord. How our stories paralleled each other was amazing. Thanksgiving in the hospital, taking care of our mothers, celebrating Christmas so soon after a tragedy. It was an incredible experience for me to help him through that. One that makes me more knowledgeable and aware of God's amazing plan for our lives. He knew nine years ago that he would use me to minister to another who was too young to loose a parent.
Today I could say that Daddy never met my husband and has never seen his grand-daughter, but I know that isn't true. He is with us every single day. He is especially with us on this day, when we remember his amazing life. I love being the baby in the family. It is all part of God's plan. I miss you Daddy.