Father’s day is a loaded day for me. I find myself in that group of people who have lost a father but I’m also married to a great one – it’s like standing in a whirlwind. There are wildflower memories, playing with my Dad’s cowboy hat when I was three, sharing similar gifts and understanding that you don’t always need to speak the important words out loud.
I pluck that flower out of its spin and smile until it withers away, wilted and gone from this life. It’s a beautiful pain, knowing that there is an eternal spirit but it’s also a thorn that digs in a little deeper on this day.
Up the mountain we go. John is a good Daddy and the kids love these days when we all go exploring together. High on the mountain we find little explosions of blue butterflies dancing around the wildflowers. We are geocaching and find ourselves overlooking the world. It takes my breath away and I envy the birds that can fly over the earth and take it in, all smeared together like a Monet painting.
A little brick ledge separated us from the edge and a name catches my eye. Written on a rock is a woman’s name that was born in the roaring 20’s and…Oh.
I find more names, etched, painted, and written on the day of their final flight, scattered over this place that only let’s you cross when you’re done here.
We keep moving up the mountain and don’t stop until we make it to the tip top of the sky. Flags attached to the tops of trees flutter and a few men gather around a launch pad. Hang gliders are waiting for flight and the guys are pacing back and forth, waiting for the wind to shift in all the right places. What is this strange mountain where people come to fly, in the spirit and in flesh?
My whirlwind settles as new memories get placed in the happy bank. Every holiday comes with the winds of change for all of those who are coping with loss, but the thorns have to be plucked out and it has to be a choice.
We all stand in front of the launch pad with man-made wings waiting behind us and I wonder if these men have families. Are they flying to or flying away?
The King of all Father’s is never far from my mind as He is the One who has made the sky we stare into as we dream of flying and finding new ways to feel free.
The butterflies lilt and spin around the flowers, dancing in the midst of this beautiful, messy world and I can feel the Father of us all in the wind.
Breathe deep, He says, breathe Me into all the empty spaces and keep moving up the mountain. I Am enough for the whole world.
Is someone missing from you holidays? Feel free to share your thoughts/memories in the comments.