Sunday, May 5, 2013

May 5, 1985

28 years ago. A long time ago.

May 5 never rolls around without me doing some reflecting, remembering. Some years more than others.

My Dad passed away from a heart attack 28 years ago. He was 49 years old. I was 9.

Every now and then I go back in my mind and remember the scared little girl...the hopelessness...the loneliness...feeling misunderstood.... I remember how unfair it seemed back then, how unfair it still seems. I think about all the years I missed having a Daddy, and all the milestones I celebrated without him. I think of my husband and the fact that he never knew his father-in-law. I tell my kids about their Grandpa Joe and how he loved children but the fact that they never got to meet him seems so unfair.

This morning, when I awoke, I immediately thought of this day, this anniversary of my Dad's death. I briefly went back to that 9 year old girl, but then I stopped. I felt God so strongly telling me "Don't look at what you lost. Look at what you gained."

So I did. I thought about the love and compassion people showed our family. I thught about the many, many people I have empathized with and encouraged because I truly knew what they were going through. I thought of the verses in the Bible that talk about God being a Father to the fatherless. Those weren't just words on a page. I had experienced them first hand. I thought about the faithfulness of God. I don't just believe it by faith but I know it's real.

Do you know how I know? Because not once in the last 28 years did God ever leave me alone. He was there through it all.

My story is unique. So is yours. See God's hand in it. Learn about His heart. Look at what you gained, not at what you lost.


  1. I love how you turned to gratitude! Yes, He did write your story unique, just as He is writing everyone's story. You can trust His hand, that He wanted to show Himself to you in a way that you would not have know Him if your life would have been "normal". ~Renee

  2. Beautiful attitude for something so hard to face! Love that last paragraph, something I need to start working on.

  3. i guess we've been without our dads for a close to the same amount of time. it's been 28 years, and will be 29 years this year. blessings as you remember

  4. gulp. feeling tears. hugs to you today and what a sweet, tender heart towards your heavenly Father and his plan for your life! xo

  5. Freida HostetlerMay 6, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Beautiful post, Wanda. Blessings to you!

  6. so true...thanks for posting this.
    haven't been over here on your blog for AGES and then today I come and see this post...which as I began to read made me wish again I could've known my Grandpa Joe.
    But the ending of your post was the best...about being thankful for what you GAINED through it. I've been pondering this thing of thankfulness lately and how I really have so much, no matter how rough or complicated life seems, I still am SO BLESSED!

    on another note...hope you got lots of bargains at the garage sales today. =) the people at the tour thought your girls were mine. =)


  7. Visiting here always inspires me, Wanda! Thank you for these beautiful thoughts. God can make such beauty out of pain....that is evident in you. Love, Luci