Sundays have always been special days to me. It goes back to my childhood when it was my "job" to wake my dad up from his nap on Sunday afternoons at 4:00 so he and I could go to the church and "study". Well, he would study for his sermon on Sunday night and I would do a million different things. I would practice the piano, teach myself how to play the organ, practice singing with soundtracks (always out of breath as I ran from the back of the church to the front, trying to beat the start of the song HA). I would type all kinds of things, draw, color and read. I probably bugged my dad a few times too but it was all part of our special time.
Sundays are really what my dad worked toward every single week. Very seldom did he miss a Sunday because that was "his day".
1) It was on a Sunday that I gave my dad that last hug and kiss and waved goodbye as he drove away for the last time. I would never get a chance to have "him" back again.
2) It was on those Sunday's in the hospital that I would sit beside his bedside, allowing my mom the ability to and freedom to walk away for a bit, and talked to him about life even though he couldn't respond.
3) It was on those Sunday's, again, that I would play the livefeed from Faith Baptist Church in Linden - "His church" - so he could hear the praise music and the preaching from two young men he cared for deeply, Pastor Daniel and Pastor Jay.
4) It was on a Sunday that I sat with my mom in my dad's room and watched his breathing become more shallow; where I listened as my mom whispered that it was ok; that she would be ok and he could go home.
5) It was late on a Sunday night when I got the call that my dad was gone. It seemed fitting that it was on a Sunday . . .yet, it makes it hard.
I've found it difficult to return to church as I've known it. The joy is gone. I'm not even sure I can explain it as I wake every Sunday and face the magnitude of what our family has lost. I know our situation is unique because my dad was a pastor for so many years and impacted so many lives. He is loved and missed by many. That doesn't remove the fact that he belonged to "us"; to my mom, my brothers; their families . . .and now we are the ones facing the Sundays without him. I know God is good; I know God is faithful but I still miss my dad.
For each person that grieves, the day or time is different that sits heavy on their hearts. Maybe they spent every Monday night next to their loved one and now Monday nights are long and quiet; or maybe it was a Saturday morning phone call that is no longer given or received. It doesn't matter the day or time; it is still a moment of loneliness; a void that can't be filled; an emptiness that is surprisingly shocking as it arrives each week.