To My Dad
I had written a post about the glory of my Michigan summer vacation, but since my father's sudden passing, I haven't had the heart to post it. To everyone who has reached out to me in any way, know that your prayers and support have given me comfort when I needed it most.
I will just leave you simply with the words I spoke before my father's funeral. I love you all.
"A few hours after I received news of my dad’s death on Friday morning, I stood up as a witness at the wedding of one of my dearest friends. As they recited their vows to one another, I could not help but listen to the marriage vows they recited with a completely transformed perspective on what they meant. “For better or for worse, in sickness and in health.” My dad didn’t just recite those vows once to my mom, but the intensity of his love and the seriousness of his promises were literally incarnated into his everyday life.
It was because of this that I have been privileged to know and understand the unconditional love of a father. I have never once doubted Our Divine Father’s love for me, because I knew so intimately what a father’s love should be. When my father passed away, it was almost like a veil had been lifted from my eyes, and I recognized immediately his supreme gift that was an intense and pure love. It was a love that was patient and kind. It was a love that believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I wrote those words to my dad last week as a gift, but I never got to give it to him in this lifetime. Words that sounded so cliche and familiar to me suddenly took on a clear and intensely profound meaning for me when I understood them in the context of my dad’s love for my mom, and for us. It was an example of divine love that transcends our human understanding, and I can only hope to impart a fraction of that same love to my own son.
My dad had a love that was able to see past any fault or human weakness and cherish a person intensely from the heart. As Mother Teresa put it, he had the ability to “see Christ in His distressing disguise.” This was the legacy of his mother and father, and we want it to be the legacy that our family gives to others: to see and love the face of Christ in every person.
To have that kind of faith is to have a gift, but for my dad, it was also a struggle at times. It’s hard to keep the light of faith burning in the midst of trial and suffering, when God’s will is hidden from your understanding. My father trusted even when he had no faith, and he submitted himself again and again to Christ when he was feeling barren of any consolation or assurance. Over the past few days, I have seen my family follow my dad’s example, placing our intense sorrow and suffering back into the hands of Our Lord, even though we do not understand, because that is what my father showed us. We have been able to see that unconditional love even in the midst of our agony. And as my dad did, we are living in the words of Augustine: “In my deepest wound I saw Your glory, and it dazzled me.”
So thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being here, and for your willingness to keep forever burning the legacy of authentic love that my father lived. We believe this is not our final goodbye, but a call to awaken within ourselves the reality of faith and love until we meet my dad again. So to my dad, we say, as he always said to us on our way to bed, 'Sweet dreams, God bless you, and I love you forever.'"