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The frame had changed only slightly and slowly, very slowly at that until the month before we said our last hello and goodbye. The brown eyes never changed. They were as bright and warm and loving as ever in their gaze. A cherished Dad now gone. What is an orphaned girl to do?

My weekly calls will now go unanswered because the voicemail box is full. The greeting will be the same as its first long-ago day, “If you wish to speak to Theresa or Paul, please leave a message“ then a pause, beep, silence. Silence. Mom died 16 years earlier and Dad kept that same message. Sameness. Comfort. Change. Lostness.

Distraction and busyness only dull the heartache. A make-believe game of “Grown-Up,“ a daily theatrical performance, never quite reaches the source of pain like the gentle hand that tries but cannot soothe the deep pain in an arthritic hip. The great counterfeit cures: the Stiff Upper Lip Pep Talk, the Rationalization of the Intellect, and Time fail.

Oh come, Great Comforter, Dad of Dads, and sit with me in my despair. Your presence this pain to bear. Under its weight I am undone lest you help me now.

For some, this Father’s Day is a pain-filled and love-filled mixed blessing. If you are in this place, I sit with you, among you, one of you, in prayer for you. God is with us. All is well.

-Susan (of the Wildflowers)

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