Well, that's how I've felt over the past few days. Just not myself and not sure why. But today, while looking for yet another thing I'd misplaced (that's the topic of another blog post) I ran across this short piece I wrote a few months after my father passed away in 2003. And I think it answered my question: I miss Daddy.
My father has been gone for almost 16 years, but anyone who has lost someone close to them will attest to the fact that the pain never completely goes away. It changes, it gets better, but it never goes away.
I remember writing this piece, but I never think about it and I think I only shared it with one person, Chelle. Today I'd like to share it here to ensure that it never gets lost again.
TODAY I WORE MASCARA
Wearing mascara really isn't a big deal to most women. They do it as a matter of their regular mouning routine, in fact many of us wouldn't leave home without it. I used to be one of those women until… until my father died.
You see, I've never been the type to purchase the most expensive brand of mascara. I tend to buy whatever is on sale and, consequently, from time to time, my mascara runs.
For several months now I've been afraid to take the risk of wearing mascara because the tears I've cried daily would certainly let my co-workers know what I'd been crying -- again.
That's how it has been since Daddy died, but that's not surprising to anyone who knows me and the relationship I had with my father.
My father was a very, very special man. That was evident the day of his funeral when the line to get into the church ran the entire length of the sanctuary and out onto the sidewalk. But that wasn't the first time I realized just how special he was...
I knew my father was special when he brought me my first roll of "5 Flavor" lifesavers. He was special when he confronted a group of girls in the neighborhood who made me cry by saying that eyes were as big as windows. He as special when he surprised me by picking me up from my third grade class, only to find that I had to stay after school because I'd been talking too much in class that day. Daddy was special when he showed up to every special event of my life, and in the life of our family, dressed handsomely in a suit and tie.
He was special to me when he bought me my first leather jacket when I was in high school just so that I could feel "cool." (I can't fit it, but I still have it. I have never been able to get rid of that jacket, it represents so much to me.)
How special I felt when he took time off to fly to my college miles away just to spend a weekend with me. How proud I was when he walked me down the aisle on my wedding day. How sad I was when he became ill.
Oh, but how blessed I was to see my father handle his failing health with the strength of a lion, yet the grace of a gazelle. Never did he complain. Daddy knew he was in God's hands and was confident that all was well and within the Lord's will.
When my faith failed, when my heart was in despair, it was my father who boosted my spirits, sometimes by telling a joke or funny story, but often by simply squeezing my hand. I knew what that meant; it meant that everything was going to be all right.
Since my father has been gone, I've cried each and every day. Sometimes at the sound of a particular song or because my nephews remind me of him or because something just happened that I'd love to tell him about. But, to tell you the truth, most times I cry because of something I can't even describe. I just cry. And because I do, I'd stopped wearing mascara.
But today was different. Today I wore mascara.
I didn't really think about it beforehand, I just did. Went right to that bathroom shelf, got the mascara, and began applying it. Just like I did before. Before Daddy died.
Big mistake? No, I don't think so. I had to try. I had to take that one baby step toward taking control of my life and reminding myself that God is still good. I know that the strength of my father lives on in me, so I'll try it again tomorrow and see what happens. If the tears come, I'll let them fall.
I can't speak for tomorrow, just for today.
Today is the first day in a very long time that I wore mascara. And I Cried.