A haiku for my father:
Yesterday brought life.
I live in the day between.
Tomorrow, death… LIFE!
Charles William Long, Jr.
Dec. 10, 1946 – Dec. 12, 1971
This picture was taken by my cousin, Katherine Long Merullo, when I was in the Boston area for my Grandma Long’s funeral in 2000. This was the only time I have been to my father’s grave, and I am so grateful that she captured a photo of it.
I don’t really remember my father, as he died when I was only 13 months old. When my children were infants I had random fragments of memory of being held, and of being loved. I have often wondered what life would have been like had he lived. I wonder what I would be like, had he been here while I was growing up.
The last few months have been rather full of sadness, loss, and grieving. My step-dad died September 17. My life with him from age 7 to 17 was not an ideal situation, but since I have chosen to live in forgiveness I have been struck by how much I miss him, and by how many fond memories I have of him. I have also been struck by how much his death has reawakened within me the aching feeling of loss from my father’s death. I am grieving not one, but two dads.
And yet, though I mourn, I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and is very much with me.
And yet, though I mourn, I have hope that I will see both my Heavenly and earthly dads when I die:
Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
II Corinthians 4:14-18
I was struck by a statement in the book The Outrageous Promise: A Story of God’s Love Beyond the Iron Curtain, by David M. Robinson and Gabor Gresz, which is as follows:
Hope is intimately linked to faith. You cannot have one without the other. Hope is the emotion of faith. It is the emotional life inside a promise. Hope brings the promise to life in the one believing it. (p. 44)
…which in turn reminds me of Hebrews 11:1— Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
And so, though I mourn, I have hope.
And so, though I mourn, I am thankful.