This past weekend was a BIG one for our family. Well, not just “big”…HUGE! After a quick change from the original plan, our daughter’s sweet boyfriend became her FIANCE! It’s a fun, sweet story (one I hope to document on another day), but today I want to talk about a conversation I had with my dad…a year ago this past week.
The date was April 8, 2016 (thankfully I was taking lots of notes at that time…and the time/date stamp feature in my iphone confirms it). It was a Friday and while my #datewithdad always happened on THURSDAY (and did that week as well), he was in the hospital which meant I was pretty much there EVERY day.
My mom needed a break so I took the afternoon shift. This latest hospital stay was a result of labored breathing and he had been there for the three days previous (after making it almost a full week of being at home). He was worn out and napping when I arrived, but perked up just in time to chat for a minute and then announce that he needed to “rest my eyes…for just a few minutes”. This meant he would soon be asleep…but also that he didn’t want me to consider leaving.
I was sitting next to the bed just looking at him and praying – for him, for my mom, for ALL of us that were getting worn out and tired from the last few months of non-stop care. Out-of-the-blue, his eyes slowly opened and he looked at me and said, “I miss Luke”. I smiled, and before he heard my reply of, “Me too, Dad”, his eyes were closed and he was back asleep.
(*side note: That night I asked the girls for a picture of the grandkids – and shared them with him the next day. The pic on the left was us skyping with #lukethomas and telling him the Grandpa Jim was missing him.)
About an hour later, he opened his eyes and smiled big and said, “Oh, Good – I’m glad you are still here, I have something REALLY important I want to talk to you about.”
I gulped (not knowing what he wanted to say) and answered, “Ok…”
“I want to know what you and Tom REALLY think about AJ? Tell me what you know about him.”
After breathing a little sigh of relief, I went on to tell my father (some was a “reminder”) what I knew to be true of the man our daughter had dated for over two years (but had known for most of her life). “Well, as you know, he comes from a great family and he is really respectful to his parents and has a great relationship with them. He’s graduating soon from Tech and has worked really hard at school…something that hasn’t always come easy for him. I love knowing that he has a strong work ethic. He has been involved with campus ministry at Tech and was active in the youth at Chase Oaks before college. He has a strong faith and loves the Lord and Brooke has made it clear to us that their relationship has a firm foundation on Jesus.”
He grinned as he pulled the covers close to his chin (he was ALWAYS “freezing”) and closed his eyes as he said, “Well, that’s exactly what I wanted to know. I had no doubt that she would pick a good one!”
As he drifted off, he added – “So, you think he’s The One?”
“I don’t know, Dad…but I know he makes her happy. We really love him and he is a good fit in our family. I know you have always prayed for their choices – so, just keep praying for them both to have wisdom in the future, ok?”
His eyes stayed shut as I added, “Oh, and I forgot to remind you…remember, AJ’s an Eagle Scout! And I know he loves this country!”
Eyes still shut but the BIGGEST “Lynn Grin” came over him as he said, “Well, now – THAT is the icing on the cake!”
And immediately following that comment, his eyes POPPED open and he said, “Speaking of CAKE…weren’t you going to get us something to have as a treat? I’ll take mine now!”
Good gravy…the man could turn any conversation or event in to a need for a “treat”/dessert!
One year later…I know my dad would be THRILLED to know this happened this past weekend.
While we all said “Yes” leading up to AJ proposing, I know that my dad would have said “Absolutely” as well. But- to be clear, he would have also given a strong warning/charge of “And…You better take good care of her…or else!”
AJ: Welcome to the family. Just wanted to make sure that you KNOW that we think you are awesome…and that this conversation happened – that you have Grandpa Jim’s blessing and “thumbs up” about marrying his Brooke! He was CRAZY about her…I’m thankful that you are too!
Oh, and Dad – you would be LOVING your great-grandgirl, #aisleyelizabeth . This girl loves food ALMOST as much as you…and has, at 14 months, perfected the “Lynn Grin” you are so famous for!
I miss you, daddy…happy “Anniversary of your first day in heaven”! (April 18, 2016) Can’t wait to spend forever with you!
#prettySureHisTreatWasAPopsicle <-sugarfree, of course!