Monday, March 23, 2009

I Will Be Here

On this date in 1957, Van McDonald and Thelma Howell were united in Holy Matrimony at the Alcorn County Courthouse in Corinth, MS. Thus began the love story that gave birth to four daughters, three sons-in-law, one granddaughter, four grandsons, one grandson-in-law, one great grandson and two great family.

The years between then and now have been filled to overflowing with joy, love laughter, tears, pain, disappointment, grief and goodbyes. Today, Daddy, my sisters and I will go to the cemetery to lay flowers on Momma's grave. I now know Daddy will grieve in ways I couldn't have imagined only two shorts months ago.

He has come so far in his grief. It gives me hope that I too can begin to feel almost normal again. I asked him the other day how long it took him to feel happiness again after Momma went to be with the Lord. In his straight forward way, he replied simply "I haven't yet". However, he has reached a point where he can laugh again and really feel a momen't happiness. He has the joy of the Lord which sustains him and he's beginning to feel the happiness of being surrounded by his family again.

It has been a long struggle for him, but I do see the signs of hope in his face from time to time. As often as not, I also see a tear glistening in his eye and now I understand how the happiness and the pain can co-exist in such complete harmony. He will never get over being without Momma, but he is beginning to enjoy life again. I am thankful for that; for him and for me.

At their 40th Anniversary, they renewed their vows before our church and our families. My niece, Katie, sang this Steven Curtis Chapman song for them. Neither could have known how true these words would be before the next ten years had passed and Momma had passed on to her heavenly reward.


Tomorrow morning if you wake up
and the sun does not appear
I......I will be here

If in the dark, we lose sight of love
Hold my hand, and have no fear
'Cause I......I will be here

I will be here When you feel like being quiet
When you need to speak your mind I will listen
And I will be here When the laughter turns to cryin'
Through the winning, losing and trying
We'll be together I will be here

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up
And the future is unclear
I.......I will be here

Just as sure as seasons were made for change
Our lifetimes were made for these years
So I......I will be here

I will be here And you can cry on my shoulder
When the mirror tells us we're older I will hold you

And I will be here To watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me
I.....I will be here

I will be true to the promise I have made
To you and to the One who gave you to me

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up
And the sun does not appear
I......I will be here

Oh, I......I will be here.

So, Happy Anniversary Daddy. I know that, in your heart, you are just as married to Momma today as you were on this day 52 years ago. I understand what that feels like now and I understand the sadness I see in your eyes. Know that your daughters love you and admire you for the man and the Daddy you are and always have been. Thank you for loving Momma and for teaching us what real love is all about.


Constance said...

What a sweet tribute to your parents! You and your dad share a bond that not a lot of other people can understand. Memories can bring such comfort even if they make you cry.

Dave lost his mother 2+ years ago and my FIL is lost without her. Even though he was her caregiver the last couple of years of her life, he's so alone now. He's also angry with God, has been ever since he was 18 years old and his mother suffered terribly before dying of cancer. He'll be 83 this summer and is a sad, lonely, bitter and angry old man. It is pitiful. He is so afraid of dying and being alone. If I had rejected Christ, I would be too!

Glad to see your post this morning, I was getting concerned about you!

Cyn said...

Diane, this is beautiful!What a wonderful example your parents gave you and your sisters.
Give Dad a hug from me and tell him that I wish him a Happy Anniversary as well.
Love you Sis!

Samantha said...

Hi Diane,
This is such a heartwarming post.
It is a beautiful tribute to your parents. You are a blessing to me.
Love you dearly, Samantha

The Raggedy Girl said...

What a lovely tribute to your parents, Diane, and there will be lots of smiles in your life...they are out there patiently waiting for you.

Have a Marvelous Monday
from the Raggedy Roberta Anne

bj said...

A lovely tribute to your parents..
Blessings, bj

Terry said...

Your Momma would have loved this tribute so much Diane.
I am glad that your Dad is one person who can understand your breaking heart, just for the fact that he went through it and is still going through it.

It was so nice to hear your voice at the different blogs because it was so long that we heard it on your own..
May the Lord bless you dear Diane, just as you are blessing everybody else...Love Terry

Sweetie said...

Diane, This is truly a wonderful tribute to your parents. You were very blessed to grow up surrounded by love. I grew up in such a home also.

Diane said...

Thank you to all of you who commented on today's post. Daddy, my sisters and I visited the cemetery today to place flowers on Momma's grave. Terry, my husband, is buried right next to their plot. It was a difficult afternoon, but the grief felt right today. I'm no longer trying to fight it, just go where it leads, as long as it doesn't lead me away from the Lord. I miss Momma more every day and now, I miss my precious Terry too. I like to think of him and Momma there together in heaven just waiting for the time to come when we can all be together again! I love you all and appreciate your kind words and prayers so very much!


Deb said...

This is a precious post and a wonderful tribute to your parents' love for each other!

Although I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to lose your spouse, I do know that the Lord promises to never leave us and He will always be holding you close!