Shine

It’s been four years today since my Daddy left me. Has it gotten easier, missing him? No. But it hasn’t gotten harder, either. The dark hole of sadness hasn’t gotten any deeper. The black emptiness of pain hasn’t gotten any darker. And the gasping, breath stealing anguish sneaks up and ambushes me less and less often.
I knew I’d be thinking about him a lot today, and I had wondered what thoughts would float through my mind. This morning, when I set off to get parts, I sat back, turned on the cruise control, turned off the mental to-do list, and waited to see what bubbled to the surface.
It was this: Sitting with my hand on his arm after his spirit had left his body. The feel of his arm with no life left in it, but still warm. The memory of not wanting to let go because I knew this would be the last time I held my Dad’s hand.
As this memory floated through my mind I found myself wishing I could ask Dad a question. Wondering what he would answer. How he would phrase that answer. And so I asked.
“Dad, do you think I should keep writing? I’m struggling with feeling like I’m not good enough at it to keep going.”
And Dad’s face came to me as clearly as I’ve seen him since he died. He put a hand on each side of my face and looked into my eyes. He leaned in and kissed me, soft lips in bristly whiskers. And all the times he ever told me I was enough came flooding through my brain. Every time he told me he loved me. Every time he told me he was proud of me. Every time he made me feel perfect because of who I was.
In the physical world I was driving through the Silverton hills, past farms and through oak groves, marveling at what a beautiful place I live in. Warm in the sun. Happy with my car. Sipping good coffee.
But in my memories I was being reassured by my father that he had never doubted my ability to do anything I set my mind to.
And I realized I’d always had Dad’s answers and I already knew how he would phrase those answers. He’s already answered my questions. Over and over and over. All my life.
By holding my face in his hands, looking into my eyes, and loving me while he was alive, he gave me a memory that will never leave me and an answer for every time I doubt myself.
Whether there is a heaven or not, Dad let his light shine down on me today. He gave me a sign, a word, and told me what I would find.
Of course this song was playing on the radio. Why am I surprised?
SHINE
by Collective Soul
Give me a word,
Give me a sign.
Show me where to look,
Tell me what will I find?
What will I find?

Lay me on the ground,
Or fly me in the sky.
Show me where to look,
Tell me what will I find?
What will I find?
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down

Love is in the water,
Love is in the air.
Show me where to look,
Tell me will love be there?
Will love be there?

Teach me how to speak,
Teach me how to share.
Teach me where to go,
Tell me will love be there?
Love be there?
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down

Give me a word,
Give me a sign.
Show me where to look,
Tell me what will I find?
What will I find?

Lay me on the ground,
Or fly me in the sky.
Show me where to look,
Tell me what will I find?
What will I find?
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down
Whoa, heaven let your light shine down

I’m gonna let it shine
I’m gonna let it shine
Heaven, let your light
Shine on me

Oh, yeah,
Yeah
Heaven, let your light
Shine on me

Shine on me, yeah
C’mon and shine

3 comments

  1. Blessed be the pain you are feeling today. Strange to say, I suppose. But based on what you have written, you are missing what you had…not what could have been, but never was.

    Like

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