Friday, November 20, 2009

November 20th

Today is a day I will always's bittersweet....November 20th, 1993 my dad lost his battle to cancer, but he won eternity in Heaven. He was 41 when he past away.
I choose not to focus on the details and sadness of that day, but rather the legacy that my dad left. I have been without my dad for more years then I was ever with him, but research shows that the most significant years of a childs life happen before age 7 and since I was 13 when my dad past away, I can honestly say he played a major role (you too mom) in who I am today.
I am thankful that he instilled in me the importance of Christ in my life. Now days there are tons of Christian organizations out there trying to help families raise their kids to know Christ....back then, there was Focus On The Family (which of course is still around today). My dad was a fan of James Dobson and I have to throw in he was also a listener to Paul Harvey. :) He was a family man, no doubt about it. He valued family meals and family devotions. He drove a semi and I remember often riding with him and spending the day in the truck.
People will say that girls marry someone that reminds them of their dad...I don't know that I truly 'thought' about it when Dan and I got married, but in many ways, Dan and my dad are the ways that are important and I'm thankful that my dad, being who he was, set a high standard for me.
Our kids know about Grandpa Van Dam and talk about him regularly (which is kind of crazy since they have never met him), but Josiah often likes to talk about what will happen when he dies...that he will get to meet Jesus and just how cool it is that he will have a grandpa already there waiting for him and he's very excited to meet him.
I loved my dad and I'm so thankful for the legacy that he left for me and my family.
A common thing for him to fall asleep when putting us to sleep. :)

*I know my siblings won't love having their pictures from 'back in the day' posted, but they weren't half bad looking then...really. :)

My dad and I

Here's a poem that we were given when he past away:

Don't grieve for me now I'm free, I've followed the path God laid for me, I tood His hand when I heard Him call, I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day, to laugh, to love, to work or to play. Work left undone must stay that way, I found God's peace at the close of the day.

If my parting has left a void, please fill it with remembered joy. A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss, are all the things that will be missed.

Do not be burdened with grief and sorrow, I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow. My life's been full, I savored much, good family, good times, a loved one's touch.

Perhaps my time seems all too brief, don't be weighted down with undue gried. Lift up your heart and rejoice with me, God wanted me now--He set me free.


Shannon Joy said...

This is bittersweet and beautiful Michelle! Thanks for sharing. Your dad sounds amazing!

Heather said...

Thanks for sharing Michelle - how beautiful that your children have such positive thoughts of someone they have never met yet can still be so excited to meet someday. Thankful for you that God has provided a beautiful family and a husband that reminds you of your dad - bet that makes him smile. : )

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about you yesterday even before I saw the blog.

How nice that you share your memories of your dad with your kids. They are so blessed to have you for their mom.

Your mom hasn't changed except for the glasses. Looks just as young now as then.

Like daughter.

You are loved!