A Father’s Love

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As the middle of the week approaches each week, I say to myself “I have nothing to write for my Divine Download.” And then I pray and wait.

The other day, as I approached a church on my daily walk, I heard music playing that sounded just like Irish bagpipes. Then I saw the funeral procession moving slowly up the street and I thought about the family who was grieving their loss. Was it their mother, father, husband, wife or child? So many thoughts tumbled around in my head, as I realized that someday, that would be my funeral and my family and friends would be grieving for me. That made me ask myself some questions. If I was to die tomorrow, what is the legacy I will have left the people I love? Will I have lived my life to the fullest? Would I have any regrets? What would people say to my children about me? Had I communicated to my family how much I loved them and how proud I was of them? I hope that people will remember me for how I have loved and how my life inspired them to be and do more than they ever dreamed possible.

As I turned the corner and watched the black limousines lined up on the street, I spotted a tall man dressed in Irish garb. He was playing the Irish bagpipes right outside the church, and I was surprised by the tears that began to roll¬†down my cheeks. “What is going on”? I wondered.

Then I had a flashback to 42 years ago, on the day of my wedding when I was 21 years old. It was only a year after my mother had died suddenly, at the young age of 44, and although I was excited about getting married, I was still grieving the loss of my mother and missed her terribly. However, I wanted my wedding to be a happy day for everyone, so I did my best not to dwell on it.

On the morning of the wedding, my father smiled at me and with a twinkle in his eyes said, “I have a special surprise for you at the reception.” I couldn’t imagine what it might be as I was already aware of the effort my family and friends had made to be supportive and how much they wanted to make it a happy day for us.

Later on at the reception, while the band was taking a break, all of a sudden the doors opened on the other side of the room and in marched an Irish bagpipe band. What a surprise! We all got up and danced around the room and then followed the Irish band into the next room where people were celebrating their son’s Bar Mitzvah. They loved the music too, and joined us in dancing around the room.

As the tears rolled down my cheeks this sunny day in August, I felt my father’s presence and his love for me. Although I enjoyed that surprise 42 years ago, I didn’t really feel the impact of my father’s love for me as his daughter, until right then in that moment. I thought to myself, “Why did it take all these years to really feel that love and understand the significance of what my father did for me that day?” When I realized that my father died 12 years ago this month, I knew I wanted to let him know how much I appreciated what he did for me. I whispered, “Thank you dad for making my day so special, even if this is a little late.”

I don’t think it is ever too late to express our gratitude for the people we love, even if they are no longer with us. I think that is what that beautiful Irish music was reminding me of. It’s important to let the people you love know how much you value and appreciate them.

Live each day to the fullest because tomorrow is not promised. We only have today. Thank God for your life and all the gifts you have received.

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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

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