Today is the first Father’s Day my kids spend without their dad. I am not sure if they even realize it is Father’s Day. I will probably be sure to bring it up because maybe with our day of travel and it being a distraction, it won’t feel as awful? Maybe it will help getting this first out of the way
When we knew Jeremy was going home on hospice, I was sitting there talking to him about the things that had impacted me about him, the things I loved about him. I shared with him how I was proud of him and the father he had been. That our kids would never doubt for an instant of his love. A little while later when I asked him what he would want to me to share at his memorial service, he said with a smile, “That.”
So below is the portion of what I had to say about Jeremy at his service in regards to how he took on the roll of being a dad.
“First, being a good dad was so important to him. Jeremy has been an incredible father. Our children will never doubt for an instant that they have been loved and adored by him. They have memories of how he would get on the ground and wrestle with them or how in ones, two, or threes they would snuggle on the couch together, how he would put them to bed EVERY. NIGHT. I think I felt guilty about that in the past. I felt like I was the mom and I probably should be doing that, but he did it every night… for me, to give me a break, but in the end it actually was one of the things he fought cancer for… to be able to put the kids to bed every night and pray with them. He realized that though he started the ritual for me, he had come to love it for him. When he got sick, I stopped feeling guilty about it and started feeling grateful that they had that from him. It actually was one of the things they told me they missed after he got sick. The girls wished that Daddy could still carry them to bed and they all said they missed him praying for them at night. He has been faithfully there for them for all of their life and for that I am so incredibly grateful. Jeremy has been a good father. Eli, Josie, Ari…he loved you so, so very much. He loved each of you for your unique God given qualities. Eli, he loved your beautiful gentle caring spirit. It is what I prayed for you while I carried you in my belly, that you would have a gentle caring spirit just like him. And you ARE like him in that way. I don’t really know if he realized that you got that from him even though he knew that was what I prayed. He admired how relationships are important to you. How people are important to you. I know he wanted you to remember that how you treat others is how you are going to be remembered. And he was a good example of what that looks like. Josie, he loved your hugs and the peace that you bring with them. Those hugs brought him such comfort especially as he was sick. You have a sweet peaceful spirit, something I prayed for you too while you were in my belly, and Daddy loved that about you. I know he missed being able to work outside with you by his side while he was sick, with you watching how things worked and trying to figure things out. I see him in you in that way. You think like your daddy and I love that. Ari, oh Ari. Joy…Daddy loved the joy you bring with you. The laughter and spice that you have made him laugh, giggle and smile… all the time. So many times you would do something that made him laugh and he would just look at me across the room and smile this big goofy grin and shake his head. He truly enjoyed you. Do you know what I prayed for you while you were in my belly? I prayed Joy over you. You have it and that is what he most treasured about you. Your Daddy thought you were so much like me but I think you get your laughter from him. Your daddy had the best laugh. Eli, Josie, Ari…you all are unique and Daddy loved you all with your unique God given qualities. I don’t think he realized that those qualities were a reflection of his God given qualities and the beautiful things about him. I am grateful that I get to see those things live on through you. He is a part of you. Even though he isn’t here with us on earth, I pray that you remember how much he loves you.”