4 years ago today was definitely the hardest day of my life. March 7th, 2012 I said goodbye to my dad. In so many ways I thought I would never recover from that day. I remember standing in the hallway thinking, how can I leave this place? I couldn’t imagine leaving the hospital, let alone moving on with my life. That’s the thing about time, it moves on regardless of if you’re ready or not. It can feel cruel in a sense. Time is pushing you forward when you’re trying so hard to stand still. But what I’ve learned is that what can feel so wrong at the moment can truly be a blessing. When time moves on we are forced to move on with it. We’re forced to feel things, forced to encounter scary firsts like Holidays and birthdays… And while it hurts like hell what you discover is that the wound isn’t fatal. You brace yourself for the blow and then crack open your eyes to realize that not only did you make it through but you laughed and you learned. I miss my dad … I miss his smile and smell. He was such an amazing uncle that I can’t imagine how great of a grandpa he would have been. Those are the things that get me … The memories I’ll miss out on making. But then I look at my siblings and my family and I’m blown away by the strength and the growth that’s sprung out of what was meant to tare us apart. While I desperately wish he would have been healed and he was here with us today, I’ve learned that I carry him around with me everywhere I go. The Bible says I’m being cheered on by a “cloud of witnesses”, it reminds me of sitting next to my dad at one of my sister’s track meets … If anyone can cheer for a daughter, a father sure can. That’s how I picture him. I’m running this race and he’s sitting in the stands watching. I know he’s on the edge of his seat, encouraging me under his breath as I take hard corners and screaming my name as I cross finish line after finish line. God has been so good to me and my family, I can’t ever deny it, and I won’t. John says, “in this life you will have trouble. But take heart for I have overcome the world”. Jesus didn’t say this thing would be easy, but he what he did say was, “hang on to me, I’ve got this … And it’s going to be good”.