A Missed Blessing

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 posted by: Sapier Lam

This morning I called my daddy to check on his flight, he says he's waiting patiently to board and it's been delayed 30 minutes. I pause.. and I give a big sigh of relief. Daddy is coming home. This is present time, today.

Rewind, about 2 months ago I had not spoken to my dad. The last time we had talked he was suppose to board a flight from Fresno, CA to Dallas, TX to come home and finally be with us. In that conversation, my dad was partying the night before his flight. He talked to me in slurred speech, obviously drunk from his party that was still going on. I called him the day of his flight, surprised by his slurred speech again. I asked, "Daddy are you drinking again today? Your flight is about to leave in an hour. Please make sure to get to the airport. I'll see you later tonight." I was disappointed that day, although not surprised by my father's behavior. You see, all my life I have grown up with my father drinking to the point where his behavior gets out of control. I've had calls in the middle of the night where my dad has gotten into a physical fight with someone, or my mother is crying from having to bail him out of jail, or some sort of drama that has been stirred up once again. I was use to this kind of behavior. I had long forgiven my dad for his decisions he made that affected our family. I learned to love him and accept him where he is. I continue to pray for him.

So that night, I drove out to pick up my father at 12 am, the time his flight should be landing. My husband rode with me along with my 5 year old niece and my 4 month old nephew, whom my dad had not yet met, his grandson. All of us were anticipating to see him, especially my 5 year old niece who had grown such a special bond with her grandfather. You see, my father had left since April. We hadn't seen him in 7 months. Again, this was something I was used to. My father likes to travel, not that he has the luxury to do so financially. He was always looking for some kind of adventure something to get into, whatever his reason, he just could not stay home, and being a family man was hard for him. He was always itching to go somewhere, be somewhere. I always say my dad is a wanderer. So that night all of us were excited, but physically tired from the lateness of the night. We pulled up to the pick up curb at the airport waiting for my dad to walk out. I had called him several times to tell him where we were parked and he did not pick up. We waited 30 minutes after the flight had landed and we watched as loved ones embraced their families. Each family member and friend was picked up until finally the crowd died down. I stared as my heart began to sink. I knew in my heart what had happened but I held onto hope as I continued to stare and wait. After a few minutes, I finally told my husband, "Go home." He looked at me confused, but evenutally pulled away. I made a phone call to the airline and sure enough his seat was never filled. He had never boarded the flight. My niece and nephew were sound asleep as I sat there in disappointment, anger, and hopelessness. I felt hurt.

Since that day, I had not spoken to my dad until just about two weeks ago. I had recently called him and told him how I had felt, but also told him that I had forgiven him and that I loved him. I really just wanted him to be home. I could tell that he missed me, and that he was really sorry for what he did. After a couple of weeks of phone calls back and forth we finally booked another flight, and he is coming home today! I called him this morning, no slur speech was present, and he is patiently waiting to board his flight. The excitement in me was stirring as I said a quick prayer of thankfulness to God, and prayed for God to be with him on this flight, to come home safely.

As I sit here and write this, I'm thinking about our reunion. It's now been 8 months since I've seen my dad. I miss him terribly. I've been thinking a lot about him. I recently read a book that challenged me to go back in the past and think of some memories that I had long forgotten about, some of them really good, and some of them really bad. One thing I found that threw me off and surprised me, were the "really good ones". You would think that the bad memories had a lot to do with my dad, and they did, some of them, but a lot of the "really good ones", well they had EVERYTHING to do with my dad. I cried as I remembered those memories. My daddy use to take us to these special gem of a place. He would find secret spots where we could freely ride our bikes or run and hide and play in parks, trails, and just be outside and be a kid. My dad is a big kid at heart. He loves to play, joke around, and just be so wild and crazy. He was a crazy fun kind of guy so growing up with him was a lot of fun. My dad loves to tell the same jokes over and over. I knew every joke he told. The laughing was not always the joke itself, the laughing would come from watching my dad laugh at his own jokes, the same jokes he'd tell over and over! My sister, brother, and I would laugh so hard at how much fun my dad was having at telling his same old jokes. The memories of our childhood flowed through my mind, and I smiled at every single one of them, because my dad was a part of every single one of them! His infectious smile, laughter, his playfulness, and his kid at heart spirit. The joy he brought into our lives.

I missed that all of these years. I missed the fact that my father was a great blessing to our lives! All these years I focused so much on his bad decisions he made in his life. I focused so much on the things he did wrong, and the things that frustrated us as a family. I totally missed the fact that there was a lot of good he did do in our lives. He did a lot of things right. He loved us the best way he knew how. Sure, he made terrible decisions, and we all do, we all need forgiveness. One thing he did right, and probably the only thing that matters, that I will always be grateful to him for, is loving us. He loved us wholeheartedly. My father did not have parents to look up to growing up. He was an orphan at a very young age, always took care of himself, and the only life he knew was the street life, as I use to call him, "a wanderer". Now I know, my dad was the best dad he could be to me and my siblings. He did his best and he did it well. I love my dad so much, and my hope is that this reunion, this time, I will get to share with him, how much he means to me, how thankful I am for him, and tell him all the things he did right, and how much I love him.

Be thankful, dear friends, for the missed blessings in our lives that are here TODAY, not tomorrow, and not some time in the future, but the blessings that are here TODAY, that we often fail to see and can miss out on. God shines through the lives of those he so purposely placed in our lives. Don't miss out on the blessing of those people that God intended for you to embrace, and receive. God is asking us to open our hands, palms up, and "receive".. The love he pours out into each of our lives, are here right now, and here today!

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