Today marks the third year of my dad’s passing from his 3-year-long battle against cancer. It is surprising how fast 3 years have gone by because I can remember that day as vividly as ever. Guess it’s a day that you can never forget no matter how much time has passed by. It has been said that “time heals all wounds,” but I won’t agree with that. There hasn’t been a day where I am suddenly okay with the fact that my dad is no longer here. It is a constant up and down where some days I am strong and other days memories of him hit me harder than usual. It just depends, and I think that’s how it will be for the rest of my life. Those 3 years that my dad physically endured the fight against cancer were emotional roller coasters for me. I learned a lot about faith from my dad and family as I watched them stay mentally and spiritually strong in the Lord throughout those years. Since his passing, I can testify God’s peace and faithfulness after understanding what it truly means when people say that “heaven is a better place.”
The other night, I was cleaning out a box of cards when I found a page ripped out of a notebook. It was a journal entry dated July 1, 2010, 4 months before my dad’s passing. Other than blogging, I have never had a journal. I find it very difficult to leave my personal thoughts down on paper, even if no one will ever come across what I have written the way they can on my blog. This was a rare moment I decided to jot down my thoughts, and I am glad I kept it and found it at such an opportune time! I am starting to see the benefits of having a journal to remember what I thought back then and to praise God for carrying my family through these past 3 years.
July 1, 2010
After Bible study, I stayed in my car, talking to my parents, mostly my dad, on the phone for a good hour. I was surprised at how much more air and energy he had to be able to maintain a conversation for such a length of time. He shared to me his experiences as a teacher back in 1974 when he was 26 years old or so. It was before he left for Florida that he taught grades 1-3 for two years. The best comment he ever got was from a teacher who said that he had never seen a better student teach in his 20+ years of teaching. My dad was known for his creativity, whether it be in math or whatever subject. My dad found joy in teaching and was excited for the challenges that came with each individual student. One day, I hope to be as innovative and creative as he was, inspiring many students to love learning and making a difference in students’ lives. Thank you, Dad, for setting an example for me to be the best that I can be in the field of teaching despite whether I teach elementary school in America or teach English abroad. As I was talking to my dad about plans for the future for me and my brother while he was talking about his plans to remodel the house, it seemed that my dad was tearing up, talking about how my brother and I still had years ahead of us to live. It made me tear up to think that one day my dad wouldn’t be around to see me keep growing up… graduating grad school, getting a teaching job, buying my first house, getting married and walking down the aisle with me, and so on. It even makes me cry right now to think about this and to know that my dad got emotional thinking about it too. Sometimes I feel like I bottle up all these feelings so that I won’t show to others how vulnerable I can get if I let my emotions take me over… but God is faithful and gracious to my dad and family. Despite the good or bad circumstances, may God be glorified and may I find joy and peace continually in Him.
One of my favorite verses that has carried me through the years…
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” –Romans 12:12
I love you and miss you, Dad! ♥