I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now, but have struggled to find the words to say. How can I fully capture the amazing man my dad was, and the selfless grandfather I had in just a few words? There are so many emotions I wish I could explain to you… So many memories I hold dear to my heart… So many sweet moments that I never want to forget. My dad lost his fight to Non Hodgkins Lymphoma only 5 days after his father passed away due to a stroke he had the day after Christmas. This holiday season has been a roller coaster of emotions, but thanks be to God that the most overwhelming one was joy. Because even in the midst of death, heartache and sadness, the joy we only have through the Lord is with us. We cry, but have joy knowing Dad and 2 Daddy are healed. We mourn, but have joy knowing they are together worshipping the Lord at His feet. We miss them, but know that someday we will be reunited in Glory. How beautiful and amazing is that?!
But I won’t lie. The special place in my life that my Dad used to fill feels so empty now. And the emptiness only seems to be getting worse with time. Every day I realize a little bit more that he really isn’t coming back. He’s not on a business trip. He’s not out at Walmart lost in the fishing section again. He’s gone and never coming back. That is SO hard to comprehend right now. I keep thinking I’ll hear his laugh across the house. I keep expecting to get a random joke texted to me, or see him sitting in his recliner reading his Bible. I’ve caught myself reaching out to grab my phone and call him, just to say hi. And I keep dreaming that he’s still here, only to be hit with reality when I wake up and remember that he’s not. Losing my dad has been the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through, and my heart breaks for all the other people out there who have had to go through the same thing.
Most of the time, though, I’m okay. I’ve accepted that the Lord took him Home. I am not angry anymore. I’m not confused or stressed about everything going on. I’m just sad and miss my dad so much. Sometimes the ache is just a twinge when I remember something about him. And it usually makes me smile because he really was a funny guy. Then at other times the ache takes my breath away when I realize I’ll never get to make memories with him again. Going through this kind of grief is so new to me, and I know my family and I would not be where we are right now if it weren’t for the Lord. People have asked how they can help and all I can tell them is to pray. Pray for peace. Pray for understanding. Pray for comfort and healing. And most of all, pray that we continue to glorify God through our grief and loss.
I have no regrets. My last words to Dad were “I love you”. He smiled and winked at me like he always did. I was able to say goodbye to 2 Daddy, and let him know how much he meant to me. My family has rallied together and we’ve had some amazing moments as we went through old pictures and reminisced on these two great guys. The joint funeral we did for them was beautiful, and I was blown away with the support we received from our community. We sang “10,000 Reasons”, and when we got to the last verse I knew that was the song my Dad kept singing his entire journey with cancer. He never took his eyes off the Lord, and that is something that has changed me forever. Bless the Lord, oh my soul!
And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
10, 000 Years and then forever more
Bless the Lord
Oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name
One of the hardest parts about losing someone is not wanting to forget what made them so special to you. The big things and the little things. And let me tell ya- there were a lot of things that made my Dad so amazing…
His love for fly fishing.
The twinkle in his eye when he did something silly behind mom’s back.
His lectures that would last for hours. I’m not exaggerating.
When we would get up early in the morning to run together before work.
Watching movies together and quoting said movie for the next five months. Ooor years. Nacho Libre will always remind me of him!
The way he would pretend to “sneeze” smushed up green peas at the dinner table.
Or when he would put raisins over his teeth and smile. “What?? Do I have something on my teeth?”
His love for hiking, lakes and beautiful mountain views.
All the #dadjokes and his puns! Thankfully he instilled that amazing talent in his children, so we’ll keep his legacy alive.
The fact that he always told you why you were in trouble, and made sure you understood it (refer to previously mentioned long lectures…).
The way he would pull us into his lap and give us hugs.
The amazing smoked brisket he’d make, or his *famous* smoked Thanksgiving turkey.
His “Chilean” voice when he made fun of the way they talked. And all the times he used the Chilean slang terms he learned from me and my brother.
How he would photobomb pictures by skulking in the background. The way he wasn’t afraid to call me out when I wasn’t acting right, or asking me about my walk with the Lord.
Our conversations over the kitchen table, or in front of the fire about life.
How he would make fun of my lack of ability at starting a fire. And always audibly gasped when I told him how many fire starters I used.
His awesome cowboy hat he used to wear all the time when he commuted to work in Chile.
How he would check in with me to just see how things were going.
His random phone calls during the Bonham High School football games when one of my favorite drum cadences was playing.
How much he loved playing games with the family, as long as they were s-l-o-w. Like Scrabble, Hand and Foot, Chicken Foot and Farkle. He was never a fan of fast paced anything.
The way he would give me butterfly kisses when tucking me into bed every single night when I was little.
When we got to dance to “our song” on my wedding day. And when he whispered “I love you Princess” into my ear while we danced.
The fact that I was married by my dad, and how his voice cracked when he announced us as Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Hicks.
His love for coffee, and knowing the coffee pot would always be full when he was around.
Hearing him snore across the house when I was a little girl.
The one time he came to have lunch with me at school and brought me my favorite chocolate bar.
How he would walk us out to the front porch and stay there until we drove off. I’d always make sure I got in that one last wave before hopping in the car.
His love for Reece’s!
And most of all how much he loved his family and the Lord. I loved hearing him pray and teach. He had the gift of discernment, teaching and wisdom. He was wise beyond his years, and my siblings and I were so blessed to call him Dad.
I know it’s going to take a while to be okay. And even then our “okay” will be different than it was before. Healing from the loss of two great men isn’t something easy, nor is it something that you can overcome in a short amount of time. But I know eventually the pain will ease up, the tears will dry, but we’ll be left with memories that we’ll never forget. I can’t wait to tell my future children all about their Pops and how crazy, kind, wise, patient, caring and silly he was. I am so thankful for the 24 years I had to know my dad and grandpa, and look forward to someday joining them when the Lord calls me home too.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
2 Corinthians 5:6-9
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.