|Photo by Simona Balint|
This is Dad’s first Father’s Day in advanced dementia. It’s the first time I really can’t tell him what he means to me. I miss him so much.
One thing I miss a lot about Dad is our conversations. He was thoughtfully open-minded, having earned a masters at seminary and completed a masters thesis too, so he was no stranger to thorough research and critical thinking.
He taught my brother and me to think outside the box and to think for ourselves. He encouraged us to take a good look at different ideas and didn’t limit or pressure us to have specific opinions.
But he didn’t just tell us to think for ourselves, he modelled it too. As a teenager he followed his honest convictions rather than giving in to pressure to submit to tradition.
As I grew up and had more mature conversations with him, I started to recognize how he still wasn’t swayed by tradition or peer pressure–his beliefs came from a combination of heart (conviction), mind (thinking), prayer and Bible study.
As a result he raised kids who pour hours into studying, thinking and praying about their belief systems, who don’t feel compelled by Christian status quo. That’s probably one of the biggest gifts he’s given us.
I miss our conversations. I miss his encouragement and the interesting things we always talked about. I miss my Dad.