Flowers on a tombstone die.
In two short weeks, the 10 year anniversary of the boys’ and I losing their dad will be upon us. For years, we did all the “right” respectful things…. visited the gravesite that bore a custom made tombstone in the shape of a bench. The bench idea was born out of me wanting the boys to grow up having a place to spend time visiting their daddy. Looking back, I guess in my numbness and grief, I envisioned them sitting there, talking to daddy about the little league game where one of them knocked the ball out of the park. Maybe Hunter would go and share a deep secret that he’d never share with me.
Anniversary after anniversary, birthday after birthday, holiday after holiday, year after year, I took them. I had custom flowers made to match the particular occasion. Hunting themed, fishing themed, Chase’s graduation colors, you name it. Sometimes the boys went went willingly. Sometimes not. More times than not, the flowers were stolen. We had resorted to having to chain them to the tombstone. That hurts. It wasn’t always peaceful. Sometimes it felt like we were constantly picking a wound…. the grief. That all changed when the boys got to be driving age. I left it up to each of us to go independently of one another. Or for them to tell me when we needed to make a visit.
They never asked to go. So I asked them one day why they quit going as often as the routine I had set. There response surprised me but contained a huge life lesson.
“Flowers on the tombstone die. Or fade. Or get stolen. Or blown away. And Daddy is not there.”
Their daddy lives on in their every day lives. In everything. Their hopes, their dreams, their integrity. He gave them the greatest gift. They walk this earth boldly knowing that he loved them with every fiber in his body…. only Christ loves them more. So many kids don’t even know their fathers, much less the love of him.
Not my boys. The legacy lives on.
We quit visiting the gravesite so I could check it off the list and mark it done. Instead, we changed the rules.
I stopped buying flowers. I give the money to the boys and they use it in memory of their daddy. Many Christmas’s they’ve went to Walmart, picked out and purchased bicycles and given them to needy families. On his birthday last year, they took $200 and went to several restaurants and chose tables that had certain charasterics of their dad and paid the meals. The list goes on.
In honor of the upcoming 10th anniversary, we decided to buy a nice study bible that will be used as a door prize at a block party tomorrow in a community that needs Jesus. You see, flowers on a tombstone die. The Word of God lives forever. Forever.
This was not a story that I was going to share. Simply becuase I don’t believe that the left hand should let the right hand know what it’s doing….. meaning some things should be done discreetly and privately. But in order for Joseph’s legacy to live on, I wanted to share.
The flowers on the tombstone die.
Hope you are blessed…. now go bless someone else!