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A gift of hope or encouragement

February 11, 2007

I have been thinking about my dad a lot lately. He passed away in April 2001 on his 62nd birthday after a 22-1/2 month battle with cancer. Cancer isn’t a disease I knew a lot about until my dad was diagnosed with it. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor which eventually spread to his spine. By the end he lost the ability to walk and talk, simple actions we take for granted every day. In a few weeks I will be helping with American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days, a yearly event that raises funds through flower sales, but also gives flowers to cancer patients with the purpose of giving them hope. Knowing how deeply patients and families with cancer have to struggle makes me angry at the disease. I really want to see a cure found.

This morning at church we sang a song that got me through the week of my dad’s death. It was something that gave me hope during that difficult time, and it always brings back a flood of emotions for me. I once again found myself reflecting on who my dad was. He was a son, husband, father, friend, pastor, leader, guide, shepherd, teacher, enthusiast, supporter, community volunteer, youth worker, traveler, believer in people, and man of great faith. My dad taught me to: love God, love people, give of myself, share my heart, follow my heart, be passionate, practice discretion, support worthy causes, listen intensely, love deeply, give my life away, care about others even when it is costly, live with intention, forgive, slow down, be easy going, look for the positives, hold life and others with an open hand, expect the best, dream big dreams, and open my heart to new experiences. Not only was he my father, but he was my friend, confidant, supporter, source of wisdom, and a deep encourager in my life. I miss him and the influence he had on me tremendously.

Who is influencing your life? Do you recognize the impact they are having? People pass through our lives every day. The gifts from those who make you feel valued, who give you hope, and who share wisdom with you are priceless. Are you taking them for granted? Maybe today you should pick up the phone, write a note, or visit someone just to tell them how important they are to you. Two weeks ago I received an email from someone very precious to me saying “I think of you and how often you make me feel like I count.” Words can’t express how her words affected me and touched my heart. Can you spare a few words to give someone hope or encouragement today?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2007 5:46 pm

    Sherie…thank you for bringing me to tears with this beautiful blog post. Your father sounded like an amazing man. I wish I would have had a chance to meet him. Thankfully, someday I will. I’m glad that a song we did this morning was able to bring some comfort to you. It probably was the song I was wrestling with whether to do it or not. God works in mysterious ways! You’ve blessed me with this post and really caused me to think. Thank you.

  2. February 11, 2007 8:57 pm

    I wonder what your son or daughter will say about you in 20-30 years. I am sure you will be an amazing dad too.

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