Saturday, March 20, 2010

Grief's Journey

I'm reading through a great little book by H. Norman Wright called Experiencing Grief. I'm very familiar with it - having read it before and offering it to many. But in the weeks after losing my Dad I'm reading, pondering and praying through the book yet again. There's a quote I especially appreciated today. "I cry from time to time, and often find myself swallowing this strange lump in my throat. But I am learning not to apologize for my tears since they are God's gracious gift to me to express my loss, and a sign that I am indeed recovering. As I continue to feel, God continues to heal."

Though I have had moments of intense sadness because I miss my Dad, my most overwhelming emotion is gratefulness. He imprinted my life in so many ways. I am so thankful for my Dad. I walked all over the house today looking at cards he had sent, seeing his handwriting in books he had given me, and looking over his handywork in things he had made which we display proudly in our home. I was blessed. I still am.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

For Dad

I’m dedicating I.N.S.P.I.R.E. to the memory of my Dad, John Farris, who passed away this past week on February 22, 2010. My Dad inspired me. He always believed in me and was a great encourager in my life. Every area of I.N.S.P.I.R.E. makes me think of my Dad. Education was very important to my father. He was a lifetime learner. At the age of 90 he still read three major newspapers each day. When we discussed I.N.S.P.I.R.E. this past November (photo) he expressed to me how important he thought the skills of writing and public speaking were for people to develop. We talked about my work in counseling, and he asked meaningful questions about showing people compassion in hearing and responding to their problems in life. My Dad encouraged my art from an early age. I spent many happy hours in his workshop, drawing on pieces of wood. If he needed that wood to build something, he would not paint over the drawing or sand it off. He would put a coat of clear finish over it and just use it on the bottom of a piece of furniture where it was preserved. He treasured the things we made. He had a love of music and encouraged his children (six of us) to play musical instruments in school. From his efforts the beginning sounds of piano, clarinet, cello, accordion, recorder, guitar and two violins were heard in our home. I played violin, and then the guitar for many years. It was enough to give me a great appreciation for those who can play music well. Dad was a believer in physical fitness and rode his bicycle on 100 mile rides into his 70’s. We were big on walking in our family, and he took us on mountain hikes in the nearby mountains. I think he would have enjoyed watching the run/walk event. The following week after this picture was taken, my Father sent me a check of support for I.N.S.P.I.R.E. There will be an additional award in art given out at the Gala Celebration in his honor. Thank you Daddy for inspiring me. I hope I can pass it on to others. Until I see you again in heaven, I will miss you more than words can express.
Your loving daughter, Penny
John 14:1-3