by Terri Owens Blanchard
I remember as a little girl working on a very important, top secret project. I gathered my supplies, went to my room and hoped that I would not be discovered. With paper and crayons in hand, I sat on the floor and began to create a masterpiece for my dad. The result, a paper card that read “Happy Father’s Day” on the outside and “I love you, Daddy” on the inside. As colorful as the card was, looking back I don’t think it was about the card I gave him, but more importantly, that it was a gift that came from my heart.
Several years later, I wrote a poem to my dad for Father’s Day. My grandmother scripted it in calligraphy on parchment paper and framed it for me to give to him. As touching as it was, my dad treasured it because it was another gift from my heart to his heart.
Fast forward almost thirty years later. As I sat next to my dad on his hospital bed, the doctor informed us that he had, at the very most, three months to live due to cancer. That night, I was able to tell Daddy about Jesus and he was willing to listen. My dad accepted Christ as his Savior and committed his life to God, not knowing how much longer that would be.
Amazingly, God blessed my dad and me with a year and a half together! During that time, we were able to mend past hurts and emotional healing took place for both of us. I am so thankful to God for giving us that time together. Three days before the next Father’s Day, my dad went to Heaven.
That Father’s Day, and every one since, I thank my Heavenly Father for the gifts He gave to me and my dad: the gift of His Son, the gift of the opportunity to share Jesus with my dad, the gift of my dad’s salvation, and the gift of our time together before he went home to be with the Lord.
Daddy’s gift was no longer about what I gave him but what he gave me. It was the gift of my dad giving his heart to God’s heart. Furthermore, it was also about the gift of time with my dad that my Heavenly Father gave from His heart to my heart.
By the way, the poem I wrote for my dad read:
You were there right from the start
I loved you with all my heart
We had some problems that’s true
But with each other, we pulled through.
You loved me through all the years
Happy times and moments of tears
Watching me grow from baby to almost grown
I was your girl, I’ve always known.
We’re alike in so many ways
When we’re apart I count the days
Like father like daughter, we’re a pair
I love you Daddy, I’ll always care.
I miss you Daddy, I really do
I hope we can be together real soon
You’re extra special, especially to me
‘cause you’re my Daddy and you’ll always be.
Terri Owens Blanchard is a wife, mother, and Mimi to her precious granddaughter. She is a Mary Kay Consultant, a small group leader to the Military Wives group, and an assistant small group coach. She loves to shop, travel, and shop as she travels! She also enjoys spending time with family, friends and her crazy pets.