When you don't know to grieve, because you don't have it yet...

July 18, 2017

 

 

I found out after Christopher and I got engaged, that my father-in-law had had his eye on me for some time. Of course he wasn't looking to marry off his younger sons just then- but he saw worth in me, and mentioned it to his wife. He valued me. At 15, I couldn't have had any idea that I would come to value him as I do now. He was just that Dad with a sparkly smile, that videotaped everything at school. He died long before Chris or I ever fell in love or decided to marry each other.

 

He feels more and more a critical piece in our story. As well as in the greater story, of the family I chose.

 

I told Chris last night,  how I never expected to have to grieve someone after the fact. {Short of God willing it} I'll never have a father-in-law. I wouldn't have known how much I wanted one, until it isn't an option to get yours back. While my husband laid in our bed, reliving his most vivid recollections of his father... I wept. I did not cry because I shared in his exact experience. I cried because I myself, was at that funeral.

 

That day- I looked down the line of this family I only knew to an extent. I looked on older siblings I hadn't yet met, greeting people and solemnly smiling and nodding. I looked on a grieving wife as the hurtful reality of it all, still sat on her gracious face. I looked on a tall, lanky teenage boy who I called 'friend'. While I saw every single one of them individually- it genuinely was that awkward teenage boy that I stared at that day. He looked lost in it all. He looked unsure of how to do any of it. He was all grace, and all lostness mixing together. 

 

So while we huddled together in our shared bed last night- I cried for the realization that in that moment, I believe in my soul, that in a crowded room... God reached down and gave me eyes to truly see Chris. It wouldn't be until all these years later, that that grieving boy would turn to a grieving man- and that man would be mine. 

 

As any great pain, it comes and goes for my husband. It is livable, and then crushing. Livable, and then crushing. Again and again. Even when Chris doesn't feel it. I do. So many people lose themselves after the death of a parent. My husband did not. He messed up, he failed, he struggled as we all do in life. But he did not lose himself. He grows day by day, into a man that I can only believe would thrill his earthly Father. 

 

Imperfect, broken and human man that Joe Legg was- his legacy is felt by me, on his birthday this year... because it is his first birthday as my father. It is his first birthday, as my Dad. Heaven or Earth- my Dad. That means something to me. Just having had a handful of meaningful moments with him... will forever hold their special weight.

 

Happy Birthday, Dad. 

 

You'd be so proud of your family.

 

Thank you for taking part in the preparation of this man, that I am desperately in love with.

 

I will forever be grateful. I will forever take great care with him. 

 

 

 

{Sidenote- I can't wait to talk to you in the presence of Jesus.} 

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