As we prepared to leave our home as usual on Thursday evening for church service, we had no idea that the heavy rain that zoomed by had actually been a tornado. As we crossed the Whitestone Bridge we immediately saw the traffic which had accumulated.
As we listened to the radio for traffic updates we realized that the traffic was backed up on the expressway for miles with no signs of improvement. By the time we would have reached our church the service would have been over, so we decided to head home instead. We had to take the local route through Queens to get to the 59th Street bridge that would lead us into Manhattan and then head home.
While driving through Manhattan, I immediately thought of my father. He works the evening shift in Manhattan. Very excited, I suggest to my husband about stopping by and seeing my dad.
I have not seen my father in over ten years although, we do communicate by phone. I was filled with so many different emotions at the prospect of seeing my dad. I called his place of employment twice and he was not available. I waited outside and noticed a man sweeping out front. I thought I'd ask him if he knew my dad. He said yes, then with my heart beating so rapidly I asked him if he could please ask my dad to step out for a moment.
I waited a few minutes and no sign of my father or the man I spoke to a few moments ago. Another minute or two passed and then.....
I noticed him. I would notice him in a multitude of people.
After all these years....I saw my dad.
It was him. It was my dad.
Before I knew it, I was embracing my father and sobbing.
My father's embrace was so familiar. So many lovely memories flooded my mind when I hugged my dad. Lovingly he told me, "Stop crying, it's ok."
I pulled away and I looked at his face. I wanted to capture his face and praying at the same time asking God not to let me forget how he looked at that very moment. After I let my dad go, I presented him to my teen daughter, she hugged him and wispered, "Grandpa". My dad held his hand out and met his son-in-law for the first time. He reached into my car and met his baby grand-daughter.
We were able to visit with him for only a few short moments since he had to get back to work.
All the time I was trying to etch in my mind every contour and line on his face.
I didn't want him to leave.
I didn't want to leave.
I told my dad how much I missed him and how much I loved him. I was able to share the love that Jesus has for him, too.
As I said goodbye to my dad, I hugged him so tight. I looked at his familiar eyes and told him, " I love you daddy." He smiled at me. I remember telling the Lord that I was more than grateful for this surprise visit but please don't let this be the last time. He said his goodbyes to the girls and my husband and just like that.....he was gone again.
During my walk with the Lord, He did such a beautiful thing in my heart. Long ago I forgave my dad for all the moments that I care not to remember that I had lived as a child. There was no hurt. There was no anger or bitterness. There was only love in my heart towards him. God had renewed love between a daughter and her father. I was so grateful for all that the Lord orchestrated for us that night.
But I have my memories. I remember what we spoke about. I remember his face.
I love my daddy:)