Friday, August 9, 2013

Family

Two nights ago, I took Erika on a date to the little local restaurant after I got home from work. This new full-time schedule of mine seems to be a bit of an adjustment for her (and me too!). She needed some one-on-one time with me.
She, of course, charmed every last one of the servers and customers on that patio. And I felt so proud of her.  She has this magnetic personality that draws people to her. And last night she was joyful and sweet and polite. And she finished the last of her dinner snuggling on my lap. And I wished in that moment—more than I have in a long time—that her daddy could be there with us. That we could smile at each other across the table—so happy with our little family.
Sometimes it’s hard to feel like “family” with just Erika and me. I find that now when I say “my family”, I mean what I meant when I was a teenager. Erika is “my daughter”, but I rarely refer to the two of us as “family”. Chris seems to be the missing link to the “family” chain. I know it’s not true. But it feels true.
I’m not sure if it is because we are only TWO, or if it is because the loss of him makes such a void that it is hard to figure out what we are without him. And our car conversation on the way home deepened the ache.

“What’s my last name?”
Drager. Just like Mama’s. And Daddy’s.
“What’s Gus’ last name?”
Seifert. Just like Uncle Matt and Auntie Julie.
And so we went through the family names for most people in her life. And I explained to her that families share the same last name. We have Daddy’s last name. And then she reminded me.
“But Daddy’s not here anymore.”
No, but we are still a family, Baby. (I’m saying this to myself mostly.)
We miss him, don’t we?
“Yeah”
So the two of us cuddled up in the chair in her room and watched “Daddy movies” for a while. To hear and to see and to remember. And Erika touched the iPod screen at one point when she saw her Daddy on it and whispered,
“Come back”
My silent tears fell into her beautiful blonde hair; and I held her soft, sweet body a little tighter. Family.
Pour your heart out before Him; God is a refuge for us.
(Psalm 62:8)

2 comments:

  1. Powerful... Susan Blount

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  2. Definitely cried a few tears reading this. Thinking of you both as you experience the joys with the sorrows.

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