I have a feeling that this post is going to be a bit long. I wouldn't blame anyone who didn't have the patience to read it...it's more for myself anyway. I need to just "get it out".

Really, it's ALL Dunkin' Donuts fault!! I took Alyssa to McDonald's to get a hash brown this morning after dropping KC off at school. I quickly noticed that they are building a new Dunkin' Donuts! Then...the emotional flood gates opened.

Dunkin' Donuts was one of my Pastor's favorite places. He was a "regular" at the one inside the Super Wal-Mart. In fact, when he passed away, one of his daughters went there to let the staff know what happened..so they wouldn't be expecting him.

I also noticed that they were building a Walgreen's. Pastor used to get SO excited when he talked about how Aberdeen was going to grow! He used to tell us to get ready for new members to come! We were still a very small church..only 3 years old. He was still so young, 48 years old, and full of energy and optimism for what God had planned for our area! Although the church is still operating..I have been unable to return. Guest pastors have been stepping in...but I'm just not ready or able to return, yet.

Last night I had a dream that he came back from his death. I keep having this recurring, Lazarus-type dream where he comes back. So he was already on my mind this morning when I woke up. I was okay until I just HAD to see that stupid Dunkin' Donuts! Okay...enough with the poor donut place.

I just really got to thinking what he really was to me. He really was the closest thing, to what a father is supposed to be, that I had! My biological father was abusive to me, growing up. And, although we have a very loving and forgiving relationship now, he is still mentally ill (schizophrenic, alcoholic..amongst other things).

My pastor knew my whole story and would pray and cry with me. He always made time to talk whenever I needed him..even at 2 in the morning!! When I was sick he would come over and pray for me. He played with and helped his daughters babysit my kids. It breaks my heart when my son, 7 years old, starts crying b/c he misses him, too.

Pastor was always complimenting me / my work and building up my self-esteem, which he knew was in the ground when I first met him. He was also quick to let any of us know when something wasn't right..but in SUCH a loving way. He was truly the example of what an awesome father and vessel for God should be! His message, just like Jesus'..was LOVE!!

Anyway, I can't even put into words what he meant to me and my family. He wasn't only a spiritual father...he WAS our father...and he will be sorely missed.

May 27th marked the 5th month since his fatal car accident. He has impacted SO many lives in profound ways..but I'm not speaking for them, right now. This is an extremely brief description of the love he deposited into my life.

I can still hear his booming (James Earl Jones-type) voice and what he would be saying to me:

I'm happy now...I am reaping my heavenly reward and basking in the presence of my Savior. You all miss me, but I have taught you well and you know what to do. Your earthly life is but a mere flash of light in comparison to the eternity we will all spend where I am now. So..go in peace, remember what you have been taught, and more than anything...share God's love, for He loves you, Heather..more than you know.

I love you Pastor...see you soon!

 

Here is a pic of my Pastor, holding my son, and talking on the phone to my DH when he was in Iraq:

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Comments:

kaotik73
Jun. 3, 2008 at 9:40 AM I think your pastor comes to you in your dreams to let you know he's still with you. He's in a better place now and he is watching over you and your family.

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LadyJag
Jun. 3, 2008 at 9:47 AM

This made me cry. I will never look at a Dunkin' Donuts the same way again.

I don't think there's anything I can say to make you feel better, but as I was reading your post, I thought "Wow! I hope that when my time comes, I'll have impacted so many lives that I will be remembered so fondly."

I agree that your pastor is just reminding you that he's still with you, and that it's up to you to follow his example and continue his good work.

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LimeG...
Jun. 3, 2008 at 9:53 AM Wow, amazing !  I'm so thakful you shared and I was able to read this.  You were very BLESSED to have such a Godly man in you and your families life.  We need more people in this world to speak truth like he did.  I can completely understand you not being able to go back to the same church.  I think I would find it hard also.  I am very BLESSED to have came across you and your living testimony in my life.  Thank you soooo much for having the courage to share your story.  It has truly lifted me up.  I too had a rough childhood and can sooo relate to no self esteem.  I would like to share more with you on that privately though.  Just continue to hang on to his wisdom and continue to remember the good memories.  Those are the things that will continue to carry you through the rough patches.

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fprag...
Jun. 3, 2008 at 10:19 AM Wow...That was a really powerful post...thanks for sharing it with everyone.  I am all teary-eyed typing this!  I wish I had met your Pastor...he seems like an amazing man!

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ryleemom
Jun. 3, 2008 at 11:32 AM WOW!!! What a truly wondeful tribute and very personal and beautiful depiction of your love for a WONDEFUL man! I am blessed that I was able to briefly meet him, but to know him the way you and your family did is a TRUE gift from God! I am soooo glad that you were able to feel the love of a true father, not just father figure, that he was able to bestow on you! Thank you sooo much for sharing this Heather! I am not only crying for his loss, but for how much you gained from knowing him and carrying his wonderful teachings on to us and your children!

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cftb523
Jun. 3, 2008 at 2:34 PM I'm sending you hugs girl! He sounds like such a wonderful man. 

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Nickn...
Jun. 3, 2008 at 3:40 PM I don't always look at the posts but yours caught my atttention.  He seemed like a wonderful man. I am so glad you had him in your life.  I certainly can relate to the father situation.  I too had some wonderful father type figures who came into my life.    He is reassuring you that he is alright.  That is a comforting thought.

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