Friday, October 5, 2018

"Walking Down the Aisle Without My Daddy." (From Crystal Crider Dailey in memory of P. Douglas Crider).

This morning, I read this verse and it brought me comfort as I thought about what today's post was going be.

"The Lord cares deeply when his loved ones die." 
—Psalm 116:15

In last week's blog post, we heard from Kelly, my youngest niece and daughter of my brother, Doug and what it's been like to live without her Father. This week, Doug's oldest daughter, Crystal, shares what life has been like for her without her Daddy. Each offer unique perspectives, just as it is with any family who has suffered loss. Each member processes the loss differently and according to the verse above even the Lord cares deeply about the death of loved ones.

From Crystal Crider Dailey—
"When I think about what it was like to have lost my Dad at such a young age, many thoughts and emotions run through my mind.
As a little girl, I do not recall really being affected by the fact that I did not have a dad, because that was the life I knew. It was my normal!  I did not remember him at all, so for me there was no feeling of loss.  Looking back now, I am able to see that I had some resentment over the fact that because I had a single mom, she had to work— sometimes two and three jobs, to support us, while other moms stayed at home.  
Once I became an adult, it started to affect me more. I did not get to have my Daddy walk me down the aisle and I never got to dance the father/daughter dance at my wedding—you know, the things that little girls dream of. Then as I started having children, there was the sadness that he never got to hold his grandchildren and they did not get to have a grandpa. 
I have often thought that not remembering my Dad was better than having known him and losing him but I am no longer sure I feel that way. I am sad that I have no memories. I listen to people around me talk about their dads, and feel lost because I cannot relate. There are moments when friends have lost their dad recently, or their dad is sick, and they are rightfully upset, but I want to say, “At least you knew him! You have memories! You got to know what it was like to be hugged by your Daddy, to have a life with him!” 
When I run into people that knew my Daddy, they share stories and tell me what a great man he was and I wish that I had gotten to know him. Why did God take him when he was so young?
There were many times that I would be on stage singing and imagine that he walked in the back of the auditorium and that he had never died at all! Sometimes I would be out somewhere and see a man that might be the age he would be now and think that he looked like my daddy might look today and wonder if it was, in fact him. Of course, I knew that was crazy! So many times I had wished it were true, but then how would I deal with the fact that he left us? 
The last several years, I have desperately wished that he were here. I have gone through some very difficult things in my life and longed to have my Daddy be here to guide me and help me. It is hard to long for something that can never be. Loss is hard! But in the middle of all of it, God is so good! I had an amazing Mom who was not only a Godly example, but she braved single motherhood and taught me how be strong in hard times. Now that I am a single mother, that has helped me have the hope that I can be strong and that I will survive. 
I do think that you never get over a loss of a parent, whether you have memories or not. But I do know that my heavenly Father is all I need and I believe that my Daddy is looking down on me and my little family and I pray that I have made him proud!"

Thank you, Crystal. I'm so glad you are a part of our family and I think Doug would be proud of ALL of his family!

(If you haven't read the post about how Doug Crider died, you can read it here.)