Saturday, April 21, 2012

Under the smile of both Papas

I'm remembering a wedding almost twelve years ago, when we were four.  My Papa, the minister, escorting my glowing sister down the aisle.  In eight days, I'll walk down the aisle of a church in my bridal gown toward my groom, and I'll travel it alone.   

As a little girl and then a girl growing up into a woman, I never envisioned making that journey down the aisle without my hand resting on Papa's arm.  After he passed from this world to the next, I stared out for months into what seemed like darkness, bleakness.  The total severing of my life from his.   Thankfully, the night gradually gave way to light swallowing dark, hope swallowing heaviness, life swallowing death. 

Sometimes, I even think I catch a whiff of him, of his smile, his life, his heart, beaming down from heaven.  

The sketch of us in embrace, drawn from a photo taken of us at my grad school graduation, finally finds a home in a frame on the wall above my writing desk.  Papa's smile is here, and I feel it as real as the warm tears streaking down my cheeks.  For a moment, eternity and the present limitations of time on earth come close, as if to kiss.  A mirror held up, I peer through, reach out and touch dim glass where I see him.  

I whisper his name.  I'm not alone.

In eight days, his arm won't be there to prop my hand, but the ring he wore for nearly thirty-six years as a promise to love my mom for as long as they both shall live will be tucked into my bouquet.  And before God, my true Papa, I'll stand with the man I love and vow to love him for as long as we both shall live.  I know both my Papas will be there smiling.  


  1. Beautiful Amber, what an amazing tribute to your father!!!

  2. You have always spoken from the heart, Amber; you are the true essence of a "love child" who has shared unconditional friendships with many. I pray, as you prepare for this upcoming celebration of your love for one another, and write to let you know how you have been a huge inspiration in my own life. As the daughter I never had, you will always have a place in my daily devotions thanking God for the Life he has given you.

    Your friend,

  3. I could feel the emotion and love you had with your precious earthly daddy. Praise the Lord you can mourn not as ones without hope because he is in the presence of your Heavenly Father. Glad you found a special place for the picture. I often miss my grandma and speak her name out loud with tears in my eyes. Bless you.