Father’s Day by Jennifer

Father’s Day

Today is bittersweet.

I celebrate the super dad we had. I cry for my awesome batty-daddy I miss. I mourn for those who had sucky fathers, or no father at all. I cheer for the men who are trying everyday for their kids!

There have been so many emotions I have gone thru this week.

I didn’t think it would bother me on Monday when I looked at the calendar. Tuesday, I thought all day how wonderful God our father is. I said prayers for Fred and Johnny. Wednesday, I was missing Donald so I sent him a card. Thursday I felt bored, grouchy, hungry (well, that’s most days!). Friday, Eve and I enjoyed spending the day together. Saturday, I laughed and vented with Patricia calling. Sunday, Father’s Day, I have cried with Terri and am heading out to put flowers on the headstones.

Last year, our last Father’s Day with dad, we all met at Arden’s. The restaurant was hot, packed, busy. I know I got dad something, but I can’t remember. I remember he was in so much pain walking. He was in so much pain missing mom. Dad was happy just being with each of us hearing our inane chattering. Asking each of us what was going on in our lives. He always loved celebrating us, our family.

I told dad many times that if everyone had a dad like him the world would be a better place.

Dad humbly reminded me he was human. Dad never realized how great he was to so many. I am proud that in the last months of his life, he finally began to see how loved he was. He said “All I’ve ever done is be me. I didn’t do anything special for folks.”

Sometimes you get a glimpse of how the threads in your life build and entwine to impact others. I think that was a gift the Holy Spirit gave dad.
Our blessing was having him as our dad. Dad never stopped reminding us that God,our Father is perfect. God loves you unconditionally.

God loves you when you don’t get it.
God celebrates your joys.
God knows your pain,sorrow, losses, sins.
God knows the core of you. The you that no one sees. The you He created.
You will always be the one He designed and purposes to thread in this world.
On this Father’s Day, I hope the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to those who love you, especially your Father.

• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Fantastic Father

Neither Father’s Day or Mother’sDay had a big influence in our family.  Sure, we did the card or presents but it was never really a big deal.  But we always knew that they were wonderful parents even if we didn’t make a big deal about their day.  So here’s one example of dad being a fantastic father.

I have never been a loud person.  I do it for my job or sometimes around my sisters, I am louder but it doesn’t feel natural to me to be loud.

So Dad took me out on “dates”.  We would go out to lunch just the two of us.   And we would talk or I would talk and he would always listen to me.  I didn’t have to be loud to be heard.   My favorite time was when he took me out to experience a poo-poo platter for the first time.  He had written to me about it while we were visiting Grandparents in Maryland.   Apparently, he had tried it at a local Chinese restaurant and was going to take me out to have it when we came back.  It was this funny sounding dish and it was fun experiencing it with Dad.  They basically bring out this tiny little charcoal grill to your table and you get to cook or warm up your own food.   We cooked and ate and talked.  It wasn’t an everyday experience but it always made me feel so special.  Not the what we did but the taking time out of everything and everyday stresses to be listened to by my dad.  He was and is a fantastic father (as explained in the picture below) and I miss him every day.  I drew it while he was sitting at his desk working but decided that he might not be recognized if I didn’t include a drawing of his face.  It was published in the Pennywhistle Press (a local kids insert) in 1984 and this copy hung up at my parent’s house for almost as long : )

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• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Slow to recover but something to remember…

Good times, bad times and everything in between - God has never, ever left my side.</p>
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• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Two years – Two months

Today, April 22, 2015, is the two year anniversary of mom’s passing and two month anniversary since dad passed away.

Strangely, Eve, is in the hospital due to an emergency gallbladder bursting. Eve said it feels “surreal” to be in the hospital today. When we first heard Eve had gallbladder issues, Patricia and I immediately worried about gallbladder cancer because of mom’s rare bile duct cancer. I even asked her surgeon to check out her insides while he was in there anyway to be sure!

Strange where your mind goes in grief!

Thankfully, Eve is doing much better and should go home to recuperate.

Dad wrote every month in his personal calendar on the 22nd, Ginny’s been gone one month, two, twelve…etc all the way till February 22 when he passed.  On the 22nd, Dad would go visit mom’s resting place. He often went other times because he missed her so.

We all knew he was holding on for something when he was at the end. The goodbyes were said. His body was failing. We realized that he was holding on to pass on the 22nd. We tried to lie and say it was the 22nd on the 21st, but dad’s always know when their kids fib.

I think it was another way dad wanted to be joined to mom. Theirs was such an amazing love. Us kids and everyone who knew mom and dad witnessed that deep love they shared.

So the 22nd is not just a sad reminder that they are gone…it is also a reminder of a beautiful love.

A love that lives on in our hearts, in our memories. We feel their love with us still.

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• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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My life was a love story

This post is from my oldest sister, Jennifer.  Hers is a love story too…

I woke with a man’s voice on the answering machine. I froze cold. ” Ms Wilson, This is Jason from the Hardage Giddeons…”

I couldn’t do it.

I knew why he was calling.

Poor guy is just doing his job. Trying to give great customer service, being cheerful and polite. I just could not talk to him. I begged my roommate to call him back. Terri did not ask why, she knew.

All I could do is cry, desperate to go back to sleep.

Last night, I read the King James family bible. I grew up reading it with Dad and Mom leading nightly devotions with my family.

” Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent(TORE) them: and likewise all the men that were with him. And they mourned and wept, and fasted until even(ing), for Saul and, for Jonathan, his son…” Second Samuel ch 1 vs 11-12.

The 1st to 3rd chapter of Second Samuel is about death (killing in their time) and grieving. (I am no biblical scholar, this is the Jennifer translation of what I read!) King David in his grief ripped his clothes, fasted, cried… the King that Jesus would later be a descendant of.

After mom died, I went with Dad, Johnny and Fred. We took the free Community Hospice course on dealing with the loss of a loved one. Katie McConnell – the bereavement counselor, later wonderful friend of Dad, wife and also mother to beautiful baby Celia – lead the class with a brochure titled “Understanding Grief, Loss and Bereavement.” Katie gave a wonderful explanation that grief is not a series of stages to go thru neat and orderly, but rather a roller coaster – full of ups and downs, highs and lows.

WELCOME to the RIDE OF GRIEF. BUCKLE IN – HOLD ON!
Your ride starts with the shock and disbelief that the person you love is gone. SUDDENLY SWERVES thru the twists of sobbing, crying, lack of sleep. JERKS UP – confusion, anxiety. DOWN – panic, searching, UP – physical illness. I feel ok, Peace. NOW -LOOP after LOOP of guilt, emotional fear, numbness, fatigue, depression, Calm then TWIST to obsessively thinking about the loved one,confusion, then WEEEEH! Throw in some anger, maybe using alcohol and drugs, POW -hatred, loneliness, limbo, BACK UP to relief, laughter, missing OOOPS there we go DOWN again with missing. Then the TWIST of “struggle with new life patterns” and finally ENDS WITH “life is worth living!”

Disney and Universal probably study this roller coaster design!

Oh, and while your on this grief ride expect to have some wierd dreams! Just a little extra to physically and emotionally add on top! AND THERE IS NOT A TIME LIMIT TO THE RIDE ENDING! You can be off the ride and slip back on with a memory. King David did it and now I am doing it. Everyone will have this ride sometime.

 

Sooo   – Terri talked with Jason, went to the cemetary. Today they removed dad’s plastic marker and secured his permanent bronze marker. Dad’s marker says “My life was a love story.” Terri made sure dad was tucked in tight and safe. Right under mom’s spot.

She came home with a Hardee’s Monstor Bacon Burger for lunch. I cried and couldn’t eat my burger… ok well I got half in (and some fries), despite my grief, it sure was good. I didn’t tear any clothes. I did get dressed.

I thought how the bronze marker feels so final.

Permanent. The end.

Then God reminded me. I remembered what I was taught. What I believe.

Dad and Mom are together forever. Not just in their niches with coordinating bronze markers. They truly are together in heaven with our Father, God.

I can’t stop thanking God for that.

My ride has bumper padding. I have a Savior and King that are helping me on my ride, carrying me when it turns to hard, holding my hand in the darkness, reminding me it’s going to be alright. I remember God’s promises. I will be in many seasons of rough rides that is this world and this life, but my wonderful God is WITH me and FOR me every twist and turn.

In the meantime, while I am currently not enjoying the grief ride, I am ok. We will be ok. God promised me, just like David, Saul, Jonathan, Moses, Jacob, Peter, Paul and Mary… John and Virginia. We have the promise that HE is with us. My earthly father is gone. My heavenly Father, who is immortal and perfect, loves me so much that he sent his son Jesus to die for me so I CAN be with my family forever.

My life will begin AGAIN with my beautiful savior welcoming me home. I know mom and dad, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts, uncles, friends and people who I don’t yet know will with there. That to me is the best thing dad ever taught me. He wanted everyone to know JESUS IS REAL!! Our hope and our lives will just be beginning when we die. And while we ride, we are loved!

Thanks be to God. My life is a love story too.

So is yours. Just ask God if you don’t believe me.

• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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O Happy Day!

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Here’s hoping this adds a little more happiness to your day.  He is risen indeed!

• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Familiar Sights

To say that my parents were comfortable with one another was an understatement.  It was unusual to see one without the other.  Much more familiar was the sight of them together holding hands, kissing, talking or cuddling.  It was often that I would hear about how they had been out to this place or that place and be asked if they were newlyweds or how long they had been married.  To them, it was nothing beyond the enjoyment of being with your spouse.  I doubt that they considered it extraordinary.  It is something that I think effected all of us kids when it came to looking for a significant other.  I can’t speak for anyone else but I am pretty sure my prayers about that topic often referred to wanting a relationship like Mom and Dad.  Not that it was easy or second nature.  But they saw something within the other person that made the effort worth it.  Something to be treasured.  Something that made every day an adventure and a chance to learn anew about the other.  So today, I post a couple of pictures of some newlyweds who spent each day as if it was their first day of marriage.

 

Ginny and John 43 anniversary GCSP

Still in love Ginny & John at Luminaries 12.18.11 Gin in hospital More-than-friendship image image image

• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Going Home

Poem by Fred Estep

• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Sid

You may be familiar with Sid from a number of posts over the years.  He and his family were neighbors for a number of years to both my parents.  The last mention of him by Dad was that of February 9th entitled “Unexpected Requests”.  He did a wonderful job speaking yesterday despite his nerves.  It is always such a blessing to see your parents through someone else’s eyes, to see them beyond being Dad.  Thank you for that, Sid.  Below is what Sid gave me yesterday following Dad’s service and reception.

John Cowart was more than a friend.  To me, he was like family.  Even though, it was sad for him to go, he told me that he was ready to go.  So seeming him go maybe the sad part but I have come to realize thay he is in a better place and that will always be with us.  I’ve gotten to see him in half my lifetime.  Trust me when I say, he was a good person to talk to.  He was the kind of person who talked about his life and cared for others.  So now as we say goodbye to John Cowart, he leaves a legacy to me and others who loved him that you should always keep a smile on your face when you see the ones you love.

• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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A touch of red

For Mom’s service, we didn’t wear black.  Trust me, it wasn’t because we weren’t grieving.  We wanted to celebrate not just her passing but her life and love of it.  We are hoping to do something similar for Dad and if attending, please feel free to join us.  Please wear a touch (or more) of red.

For thirty years, date night to Dad meant a red and black checkered shirt.  He mentions it in a 2005 post that Mom told him how handsome he looked in it.  From then on, he wore it for their date nights.  Did I mention that compliment happened in 1968? They had a million different ways to say I love you without saying a word.  And wearing a touch of red will be ours.  Because like it will say on his placard soon, he lived a love story.

• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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