Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dear Dad {In Heaven}, I'm All About Your 49ers

When I was a little girl, my dad used to style my hair, play Barbies with me, and, on Sunday, we'd watch football together. He taught me the rules and inspired a deep love for the game.

Eventually those hours together turned into playful competition. Somehow I turned into a Minnesota Vikings fan even though no one else in my family was. Maybe it was because purple was a pretty color to a little girl? He cheered for the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers.

Each Sunday after church I'd get my Vikings colors on and my dad would emerge from my parents' room in full attire: a team sweatshirt and zubaz.

Do you remember those ugly things? Let's be glad those were a here today gone tomorrow phase!

Then we'd let the cheering begin.

My junior year of college that bonding time came to an abrupt hult when my dad went Home to be with Jesus. On kickoff day the following season I distinctly remember melting into a pile of tears. No earthly dad. No ridiculous zubaz.

Thankfully, God held me in my pain. As He collected my every tear in a bottle (Psalm 56:8), I looked into His face, gathering courage to put one foot in front of the next. He put His hand on my heart and I began to feel hope.

"Weeping may come through the night, but joy comes with the morning." (Psalm 30:5)

Like a surgeon that opens a wound to fix it and restore health, so too did my Great Physician enter the places that hurt most and work on my brokenness. Over time, my Heavenly Father helped me emerge stronger than before with new, grateful perspective.

Football is awesome. It continues to be a Sunday tradition in my house. My hubby is a Vikings fan and together we are training up our girls in the way they should go :)

But since this year was a colossal fail for them, we place our support elsewhere for this 2012 playoffs. And, I couldn't be more thrilled than to cheer loud and proud for the San Francisco 49ers tomorrow.

You see, for me football is more than just a game. It is an earthly connect to a man I loved so very dearly. It is a weekly prompt to many wonderful memories. And, the 49ers playoff birth is a chance to cheer with my dad...who cheered me on all the years of his life.

A gift.

I'm hoping for lots of great plays tomorrow. With each first down, big pass, and touchdown, I'll be thinking of my dad wearing his ridiculous zubaz doing a silly victory dance around the kitchen.

It makes me smile just thinking about it.


Today's joyful gifts:
Cherished memories
An invested father
God's use of ordinary things - like football - to touch us in extraordinary ways


  1. Beautifully written, Melissa. Brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes all at once :)

  2. What a wonderful way to celebrate your dad! So heartfelt. So healing.

    Thank you.


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