The Trigger

Nope, this post isn’t about guns. Not even close. Sorry to disappoint you if that’s what you came here looking for, but I would love for you to stay and read.

I watched a movie the other night that caused me to write a post yesterday. The movie had to do with a father-son relationship. It triggered something in me that was bound to come. Two weeks from today will mark the one year anniversary of my father’s death. And so, as I began to pour my heart out onto a screen, as I watched the white space be filled with black letters, I should have realized that the trigger had been pulled and that from here on out, at least for the next few weeks, EVERYTHING will be a trigger to make me think of my dad.

The other night, I was at a choir rehearsal and we were going through a hymn book for an upcoming hymn sing that we are having. As I called out the numbers of the hymns we were singing, I came to hymn number 444…..and I began to laugh.

You see, I grew up going to two worship services on Sunday, one in the morning and one in the evening. The evening service was much more relaxed and casual. The order was more freeform and flexible with much less of a liturgy than its morning counterpart. My father, the pastor, would lead the singing in the beginning and would ask for requests. He had a very quirky sense of humor, so he would oftentimes go off on a silly tangent that most people didn’t think was very funny……at least I didn’t, but that might not count since most kids think their dads are dorks anyway.

But as I called out the number……444……it made me laugh, because it made me think of him, of my dad. It made me think of how he would have said it. He would have rolled the number over in his mouth a few times, letting it fall out in a silly and awkward way. 444….spoken with his Brooklyn, New York accent, a big smile on his face, beaming from ear to ear with pride that he had found humor in a simple number.

And there in front of nearly 30 people, I felt myself nervously laughing if for no other reason than to keep myself from crying. I could hear his voice, not audibly and out loud, but in my head. I could see his face. I could just sense the warmth of his personality. And it succeeded at equally causing a smile and breaking my heart simultaneously.

As April 17th approaches, there will be more triggers, more reminders, things that bring me back to my dad. I need to write about them, I need to share them, because, in a way, when I share them, I share him. Far from perfect yet perfect enough for me, I miss him every day, and I look forward to seeing him again.

So, I hope you’ll forgive my tangents down Memory Lane as I recall the man who helped to shape me, who helped to instill in me the faith that has kept me going over these last few years. I hope that I can share a glimpse enough that you can see him, that you can hear him, that you can sense the warmth of his presence as much as I do.

Thanks for reading!