What do you do when your heart is full and heavy at the same time?

As this week comes to an end, my heart is both full and heavy at the same time.

It is full, because I am wonderfully blessed. Time spent earlier in the day with a house full of children, their spouses, and grandchildren playing together throughout the house, and with everyone enjoying for the umpteenth time Nana’s world famous brisket, cornbread casserole, bacon wrapped green beans, and, of course, banana pudding, makes it easy for me to both feel and know I am wonderfully blessed.

It is heavy, because I wish I would have had more opportunities to share these beautiful children and grandchildren with their grandfather and great-grandfather, my father.  Ours was a late-blooming relationship, which is something I wish would have worked out differently more-and-more with each passing year.

Although we had been talking by phone for several months prior to this day, we met for the first time on August 12, 2003, a couple of months before my 45th birthday and just a few days before his 68th birthday on August 17th. If I had known then that he would finish his earthly sojourn less than 10 years from this day on July 21, 2013, I would have taken a completely different approach to the few short years we had to build a relationship. I am so very thankful, though, for the good times we had and the good things we shared.

So, with a heart full of all the good that comes from being a wonderfully blessed father, I also wish to humbly share the burden on my heart. For all the adult sons and daughters who might happen read these lines I have a simple word of encouragement for you. Please take the time to take your relationship with your father to the next level. I promise you, if your father is anything like me, he would love for you to be willing to take this step. Without trying to be over dramatic about this point, what if you knew what I didn’t know and were aware that you had less than 10 years left? Would that change the approach you take to the next few years?

I am aware there are times when the desire for a relationship and the love is not reciprocated. This breaks my heart too, for it is a heavy burden to carry. However, if the door to your father’s heart is open, then please take full advantage of the opportunity to develop your relationship with him. Give your children the gift of an opportunity to build a better relationship with their grandfather. You will be glad you did. Your children will be glad you did.  And, your father will be given yet another reason to both feel and know he is wonderfully blessed.

© Bill Williams, a fellow sojourner

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