Today I saw dad over the small flat square at our house in the sky telling me we are all going to be okay…you will always be his child… forever we are his special people.” – my sister after a trip out to the the house where we grew up.

From time to time, people will ask me to pray for them.  Or their child.  Or a loved one.

I always say that I will.

And I do.

But I pray to something – someone – different than most people do.

When I ask for help, or guidance, or good thoughts…I talk to my dad.

Growing up, we weren’t very religious.  We were raised Jewish but never belonged to a temple.  My father and my aunt were our religious teachers, holding family Hebrew school classes in our backyard or around the dining room table.  My father thought it was important that all three of his kids have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, but he was the one to preside over them, not a rabbi.  We read sections from the Torah as well as portions of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.  He practiced with us in the evenings and while we played outside.  He was very sick with pancreatic cancer when my sister turned thirteen, yet he still insisted on not only going forward with her Bat Mitzvah but presiding over it.  We set up a tent in the backyard, invited  family and friends, and celebrated her special moment.

The concept of God came up quite a bit while growing up, of course.  I believed there was a higher power because I loved the idea of it all. My father was clearly agnostic.  We would have constant debates about the subject, as I would say there was no way for him to know there wasn’t one and he would reply with “How do you know the frog in the pond doesn’t control the universe?”  The conversation never had an end, of course, but it spoke to the very core of his views on religion.  He loved the history and traditions and family connections of Judaism yet was skeptical of the idea of God and blind faith.

I believed in faith and fate and the beauty of the idea that someone was guiding my hand.

I still do.

But now I believe that the someone guiding my hand is my dad.

His light comes to me in amazing places. as my sister said, the warmth that comes during a time of severe pain, and I know that he is there.

And now, when I am at a loss as to how to help my boys, I look out the window and talk to him.

It is my father that I ask to give me the strength to get through the moments that leave me on the sobbing on the floor of the shower.

And when we make it through those moments, it is him that I thank for helping me through.

I asked for his guidance when marrying Tim.

The rainbow that appeared during a snow flurry at my wedding showed me he was there.

The rainbow appeared just after this…right above the sheep…

I watch the relationships grow between Tim and our boys.  I watch him teach our kids about politics and car engines and life.

Robots with Dad

It is a scene so familiar and so lovingly honest and true.  My boys adore their dad and rely on him to feed their love of learning and life.

I pray every night for my family.  I pray that we will stay healthy and strong and continue to love one another in the best way that we can.

I still believe in God.  But I turn to my dad when I pray.

I am so very grateful to have someone I know answering my prayers.

Happy Father’s Day to my husband who every day does more than 30% times three.

And Happy Father’s Day to my dad who I still miss very much…thirteen Father’s Days later.

You gotta talk to the one who loves you
Talk to the one who understands
Talk to the one who gave you
All the light in your eyes
All the light in your eyes

Yeah, thank you, thank you
Yeah, everything great and small
Yeah, thank you, thank you
For the light in your eyes” – Light In Your Eyes by Sheryl Crow