I am never shocked by what comes out of my 5 year old little daughter's mouth. She has seen my grey hair and asked if I was 100. She has seen my stomach and asked if I was pregnant. She has declared that she is going to marry someone younger than her and while on the way to a baby shower, asked me if the couple was having a boy because she is looking for her potential spouse.
Hannah doesn't hold back her feelings. If she doesn't say what she is feeling, her facial expressions give her thoughts away. And I love this about my little girl. She has asked questions since her dad has died, that many probably are thinking but are afraid to ask. She has asked me if God didn't hear our prayers? She has asked me why God didn't heal her dad? She has asked a lot of why questions that I don't have the answers to, but I am thankful that she isn't afraid to ask those tough questions.
But the question that she asks quite often that usually leaves me at a loss for words is "Mommy, when are you going to get remarried?"
I have never brought up this subject and so the first time she asked me, I was surprised that a 5 year old would even know what remarriage was. At first the question was "Mommy, are widows allowed to get remarried?" And then the question changed to "When are you going to get remarried?" Her question is not one of fear that I will get remarried. She doesn't ask me if or are you going to get remarried. She asks me when.
At night before bed we always say our prayers and I ask my children what their prayer requests are. Without fail, Hannah typically asks that we pray that I will get remarried. The other day when she brought up the question again, before answering her, I asked her why she wanted me to get remarried. And she proceeded to tell me that it was because she wanted a dad.
That is tough to hear. She is a grieving little girl who misses her daddy so much.
She had an amazing dad.
He got up in the middle of the night when she was a newborn.
He changed diapers when she was a baby.
He would sit in the rocking chair and rock her to sleep even if it took a long time.
He sat on the floor with her and played games.
He gave piggy back and shoulder rides.
He let her have late night snacks.
And when it was well past her bedtime he would stay up with her.
Amazing isn't an adequate enough word to describe the type of dad Mel was.
And she misses that.
And so when she asks me when I am going to get remarried she is asking if she is ever going to have a dad again. Usually when she brings up the subject I let her know that I don't know if I will get remarried. But I explain to her that if I do, I would only marry someone who loved Hannah and Malachi. But when she explained to me that she wanted a dad, I realized my answer to the question "when are going to get remarried" needed to change.
It's a tough question from a grieving child. The importance of the role of a father can't be denied. Mel played a role in the life of our children, that I can't play. And there is a void as a result of that loss. But all is not lost because Mel died. There are going to be moments in their life where my children will need their dad, and their dad is no longer living. That is an undeniable fact.
But there are many scriptures in the Bible that talk about how God is a father to the fatherless. That role that Mel played as a father, I truly believe that God is now stepping in to play for my children. There will be sadness because my children are missing out on the tangible things that Mel did as their dad, but I have confidence that God will fill the void that was left. God knew He was going to call Mel home to heaven. And He knew the pain that would cause us. But God also knew that He would fulfill every single one of our needs. There will be moments of intense grief due to the loss of their dad, but I believe that God's hand is upon my children. And as they grow up they will be able to reflect that God truly was their father.