The Holidays are about spending time with loved-ones. This can be a number of things like having meaningful conversations, giving hugs, and making new memories. If for some reason a loved-one is unable to do such things, then meet them where they’re at.

When death strikes, it takes more than just the single person. You lose dreams, plans for the future, the person you were when they were around, and so much more. The hole loss gives is then filled with regret. Why didn’t we do more together while you were still here?

The Holidays are also about hope. This idea is meaningless without the God that inspired it. Sure it’s about when things are made ultimately made new and I’m reunited with people like my Dad.

But this hope is for today too. My heart still longs for a Dad and God has provided that “fathering” from different men in my life. And while my life is marked by this loss, I can choose how it affects me and what I reflect onto others. I say this because I know I’ve done both positive and negative things with this pain. So I’m choosing to do better.

Dad’s gravestone has many different features on it. But the most important part is the gap between his birthdate and death date. He wasn’t perfect during that timeframe, but he loved God, his family, and the people he was called to serve. And he made me while he was here and that’s what matters most.

If you’re reading this, you’re still in your “date gap”. Do something about it.