On this night, 15 years ago I was working on a 7th grade Greece project with my friend Lauren. In this hour, 15 years ago, I rushed out the door of the house I grew up in to hurry and get to Lauren's house. What I neglected to do was stop and hug my dad's neck. Instead I was running down the hall to the door saying "I'll give you two hugs tomorrow Dad. I gotta go!" I don't know about you and your family, but in my family, we never leave without hugging each other.
Little did I know that was the last night I would ever see my Father. He was killed in a construction accident before I even got to school the next morning. There was no "two hugs tomorrow" to make up for the one I missed yesterday.
When Lauren's mom checked me out of school in the middle of basketball practice, I knew something was wrong. The 20 minute ride home was one of the longest rides... "Did Pappaw die? Did my dog get run over? Did Mom blow up the kitchen? Are my sisters ok?" Not once did it cross my mind that Dad had been killed. Not once. He was invincible.
When I got home around 11:00AM to a driveway full of cars, I knew it was bad. My sisters and my Mom all met me in the middle of our front yard huddled together, faces wet with tears. I don't remember who told me, but they broke the horrible news. I dropped my bag and all of my books to the ground and began to weep ... "I didn't give him a hug last night!" My sisters were intentionally given time to fly & drive from out of state & out of town before I was pulled out of school. Mom knew I needed them to help me cope. I was the baby, Daddy's Girl. What happened after I found out you can probably guess. Friends & families flooded our phone lines & our home with food, gifts, support, & love for weeks/months to come. Slowly but surely, I was beginning to grieve the loss of my "forever".
That was 15 years ago & it's hard even typing the words now. I've spent more of my life without him than I had with him. But he has left a huge mark on my life. Just weeks before my dad died, I was rehearsing for a talent show & told him "Dad, one day I'm gonna tell everyone your name. I promise they'll all know who LUQUIRE is." That's why I've held on to my maiden name for music even after taking on a new one as a wife. I made a promise that I intend to keep.
Tonight as you have time before you fall asleep, I encourage you to count your blessings. I encourage you to search for the One who comforts us in our darkest hour. I encourage you to find refuge in our Eternal Father. I encourage you to hug your family & friends with a little more love tomorrow. I encourage you to boldly & courageously live out the life you want to live, before its gone. Lastly, don't be so hurried about your life, that you run out the door thinkin you can love someone, serve someone, or hug someone tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come.
Thanks for reading & thank you for your thoughts & prayers today. God bless all of you!