Today I Saw God

Love Knows No Bounds

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As I looked at the handwriting I recognized it instantlyit was my father's distinct cursive. The smear on the front made me wonder if a tear had been shed by eighteen-year-old me. Postmarked August 28, 1981 the letter likely is one of the first letters he wrote to me.

Every week I found at least one letter from my dad in my P.O. box at college. That was in the dark ages, the 1980s, when the only phone available to an entire floor of college students was down the hall and shared by all. "Long distance calls" cost a fortune back then. If I did call home, the trick was to call collect. My parents would deny the charges then call me right back. Because letters were actually the best way to communicate, I actually have many from my father.

I rediscovered Dad's letters recently while cleaning out the master closet. Tucked back in the corner, it has probably been twenty-five years since I looked at them. As I stared at the pile I passed over the tear-stained August 28 letter and instead chose one postmarked August 31. In this letter Dad said it was Monday, he explained that Mom was doing better but that I should call her and he shared general news from home. I figured this letter was written after they had dropped me off at school.

I put the letter down and found my eye drawn once again to the letter postmarked August 28. Every ounce of me wanted to avoid it, but at the same time there was an equally strong push to read it. I picked up the letter, "Well you are on your way. By the time you read this you will be on the way to a new phase of your life, a great time in your life." If August 31 was Monday, then this letter was mailed on Saturday. It was most likely written before they drove me to school. I looked again at the postmark. Interesting, the city in the postmark is Harrisonburg, and yet all the other letters have an Annapolis postmark. Smiling, I realized that he must have mailed the letter from JMU on the day he moved me inthat would be just like him.

As I picked the letter back up I choked back tears, remembering that scared young lady who had never been away from home who wasn't sure what this whole college thing was going to involve. I glanced over the letteryep, there were places that clearly looked like tears had fallen. I took a deep breath and began to read it. "You are not alone. Each day I will stop and reflect on your earlier days and conjure in my imagination what you are doing at that exact moment." It continued, "As you stop and think of me reach your hand out just a little and you will feel my hand." And then this, "Sometime during the day you'll be thinking of meI'll be thinking of you. That warm feeling that comes over you at that moment is a great love for you."

These very same words that I needed to hear so many years ago are the exact words I need to hear today. Once again Dad is somewhere where I cannot talk to him directly or feel his hand in mine. Despite those limitations, I am reminded that I will always have his great love, and I will always be able to experience that warm feeling whenever I think of him. I thank God every day for the gift of my father but especially this Father's Day when I am reminded that love knows no bounds.

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