papa and kids

The anniversary was this week.  This last summer I was able to visit the resting place of my Papa’s body with my children – for the first time.  A lot more emotion surfaced than I expected.  When I was younger I never imagined my children would visit a grave site, rather than my Papa.  I would have loved to show off my children to my Grandpa, and on the flip side show off my awesome Papa to my little ones.  Love that man.  Here is something from a few years back, a small handful may have seen this before.  🙂

Today marks the ten year anniversary of my “Papa” changing his residence to a far more beautiful home.  Looking back I remember this day ten years ago.  I was wearing a white casual dress, in training at a new job.  I had already completed one week of training.  Suddenly I was called out of my cubicle.  I looked up to see my mother about 50 feet away from me, near the foyer area.  She had a look on her face I was not familiar with.  Immediately I thought someone had died.  Ironically I don’t know why that was my first thought, but my fear was shortly confirmed.

 “Papa died.”  

Immediately I burst into tears sobbing.  Now when something tragic happens my first thought is to question, how do we know this is true, and then I usually go into shock.  At age sixteen it was different, my emotions were less gaurded, and my heart was much more tender.  I kind of miss the pure emotion of that age.  Although I am thankful I can easily put on a front now a days.  We moved into a small conference room, got ourselves together, and went home.

I still can’t believe he is gone.  I cried myself to sleep that night and many nights following.  There were so many moments in that specific day that are SO impact-full to me.  Looking back I do not even really understand how I had time to experience all that I did in that one day.  

Walking into my house and seeing my grieving family.  Trying to comprehend that my dad had just lost his father and what that must be like.  My little brother had lost one of his heroes.  Appropriately it began to rain.  Pouring rain.  Weeping rain.  I went on a run.  I had sweat pants on, I was soaked, and I could cry.  No one could distinguish the tears from the rain. I listened to my music and ran.  I went to the park and swung in the rain.  The park was empty, no one was there.  The sun was no where in sight, the world was sad.  A wet, sad, cold, empty world, with a vacancy that no one could ever fill.  There was no other Papa.  He was gone.  God had taken him.  He never knew how much I had loved him.  I never knew how much I had loved him.

I think I could go on for about twenty pages…. the first time I returned to his home….  seeing specific relatives display different emotions… the strength of my dear grandma…..  

There were some bible verses that helped to get me through these times.  I wrote them on a notecard, and eventually gave them to my Grandma.  It was the only thing I had to offer her along with my love and hugs.  They were verses about God’s comfort.  Most of them were written by David.  I remember one was the ever popular “joy comes in the morning.”  I can tell you it is true.  Joy does come in the morning.  God’s timing is perfect.  I miss my Papa.  I would not do anything to bring him back.  I know that he is in the perfect place.  I want him to stay there and never come back.  I miss him.

The closeness that was displayed by my whole extended family was amazing.  There was grief, love, memories, hugs, and comfort.  It was also a spiritual time.  It made a strong family closer.  Unconditional support, love, and faith.  (Oh, and an unconditional supply of food lol)  

God has comforted, supplied our needs, and let us remember a truly great man.  Experiencing the death of my Papa was a good experience.  He is loved and missed greatly by all.  I will never stop missing him while on this earth.  I dream of a family reunion  in heaven lol….  we will see about that one lol….  I don’t know if they have those up there 😛 

I am thankful for the Papa that my children have to call their own.  Although they do not have the joy of meeting my Papa, just like my little brother, my son has a Papa to look up to as his hero.  My Papa would be proud of their Papa.


Your Love Language – Inspired and On Fire

love language

Have you taken the test? There is a book written, and there is an online test about your love language. I can tell you which love language I speak according to the test. It seems to be the rage. Admirers ask about it, and friends post about it. Don’t get me wrong it’s always interesting “finding out more about yourself,” but what is the real benefit of knowing your love language? I have had a few “deep” conversations about love languages. All of these conversations were with people that wanted to learn how to love me better. After the conversations ended, I walked away with a warm fuzzy feeling – these people wanted to learn how to love me better. That feeling faded, as the promises took the form of a lovely unrealistic, far fetched fairy tale – out of reach, and out of this world.

What if we made it a little more simple. Throw away the test, set down the book, and end the lofty conversations. “Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” Wow, so simple. How many times can you look back at a love that has gone wrong, and heal it with that short sentence.

Have you ever been shocked when someone tells you they love you? We already know they love us well before they dare express it in words. Our love languages should not be focused on how we like to receive love, but on how we love others. These love languages that we speak to others are some of the most precious gifts we are given. They come in different forms, a heavenly love, and a unique love.

love welcomeThere was a day when many believers were gathered together.  The Holy spirit cam upon them, and they were gifted with the gift of speaking different languages. Here is a picture of what it would have looked like: Jose – who only knew Spanish – suddenly began speaking Mandarin to Liu, and Liu understood every word Jose uttered.  These were words from the Holy Spirit.

Today we are also given languages and words to speak to others, that not all can understand. I have a dear friend that speaks a language I can not, she speaks it beautifully, and is able to touch others. She speaks the language of a widow – I don’t know that language. There is another friend that is able to reach some that I can only speak to at a broken level. He speaks the language of a drug addict. He is recovered now, but he can speak to others fluently in a language that many of us can not. In reality all of the things that have happened to us, give us another love language. I can speak single mom fluently. I can speak broken, young, hurting girl, I can speak divorced, and many other languages.


The crazy part is, so many of us are bilingual when it comes to the love languages that we speak, but we insist on keeping it a secret. We only speak the language that we deem most accepted, when there are people that could benefit from even a few words. 

I came around the corner. I saw Michael speaking Spanish to one of our customers. I had worked with Michael for a year now, and had never heard him speak Spanish before. I immediately thought of all the times he could have helped our Spanish speaking customers – he would have benefited the company with his gift – a valuable asset. Turns out Michael was embarrassed. His mother could not speak English, and he viewed himself and his mother as lower in society, when I viewed him as more valuable. Rather than taking on the same view as Michael, speak your languages, make them your love languages! Shout them from the mountains, and embrace your gift of a diverse love!


© 2016 Leah J. Dillon
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