While I was going through my files the other day, I came across an email that Shea had written to her father. A little background about her dad………………we divorced when Shea was 4 yrs. old. He immediately moved to Spain. He is a geophysicist and explores for oil mostly in the Middle East and Russia. He never paid court ordered child support until I sued him when Shea began High School. He never exercised his visitation rights unless she called him begging to see him. His permanent home was in Houston and she had 2 half brothers she adored but never got to see. She saw him “maybe” once a year until she was in High School. She never received a phone call or gift from him on her birthday or holidays.
The facts are that she was abandoned by her father from age 4. The only contact she had with him was when she initiated it. But my kind and loving girl never gave up on him and she adored her father unconditionally.
In her mid twenties he was living in Russia and had been there for many years. He called his sister and told him that he would not be in contact with any family members and that they would not be able to reach him in any way. So, for over 15 yrs., Shea did not know exactly where her father lived, had no phone number, address, and none of her family on his side knew how to reach him either. She still held on with hope and never doubted that he loved her and no matter what he did, she would always love him and she did.
The email I found that Shea had written was to her father’s last known email address so it did not reach him but I would like to share it with you. She wrote:
I have written to tell you how much I love you. I have heard what has been going on and how those jerks will not renew your visa. I understand you need to travel because of your type of work. I there is anything I can do or any phone calls I can make for you. Helping you would mean so much to me.
Well, I am healed from my leg surgery but I have gained an awful lot of weight. It will take a while to get 30lbs. off. Anyway, I will do it!
I finally bought a car with my own money. It is a 92 Ford Explorer 4X4 with leather upholstery, the Eddie Bauer edition. It has quite a few miles on it but was owned by a mechanic and is in top condition.
Here’s my favorite poem I thought might make you feel better.
It’s In The Valley I Grow
Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe,
It’s them I have to remember
That it’s in the valleys I grow..
If I always stayed on the mountain top,
And never experienced pain,
I would never appreciate God’s love
And would be living in vain.
I have so much to learn,
And my growth is very slow,
Sometimes I need the mountain tops,
But it’s in the valleys I grow.
I do not always understand
Why things happen as they do,
But I am very sure of one thing,
My Lord will see me through.
My little valleys are nothing
When I picture Christ on the cross,
He went through the valley of death,
His victory was Satan’s loss.
Forgive me Lord, for complaining
When I’m feeling so very low,
Just give me a gentle reminder
That it’s in the valleys I grow.
Continue to strengthen me, Lord
And use my life each day
To share your words with others,
And help them find their way.
Thank you for valleys, Lord
For this one thing I know
The mountain tops are glorious,
But it’s in the valleys I grow.
Shea loved our Lord even though her life was filled with so much pain and confusion. She never questioned “why me?”. She just did the best she could. I will always miss her loving spirit, beautiful smiles, and love for everyone. How did I ever deserve to have such a wonderful daughter for 37 years? I just thank God everyday for His gift.
BTW, she never heard from her father again before she died. He called me 8 months after her death and said “I’m really sorry. All I ever wanted was for her to be happy”. Honestly, if I had not still been in shock, I would have exploded on him, but it is just as well that I had nothing to say to him. Shea was gone. It would have changed nothing.
Much love to you all,