September 27, 2010

Missing Dad

Six days after dad was put on hospice, he went home to be with the Lord. My brother, sister, and I spent the last three nights with him at my brother's home since he was so short of breath. We knew congestive heart failure was taking his health but had no idea his time was so short.

I'd spent Sunday night (the night before he died) with him and he seemed to have rallied. In fact early Monday morning he looked so good I offered him coffee and toast, which he gobbled like a starving refuge. The next morning I told my brother I knew dad needed 24-hour assistance but I hadn't done much for him that particular night. The next night proved a different story, however, when my sister called at 1am asking if she could give him more medication to help him breathe. I gave her instructions, then waited and wondered if it provided him with any relief. I assumed it had but still could not sleep. At 2am she called and told us dad had passed away. His struggle to breathe had taken its toll on his tired 86 year-old body. He could no longer take the strain and died in my brother's home with his eldest child by his side. He knew he was loved.

With the heavy news on our hearts, Jimmy, Dani, and I headed out to my brother's home in the countryside after we received the call. It was a stormy night as sheets of rain, flashes of lightening, and claps of thunder surrounded us on all sides. The 30-minute drive brought us to dad who was now at rest; a true light gone from my life and one I will not see again this side of heaven. I wasn't the only one to sense this great loss either. Just moments after our father's body was taken away my brother commented, "we have no parents", to which my sister quipped, "we're orphans!" We giggled at the time but the truth was sobering.

No amount of preparation could have prepared us for the obvious. Dad was our last parent and now we are left to carry on. Absorbing the loss of the generation before us, my brother, sister, and I huddled together like little baby birds in the days following his death. We've laughed, cried, reminisced, and praised God for the wonderful parents He's given us. To be raised in a simple, stable, fun, and funny Christian home is a treasure we each value and carefully pass on to our own families. We are grateful for our past and the parents who made it possible.

I miss you dad. Thanks for the memories!


Cheryl Barker said...

Nancy, I've been wondering how you were doing after your father's death. Thanks so much for sharing. The photos are precious as well as your memories. I pray that God will continue to comfort you -- my heart goes out to you!

katiegfromtennessee said...

Oh Nancy, this is a touching post. When you said you were orphaned, it reminded me of all those verses about how God wanted to make sure that the orphaned and the widowed were taken care of by others, looked out for, and considered for their welfare by others...that tells me that He is caring for you all watchfully and affectionately.

Blessings to you, and comfort from Him,


Abba's Girl said...

Sorry it took me so long to respond. I read your post 09/27 which was my parents' anniv date. My heart broke for you and I could not form a thought. I will keep you and your family covered in prayer.