Today I turned twenty-nine….Twenty-nine plus 16 years! With it being my birthday, I have spent a large part of today thinking about my folks. Thinking how I am thankful they gave me life. For the legacy of faith they have left to me, my children and grandchildren. The fact they always allowed me to be who I am!
Mom went to be with her friend, Jesus on January 17, 2005. (See the post, My Lessons from Mom on Dec. 24th) Dad followed on February 1st, 2006. Initially, it was not my intent to write this post about Dad’s departure from this world. Yet, as I wrote the date of his death, I couldn’ t help but think back to the hospital room that day.
Feb. 1st was the end of a long, hard-fought battle for Dad. Diagnosed in the summer of 2004 with lung cancer, the doctors went into remove the tumor that August and were unable. They “closed him back up,” (as Dad would say) and sent him home to fight this terrible disease with rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. He fought for 18 months, until the cancer won.
Dad spent the last ten days of his life in the hospital. With the help of his brothers, sister and their children, a family member was with him around the clock. On the morning of his death, my uncle called and said Dad was going. I immediately went to the hospital. My husband picked up our children from school. We met at the hospital to say our last goodbye’s.
It is never easy sitting at the bedside watching someone you love die. This was no different, except for the assurance Dad and God provided for me those final few minutes. As Dad was struggling with his last few breaths, he looked over to me and winked! Dad was always one of the most selfless man I knew. He always put others needs above his own, even in his death. His last act of love to me was a wink! A wink which told me; I love you, it will be ok and we will see each other again.
The final assurance came as Dad passed from this life into eternity. He reached to someone with both of his arms. He wasn’t reaching out to any of the family in the room. He was looking beyond us. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, Dad was reaching out to his Lord and Savior, Jesus. And when they embraced, Jesus whisper into Dad’s ear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”