Whew, this is a toughie. Daddy died March 7,2016, and I know how you all have followed our journey. He was such an amazing man, and a great father(despite minor glitches, like most dads). But for me, he was my world in these last years. The reason I got up in the morning, the reason I stayed up all night. He was my dearest friend, after we lost Mom, and he was my child in so many ways.
It all comes full circle, first I am a child, they wipe my dirty nose, dirty butt. They watch me grow and change into some sort of adult, full of foibles, full of flaws. But also full of amazing acts of genius, and supreme acts of love. Sure, there is anger, and dysfunction, but the parents learn to accept, to forgive, and to love unconditionally.
Then, almost imperceptibly the roles change. The forgetful Mom, the Dad with a hitch in his step. The Child picks up the slack, a little extra help here, a mental nudge there. Then just as if it is a life running backwards, the needs grow, and the caregiving roles become more and more diverse. Take the folks to doctors, look closely to see if the take their meds. help them navigate with a cane, walker, wheelchair-just like they taught us to crawl, hold onto tables and then finally stand and walk.
I led my Daddy back to his childhood, back through his memories. I tried desperately to keep his dignity safe from pokers and prodders, from nurses shouting in his face and grabbing at injured hands. From nakedness in freezing hospital rooms, holding his water, feeding him jello. Making them listen when “MY DAD NEEDS SOMETHING FOR PAIN!!!”Just like he did for me, a 2 year old in an emergency room 50 years before.
But I want to shut those memories away now, the one’s of his suffering, the one’s of his dying in my arms, just the 2 of us here. And the memories of the big silence that seemed to fall over the house the second his last breath escaped. My Daddy, my dear friend, dear father, it is so hard to say goodbye.
I know like a fire burning deep inside that this is not the end of our togetherness. No.
You are sleeping a dreamless sleep, the kind you always wanted, when your mind would not let you rest. You are experiencing no pain, no turmoil or fear, no loneliness. You are in the safest place in the Universe, the Memory of our God, Jehovah. You are sleeping there and so is Mommy.
So are all our loved ones who have died. Jehovah, the God of Eternity is keeping all your hopes and dreams, loves and desires safe, as well as every aspect of what makes you you. And I thank Him for this knowledge, that He so freely gives in the pages of the Bible.
Mostly though, especially during this day, when 2016 years ago He let his perfect, only begotten Son, Jesus Christ lay in a tomb, tasting death for every man. Jesus had been tortured and murdered as a common criminal, nailed to a stake and left to die, he had been spat upon, laughed at, beaten and suffered at the hands of his enemies. And his heavenly Father, Jehovah, let this happen.
So that all of us, all of mankind, whether good or bad, can be forgiven of all their sins. So that all of us, all mankind, can have a chance at everlasting life. That all of us, all mankind, can join together as a family under Jesus Christ rule as King of God’s Kingdom.
Tomorrow will be the day 2016 years ago, when Jesus was resurrected, and that act, my friends, that wonderful act God performed all those years ago, is proof positive that Jehovah can and will resurrected our loved ones who have died.
To me, this is what will help me grieve, moving past the sadness of my father’s death. Because by Jesus death, all will be made alive!!