The alarm went off, I reached over and hit the snooze alarm, something I do everyday. I keep telling myself that I needs to break the snooze alarm habit but today was no different. As I laid in bed somewhere between dream land and consciousness waiting for the alarm to go off again a memory comes flooding to the forefront. A memory that I have kept stored away in the attic of my mind. A memory I don't want to recall too often but I don't want to forget it either.
It was a day like every other day. I got up and was getting myself and the girls ready for the day when the phone rang. I answered the phone completely expecting to my hear my husbands cheery voice, but it wasn't him, it was the nurse. I was confused, I couldn't figure out why the nurse was calling at this hour of the day; what could be wrong? Just yesterday the doctor was optimistic that with time dad would get better, but after my conversation with the nurse I realized that dad wasn't going to get better, he was now refusing all blood transfusions and with that decision it didn't have much time left.
When I got to the hospital dad said Mark (his son) and his wife were there. I looked around the room and saw no sign of any other visitors. I chalked it up to the meds he was on and a deep desire to see his boys again. As the day went on he frequently talked about Mark and his wife. I finally decided to ask the nurse if he had any other visitors last night or earlier in the morning. The nurse said his son had been in and she thought his name was Mark. I stood there in disbelief, had he really flown up here to see his dad after all of this time? Later that day I finally met my oldest brother. It was a meeting that was awkward at first but soon we became very comfortable with each other. The next morning the second son appeared, the younger of my two brothers. Both boys look very different from each other but yet there was no denying who their father was. I could see some of dad's features in both of them, looks, facial expressions, and hand jesters to name a few.
Dad had never really shared his most inner desire with me before, a prayer he hoped would be answered before he past away. Dad had been married before and had two sons from that marriage. Due to reasons that were never shared with me the boys moved to another state with their mother and dad had very little contact with them. As a matter a fact, growing up my sisters and I knew we had two half brother out there some where but had never met them.
Thursday night was a wonderful blessed time, all of dad's kids and grandchildren were there in the room with him laughing and carrying on. We watched TV together and even got in trouble by the nurse for being too loud. It appeared dad was enjoying himself, seeing all of his children together, he didn't think he would ever see all five in the same room at the same time. He sat in his bed with the oxygen tube on his face, looking a little pale and not talking much but smiling all the same - a look of peace. That was the last night dad was conscious. It was almost like he was waiting for his dream, his dream of all of the kids being together. He achieved that dream and was now able to let go.
Friday came and went with little change in dad he remained unconscious the entire day. We talked, read scripture and prayed with him. The nurse came in Saturday morning and changed dad's bedding and cleaned him up. I will never forget dad's facial expression as she washed his face. It was like a little boy who didn't want to have his face washed. The nurse was so gentle and loving with him.
Later that afternoon dad's breathing became more inconsistent. His breaths got farther and farther apart, I found myself wonder if each one would be his last. Around 6:00 that Saturday night dad did take his last breath. If death can be peaceful this was; there was no struggle the next breath just never came. My sisters and I along with Scott, my other brother, were around his bed watching and praying over him when he took that last breath.
It was a time of sadness and joy, a time of exhaustion and a time of new beginnings.
Sunday, October 4th, marked the 6th year anniversary my dad went home to Jesus. I will never be able to thank him enough for everything he did and the sacrifices he made for me and for my family. He had a gentle spirit and rarely raised is voice but when he did you knew he meant business.
I miss you dad and I love you more then words could ever say but I rest in peace knowing that you are rejoicing and worshiping with Jesus now.
This is a picture of daddy and me, at least 17 years ago.