The last time
I wrote in this space it was 3 a.m. on the morning of February 21, 2014.
I couldn’t sleep and had been awake since before 2 a.m. I had to get up at 4 a.m. to catch a 6 a.m. flight to Little Rock, Arkansas by way of Chicago. I was headed to Arkansas to visit my parents and celebrate their birthdays (91 and 92) and their 70th wedding anniversary. All of these events had occurred during February. Six of the seven children would be in attendance and many of the 15 living grandchildren and 27 great grand children would make an appearance sometime during the weekend.
The trip to Arkansas was the most expensive I have had since I move out east 7 years ago. I wasn’t thrilled with the cost, but John encouraged me to go. I bit the bullet, purchased the plane ticket for a stay that would be less than 48 hours.
I arrived Friday afternoon, we celebrated on Saturday and I left early Sunday morning.
The following Tuesday morning, February 25th, after the last out of town sibling had left the previous night, my 92 year old dad had a stroke.
The following Tuesday, March 4 he took his last breath at 12:40 p.m. and crossed into the glorious mysterious of heaven into the waiting arms of his Saviour. I am convinced that in addition to being welcomed by the saints, he was met by his grandchildren, great grandchildren and son-in-law that pre-deceased him.
He walked the streets of gold with a clear head and for the first time in years, he was pain-free.
John and I left that afternoon. The drive is 18-19 hours. We would drive 9 hours before stopping and finish the drive the next day.
Others would fly or drive in later in the week with Andy and 2 more arriving on Sunday due to commitments that could not be changed.
We buried my Daddy on Monday, March 10th. It was a beautiful, sunny day. And while I am sad beyond what I thought possible, I am glad he is free.
He fell and fractured his pelvis on November 14, 2013. He was in and out of the hospital and rehab until Christmas Eve. My mother wanted to keep him home as long as possible and she was able to do that, thanks to my siblings in Arkansas and some private nursing that provided round-the-clock care.
He took his last breath in his own home.
While I have a gaping hole in my heart, I am thankful that
he did not suffer.
he knew people up until he lost consciousness, which was late in the week after the stroke.
he is free from pain.
he is in a place where I know I will see him again.
I spent that money for that short visit the end of February.
Jesus never promised skies always blue, but he did promise strength for the journey.
This journey I am on is not one I relish, but it is one that must be travelled. Losing a parent is much more difficult that I imagined. I am still crying at the drop of a hat yet, I have peace.
More than one person told my family, “what a great funeral.” We sang and celebrated the life of a great servant of the Lord.
I am blessed to have called him Daddy.
Friends, you sent flowers, texts, cards, letters and e-mails. You prayed for me and called me on the phone. Thank you…thank you more than you know.
As I ease back into this space, the path will be a bit rough. I have commitments that will take away from my writing. But I am coming back.
If you have lost a loved one, I encourage you to read this post by my friend, Susan Stillwell. She lost her mom about a month before I lost my dad. This post says it all.
Thank you again…
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I read these verses this morning as part of @stephanieweinert chapter a day challenge
It has been months since I have shared in this space. A lot of hard things have happened.
Tomorrow it will be four months since the sudden death of a close family member that was in his mid-fifties.
The grief is palpable. The loss is cavernous.
And life goes on.
And I remember that “he is my help and my shield.” And I will be thankful.
With all the grief and sadness in the world I wasn’t sure how I would handle today. How I would allow myself to grieve this loss? Today when there has so much WRONG in our world. In a post @deidrariggs shared today she reminded us that life goes on. And I realized that today this is my life. And I can grieve this loss. My life goes on... I am thankful for the 4 days we had her. On Friday I will remember each event of her last day and I will remember her dying in my arms.
And I will be both sad and grateful. #infantloss #trisomy18 #stlouischildrenshospital
This journey was difficult physically as well as emotionally. You are a daughter filled with love and I know he recognized this! You are still in my prayers, and I can't wait to see you again!.
Oh, Diane…I just Love you!!!!! You are such an encouragement to me!
Such a sweet post Mary! Beth
Thank you, Beth! Love you friend.
I am so sorry, Mary, to hear of the loss of your sweet dad. He died on my mom's birthday. Perhaps she greeted him in heaven too. Grieving is hard work and I will pray for you as the Lord brings you to my mind.
You know, Glenda, maybe she DID meet him at the gates!
Thankful for your thoughts and continuing to pray for you as you grieve…peace & comfort that you can't explain. Love you so.
I love you too, Jacque. It gets easier as the days go by, but sometimes I am still overwhelmed with grief. Thank you for the prayers friend.
Praying for you my friend!