How is it even possible that eleven years…ELEVEN YEARS have gone since my Papa was called home to Heaven?
Today is the date that was his last on this earth. 6/28/2007…the last day his anguished body fought for each breath, and then no more. In a mere moment he went from being on his deathbed to being whole and restored with the Lord.
So many of you knew him, but many did not have the blessing of knowing him when he was alive, and have only come to know of him after he passed. He so believed he would die a martyrs death in Israel. He was in disbelief that this disease would take his body! I still recall every conversation about what was ahead as if it were only yesterday. But he was able to make that choice. The Lord would either raise him up or take him home…those were his words when I sat down with him to talk about “things” a mere week before he died.
And there we sat a week later, the living room filled with close family and friends, watching and waiting, taking turns sitting by the bed that had been set up in the den.I clearly recall Dina Herrera looking up at me when he began his journey. She knew. I could tell by the look in her eyes that there had been a swift change. I literally jumped from my seat, calling for my mother to come.
My dad lived and loved this song…“I see a man coming down from the mountain, I see him clearer each day. I see a man coming down from the mountain and he says, prepare ye the way. Prepare ye the way. Prepare ye the way. Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” He had done so and now he was ready. His hands moments prior had lifted off the bed in praise to Jesus as He was calling to him to come home. He had been in a unresponsive coma for three days, so to see this was really a sight to behold, and a moment of memory frozen in my mind. And shortly after that knowing and loving look from Dina, his body breathed his last rugged breath, and he was gone. That moment forever stopped in time…
Oh that there could have been more time with this amazing man who was able to impact more lives than any of us will ever know! Dad wasn’t a “Jesus Freak” or a cult leader, or anything else beyond a man who loved the Lord first, with his whole heart. He devoured the word as if it were air itself and it was the life he lived and breathed. The choices he had to make…obedience to God and the calling on his life first and foremost, literally willing to leave everything he had to follow what the Lord wanted from him, not something I understood, appreciated or remotely respected as a child and teen but only came to honor, respect and understand in my adult years. There are “what if’s” that will only get answered on the other side of heaven.
And eleven years later, I’m still trying to learn, hear and understand the way he did. It is highly probable that I never will as there has not been and likely will not be another like him. Dad’s ways are not my ways, yet His way is to somehow keep the journey my beloved Papa started on…alive through the journey. He alone has placed my family and I on. Somehow…
Life…death…a moment, a journey, a legacy, never forgotten, a daughters heart still aching for her father.
In loving memory of my Dad,