Today’s weather matches how I feel ….it’s cloudy, it’s grey, it’s raining and…it’s June 28th.
Sixteen years ago today, Dad took his last breath on earth and, in the next moment he was healthy and whole in heaven.
It’s a hard day. It always has been and always will be. There is no way around it. Yes, we honor and remember him, the impact he had around the world, his life, his legacy. But we still miss him.
I mourn. I mourn the loss of my Dad, of Keith’s father-in-law, of Sarah’s Pappy. I mourn the times he has missed with us, the memories that could not be made, the faces he will never get to see.
It’s hard to weigh the current with the past. I would not for a moment wish he was here, if it meant his illness and suffering were to be prolonged.
But what have we ALL lost without hearing the messages that he had to carry? Will we ever truly know? We need to take up the burden of the cross that he gave his life to do. We need to continue running the race that he could not finish; though in his heart, he willed himself to keep going.
I remember one of the last hospitalizations before his passing. I came to see him and, though he was sick and weak, he had a map out in front of him with a route highlighted in yellow and red circles around certain cities.
What was he doing? He was planning a cross-country ministry trip from his hospital bed. He was basing his route on where the hospitals were in case he had a flare up!
Needless to say, I was upset at the thought of this! His heart function at that time? A mere 5%…and he wanted to travel? Across the country! I told him he would come back in a casket.
Who does that? My dad. That’s who. I never saw a man more dedicated and committed to the calling on his life. He was visibly disappointed when I sat with him and asked if he realized, what a risk he was considering in planning this trip.
He folded up his map, closed his eyes, and I know…felt defeated. He knew deep down that this trip could not happen. He had never thought about the risk, only the potential opportunity for ministry and the doors that could open! That was Dad, to the core.
I literally let my frustration loose on the person who was going to travel with him. What was he thinking? I told him that if he took this trip with my father, and my dad died on this trip, I was personally going to hold him responsible for his death. I was that upset.
Yes, he acknowledged he understood the risk, but he also knew that you did not argue with Dad when his heart was set on ministry! And he was right, Dad would have done anything to go.
Dad never wanted to stop ministering, it was his life…his passion…his calling. But, Dad was obedient and even unto death, was willing to do as His Father bid.
I never wanted him to go, but I had to LET him go, as the Father bid. No one was ready for the loss, but we accepted what was to come and also knew with his death, would come his victorious healing. What more could we possibly ask for?
I will not mourn that time, even though I mourn his loss. I will remember ALL his days. I will honor his memory and press on as he would want of me and, as we all should be doing.
My precious Papa…I would still love one more story, one more salami omelette, one more “slosh”.
You are in our hearts always.