Well, my dad was already with Jesus by the time I got to their house yesterday. He had died about an hour earlier and Billy missed it too. We could see the body that held him but I missed that last breath. I didn't even ring the doorbell...Heather opened the door first and I knew. Then I went from her arms to somebody else's and somebody else's and somebody else's. I know somewhere in the mix I hugged Heather, Cindymom, Terri (Billy's wife), Billy, and the Chaplain. Maybe more people...I don't know. I think I cried the hardest with Terri. Then I went and held my dad's hand. Cindymom and Heather came back with me and soon Kyle. He got the kids settled first. When I had talked to Heather earlier I asked her to hold my dad's hand until I got there and bless her heart she did----and she told my dad that I was coming. She and Cindymom were holding his hands as he died. I'm not sure if he heard her or anything else that day. He was non-responsive for most of it. I'm not sure but I think he may have been more in Heaven than on Earth yesterday. The kids came back after and they cried. Later I was able to bring them back in and talk about Jesus dying on the cross and that as sure as He saw my dad's sin He saw this day too. He looked ahead to August 25, 2010 and did it so that sin couldn't separate my dad from our God and as His arms stretched out in death so long ago they stretched out in a welcoming hug as my dad went on to his ultimate healing.
Today I remember how hard yesterday was. I remember the worry of waiting, the rush to get there, and the sadness of good-byes. I know soon God will start to replace those memories with some happier ones. Then soon it will be an intermingling of sweetness and sorrow and gradually mostly sweetness.
On Sunday, when my dad was in the hospital, he kept having very vivid dreams. One time, while he was dreaming, his feet were just moving so fast---he was running. When he woke up we asked him what he had dreamed. He had dreamed that he was running to get out of the rain. I know that he missed those days of being able to walk, to breathe, and really just to live and enjoy life. He still wanted to be here but his body just wasn't doing it anymore. I am actually happy that he is using some perfect legs and breathing without a struggle. What joy it must have been for him!
Our day was filled with sadness but still there was laughter. I think God had my sweet children with us both for them but for us as well. Thanks to Savannah and Uncle Bill, all of Cindymom's bears have been renamed things like Strawberry, Strawlarry, and Strawterri.... Uncle Bill made mucous and eyeball pies with Savannah (pretend, of course) and while there were many, many times of tears and sadness God managed to make us laugh through the playfulness of a little one.