My cycle of thoughts this weekend and the processing of
I can't think of anyone who deserves to go Home more than my dad. I want that for him, because Christ has truly been his refuge, his strength, his best Friend, his Everything. The reunion awaiting him will be spectacular.
Beyond that, he will be with 5 of his sons again. He will see his daughter-in-law, his grandkids, his parents and siblings/siblings -in-law. He loved them all so deeply.
He has known much grief. He has faced much hardship. He has been betrayed. Through it all, he has clung with a tenacity that I marvel at to his belief in the goodness and perfectness of God. What a glorious day it will be for him to be with his Saviour!!
But, now that hospice believes he is in his last weeks, I've switched from wanting him to be free and I'm thinking, 'Whoa, hold on! Not so fast! I'm not ready to say good-bye!......I CAN'T DO THIS!!!!.'
I'm SO grateful for having the best dad I can imagine and for all the years he poured into my life. I just selfishly want to hang on for more. I feel too young to be without a dad.
My heart starts racing throughout the day, breathing becomes quick and shallow. I'm trying to focus on finishing picture stuff, traveling, making work and school arrangements, and finding clothes for the future memorial that sounds like it's getting close. It feels like I've gone through these preparations a thousand times. It's been enough that it brings me anxiety, even though most people don't see that I get shaky and cold and nervous. This time will be a little different than the others - not better or worse - but different, because it's the first time I'll lose a father. My mind keeps racing with questions and even some fear:
Who's going to be there to pray for me when I so desperately need it? There's been so many times I've called him over the years.
Who's going to answer my questions about faith, the church, scripture and trials with the depth of experience and commitment my dad had?
Who's going to hug me as much as he did?
Who's going to tell me how nice I look? He always told me I looked 'sharp' and pretty and I think he and I talked about clothes more than my mom and I. He loved showing off any new tie or shirt he got.
Who's going to like my style as much as he and ask me to make things for him?
Who's going to bring me all kinds of garage sale stuff that I may or may not need?
Who's going to come help me with projects?
Who's going to remind me how much Nathan looks like Steve? He often said recently how much Nate reminded him of Steve at the same age.
Who's going to bring me treats when I don't feel good or run through Wendy's for a frosty with me just because we are out doing errands - of course, I had to promise not to tell mom he was cheating on his diet.
Who's going to stop by just because they want to have a few minutes to talk and see the kids?
Who's going to bring me all kinds of printed information that he thought I needed to know?
Who's going to pray daily for me (and the rest of our family) with the intensity and fervor that he did?
I've had to get used to some of these things being over already, due to living in separate states and his dementia of late, but saying goodbye for good is so......real.
I have these days where I'm afraid to not have my dad to turn to and I want to soak up more of his wisdom.
But, I DO have an answer to my questions.
Who's going to fill in for my dad? Well, no one can take his place, of course. And, while my mom actually did many of these things with my dad (and she won't stop), I know she and my dad would say what they've always said, either in words or actions - God is your answer for everything.
Even though I am going to miss being my dad's only daughter and the special bond we had, I'm going to honor him by realizing I'm still going to be a daughter that will be loved and protected by a Father - I'm still a daughter of the King!! God will never leave me without wisdom, comfort, love or any good thing I ask for. There is nothing my dad would ever want more than to know that I rely on God before any person, even himself. My dad has taught me a lot about this already and I will remember what he's shared with me, learn from his example and honor his legacy by relying on my Heavenly Father in the places I used to rely on my dad for.
I know that I will still feel hurt, and sometimes anxiety during this journey of losing my dad, but through it all, I'm not alone. I will try not to forget it in the stressed moments, even though satan will want me to feel that way at times. I will just have to focus on my dad being in Heaven - that's the best grief care I know. It's much harder to think of my loss when I know my loved ones are happy, free from pain and with their Lord!
Psalm 121:1 -2 “I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.”
Isaiah 41:10“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (NIV)
Deuteronomy 31:6“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (ESV)