This has been an unforgettable month. My father went to his heavenly home on early Saturday morning February 9th. I mentioned earlier that my dad was facing a hard decision and I can tell you now he had to choose between treatment for his lymphoma, which would not have addressed his real illness, which was lung cancer, and would have had serious side affects, or his other choice was to wait and then go on hospice care. He chose to go on hospice. He was signed up early February. He passed away very quickly, which was our prayer – that he would not suffer long. He went to be with our Lord on Saturday, February 9th at 3:16 am. My sisters and I were with him when he passed. It was very peaceful. The whole family was together the evening before spending time with him. Earlier in the day his pastor came to sit with him, pray with him and to give him and all those in the room communion. It was a very special time. Dad was interacting with the pastor and was very present with us all at that time. The hospice nurse came in next. She tended to his needs and helped us get his meds figured out because he seemed to be having a harder time breathing. After she left he was resting and from that point on he was mostly non-responsive. It was as if he had been waiting for all his kids to get there, I was the last to arrive – hubby and I got there on Thursday evening around 8:30, everyone else was already there, Then after that final meeting with the pastor he was ready to go. I will never forget the last few moments with him, holding his hand, speaking to him about what a good father he was, and that Jesus was waiting to take him home. I told him that God would say to him, “Well done thou good and faithful servant”, and that he could just let go whenever he wanted to, and as his breathing slowed, his eyes opened to the heavens and he took his last breath.
The family decided to have the funeral the following Monday so that we could all attend. The service was so good and comforting and the church provided a nice lunch. My father had picked out the hymns and the verses he wanted. One verse he chose was his baptismal (or confirmation) verse, Psalm 27: 1-2, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, whom shall I be afraid?”
One of the most special aspects of this time, to me, was how our family – siblings, spouses and children – rallied and worked together to get things ready for the funeral and to talk about all the stuff that needs to be talked about. We went through some of mom and dads “stuff” and since hubby and I have gone back home many of them have continued to clean out belongings and get the house ready to be sold. I am so grateful for my family and proud of each one of them. Dad will be so missed. I have often thought I need to call him and see how he is doing or when I post pictures on facebook I hope he will see it because he would comment on pictures sometimes. And then it comes back that he is gone and then I remember where he is and the peace comes quickly.
Here are some random pictures of the dinner
The evening before the funeral was spent going through photo albums and putting together some memorabilia boards. It was a wonderful time of laughing and reminiscing. We truly had some good memories to share.
We spent time finding and distributing some of Mom and Dad’s special things. It was a healing time, a sharing time. I look back on the whole thing with such joy and peace and gratitude for my family. Here are some pictures for you.
Such an amazing job my dad did on these paintings.
We shared knives and broke into dad’s liquor and we ate lots of good food, here David is tasting Halvah!
Jack, Debbie’s husband, loved taking selfies as he was taking group pics. He’s a funny guy that we all love dearly.