These days….

These days, I call my dad at least twice a day to check in on him and hear his voice. I’m worried about him being lonely. I worry about him in the evening, when things are quiet and he’s alone sitting in my mother’s recliner. I worry about him spending hours upon hours combing over pictures from the past….65 years of memories documented in slides and photo albums.

I worry.

My heart aches.

My heart aches for his loss, as I feel it as well….just in a different way. I miss my mother so very much, but I wasn’t with her every day like my dad. You see, for the past 7 years, my dad selflessly honored his marriage vows to almost perfection! My mother was not bed bound, however, she needed constant care. She could no longer cook, clean, drive or even take a shower by herself. She was just too unstable and the fear of her falling and breaking a hip or worse was too much of a gamble. She walked with a walker, and was pretty good at it, but my dad did all of the rest. He even helped her get dressed in the morning and put her gown on at night. In addition, he set the alarm clock for every hour…every night to check on my mom’s medical needs that needed attention…..for 7 years!

62830_455506424048_5266309_n

My dad is almost 85 years old. Yet God gave him the strength to lovingly take care of his bride in their old age in ways we never dreamed. It was tough at times, and I’m sure there were days he complained and was weary. But he remained faithful, even to the minute she passed with him by her side stroking her hair, telling her how beautiful she was. His heartache was palpable and almost unbearable as we spent time by her bedside, in the hospital, after she died. The reality of his great loss, and ours, consumed him. We were, for the moment, devastated, not because we were shocked…..she was 83 and had been in poor health for several years….just the minute you go from death to life in Christ is a stunning thing to witness.

The shock quickly turned to peace. Instead of extreme exertion for each and every breath, there was silence. Her struggling turned to surrender. Her pain turned to healing. Her face became as peaceful as I have ever seen it. We knew, that although she was not with us in that room, she was instantly in another place, a much better place.

I had a moment to spend time with her alone before we left the hospital. I talked to her, kissed her, touched her and cried. But it was for selfish reasons. I wanted to memorize her face, her hands and her hair. I knew that this side of heaven, I would never hear her voice again. I wrestled with the thought and fear of forgetting her features. I don’t want to forget. I want to remember every memory I have of my mom. I’ve been telling my kids story after story of my childhood that involve my mother…just to refresh my memory.

In all of our loss and grief, there remains peace. Peace knowing that my mom loved God. She lived out her faith day after day. Her good works were evident, but not necessary for her relationship with Christ. But she chose to live out loud. She wanted others to know Him. Every day my Mom and Dad started with reading of scripture together and praying. I was always on that list….she told me. My children were on that list…she told me. I would often tell her of prayer concerns here in Miami, and she would add those to her list. She was praying for Jackie, Greg, Tony and Rick..just to name a few. A life lived like hers leaves a void. She was present. For this, we will miss her in this world. Our loss is most definitely Heaven’s gain.

My dad is doing fine. You see, he knows where she is as well. He’ll be there before too long and there will be a wonderful reunion.

I called my dad this morning…he whispered…”hey sweetie”…..and I knew instantly that he was in the woods hunting……enjoying God’s creation…and most likely talking to Mom.

 

 

Advertisements

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. myrtleengram
    Jan 26, 2017 @ 19:39:45

    Beautifully written, Linda. What a testimony of ❤️ love. Thanks for sharing ~ continued blessings.

    Reply

  2. April S. Wright
    Jan 26, 2017 @ 21:01:03

    What a wonderful story. We can all hope that our family remembers us with fond memories like this. She sounds like an awesome mom and a great testimony for Christ.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: