My father died in December. I’m still in disbelief about his death. He was never sick and always full of life. He was 85 and could still jump up out of his LazyBoy like he was 16. Just a few weeks before, my husband and I had been commenting to each other about how healthy he looked.
Mama is the one with health issues. Her back has troubled her for years and she constantly suffers with sinus infections. The neuropathy in her feet has gotten worse. She moves slowly. Daddy always waits for her and gets the door to help her inside. So when he was diagnosed with cancer we were stunned. Two months later, we still are.
He was diagnosed 2 weeks before Thanksgiving and died 2 weeks after. There’s a lot to be thankful in that, and we are. Still, I miss him.
I have often thought of the day when I would see my grandparents again. And when Daddy became sick, I thought how precious it would be for him to see them again, along with his older brother who died at the age of 9 and his baby sister, who was stillborn. Not to mention his grandparents and great grandparents..all of whom were strong Christians. They left this world, trusting in Jesus and knowing there were better days ahead, when there’d be no more sorrow.
There’s no doubt that my daddy wouldn’t have come back to us if he could have. Still, I miss him.
This past week my husband, who loves to read to me, read me this passage from the book “The Best of T. De Witt Talmage.” He knew it would comforted me. And it did. I have thought about it ever since.
Mr. Talmage was a great preacher from the 1800’s. This is an excerpt from one of his sermons. If you’ve lost a loved one, maybe this will comfort you as well. I hope so.
An old writer tells us of a ship coming from India to France. The crew was made up of French sailors who had been long from home; years gone away from their families; and as the ship came along by the coast of France the men became uncontrollable, and they skipped the deck with glee. and they pointed to the spires of the churches where they had once worshiped and to the hills where they had played in boyhood. But, the writers says, that when the ship came into the port, and these sailors saw the father and mother and wife and loved ones on the wharf, and heard the loved ones call them by their names, they sprang ashore and rushed up the banks into the city and the captain had to get another crew to bring the ship to her moorings.
Thus, heaven, our fatherland, will after awhile be so fully in sight, we can see its towers and we can see its mansions, and we can see its hills; and as we go into port and our loved ones shall call from that shining shore and speak our names, we will spring to the beach, leaving this old ship of a world to be managed by another crew, our rough voyage of the seas ended forever.
Still, I miss him.
After he died, I posted the above picture of us on Facebook with this caption: One of the last things Daddy asked me was ” Are you leaving?” I said “Daddy, I’m not leaving you….Don’t you leave me.” but just like the photo, he did.
I’ve always loved that picture of us…never realizing the significance of it until he died. And that’s how I feel, still, to this day. Lost. But comforted at the same time. Because of this blessed hope we have a Christians…that we don’t have to say goodbye to our loved ones forever…just for a little while.
So, Jesus. please take care of my daddy until I can see him again. And tell him, I miss him, still.
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