The picture above is my mom and dad. Today, I thought of my dad all day long. My dad passed away over 20 years ago. It seems like yesterday to me sometimes. I have gotten over the grief, but only through God’s grace and mercy. This scripture in Psalm 34 came to my mind as I sat and remembered my dad, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed”. (Psalm 34:18 NLT).
I was daddy’s little girl. He would take me everywhere with him. Everyone said “you look just like your daddy”. Oh how proud I was of that fact! Daddy worked at the bank. He was the custodian yet you would have thought he was a big will at the bank because everyone respected and loved him. During the summers I would help him. I loved going to work with “my daddy”. There was always treats in the breakroom and sometimes the president of the bank would stop by and chat with dad. They were great friends. He would ask me if I would like some ice cream. I would say yes and he would take me to the ice cream store and get me the biggest hot fudge sundae! He was really nice.
My daddy was know for his “tall tales”. He could make anyone laugh and he always had a beautiful smile on his face. Yes, I loved my daddy. He was my superhero. I simply adored him and worshipped the ground he walked on. He was the best daddy a girl could have.
When we found out he had cancer, my heart broke into pieces. I was around 20 when we found out. Daddy was a strong man. He was a fighter. He went through the chemo and the radiation like a champ. He never complained once. The cancer had spread so rapidly that he had to have his tongue and part of his ear removed. He had to be fed through a tube. For the first time I could see how vulnerable and weak my dad was. He would still laugh, smile and try to make jokes, but I could see in his eyes he was sad and very, very tired.
The day he died, I was visiting my cousin out of town when I got the call. Mom said, “hurry home your dad does not have much longer”. You know death is coming, yet you can never prepare for it. You try, but you simply can not. Those words stayed with me the entire drive home. I remember saying, “Lord please let him stay alive until I get there. Please let me say good-bye to my daddy”. I do not remember the drive home at all. I know I pulled up to the hospital, jumped out of my car and went straight to his room. I burst through the door and yes, my dad was still hanging on. I walked over to his bed and grabbed his hand. I kissed him on the cheek. I said, “I love you daddy” as the tears were slowly dropping one by one from my eyes. He looked at me and somehow managed to smile. Although he had his tongue removed, I know I heard him clearly say, “I love you too sweetie”.
He looked straight ahead as though someone was calling him. He started saying, “momma, momma” and reaching out his arms. “Momma, momma”, he said again. Grandma had died about two years earlier. Did she come back to get him? Was she helping her baby boy come home to Heaven? When I looked back at him, he closed his eyes and breathed his last.
I believe my grandma did come and take her baby boy home to Heaven. Dad had such a peaceful look on his face. He was not in pain at all. I stared at him for a long time. I leaned over, kissed him and said good-bye to my daddy. This memory is still very vivid in my memory. I will never forget it. My dad was my “super hero” to the very end. He never, ever complained.
No one can heal;
Love leaves a memory
No one can steal
God revealed something to me about my dad which I never knew. I knew my dad believed in God, yet he never went to church. But, about a year ago, the pastor of the church grandma belonged to came up to me. He said, “I want to tell you something. I went to visit your dad about three weeks before he died. He wrote on a piece of paper, I want to be saved. I asked him if he believed that Jesus Christ died for his sins. He wrote “yes”. I asked him if he repented of his sins. He wrote “yes”. I asked him if he would accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He wrote, “yes”. Then he pastor said, your dad had tears rolling down his face”. I never, ever seen my daddy cry. He said, your dad accepted Christ into his life that day. I could not believe my ears! My dad gave his life to Christ! Glory to God!
I find it amazing how God reveals things to you in his time. I thank God that I now know for sure that my father accepted Jesus Christ. I thank God that he has seen my through my moments of pain and heartbreak. My grief was fierce, but he helped me to overcome. Now I can write about my daddy and smile. Now I can think of him and thank God for allowing me to have such a wonderful father for a brief moment of time. God can truly mend a broken heart. He can truly turn your sorrow into joy.