"Am I Dying?"

This past weekend, Zack and I were able to go to Atlanta for a brief visit. My brother and his son had flown in from Oklahoma on Friday and were staying (until today) with Mom and Dad. Saturday evening, we all were together for dinner and had a birthday celebration for my nephew. Then, Mom wanted all of us to go in and visit with Dad together and take pictures. My older brother read some scripture and began talking about what a legacy my Dad would be leaving behind. Needless to say, we all were in tears within just a few minutes. But, we were able to pull it together and take some pictures with Dad.

Later that evening, as some family had left and others were busy doing things in other parts of the house, I was able to go in and visit with Dad alone. He said he was hungry, so I fixed him a bowl of cereal and sat and fed it to him. He would occasionally smile the biggest grin and say things like, "pretty girl" and "sweetie heart". I couldn't contain the emotion. With tears streaming down my face, I told him that I loved him and was going to miss him when he was gone. He said, "Am I dying?" Not wanting to upset him, I told him that he was just getting older and I just wanted him to know that when he is gone, I would be missing him terribly. That seemed to satisfy him. He has coherent moments and some not-so-coherent moments. There are many times when his eyes are open, but he is just not there. Sunday morning and afternoon were rough. He kept talking about war things and was very restless and agitated that he was not able to keep an eye on 'his men'. He also was in alot of pain. It's sad to see him deteriorating so quickly.

As I drove home late Sunday, his words kept echoing in my head..."am I dying?" The more I thought about it, the more I realized that more than anyone I've ever known, my father has mirrored apostle Paul's mindset on living and dying. "For to me, to live, is Christ, but to die is gain". So Dad, in answer to your question, no, you're not dying, you're gaining eternal life more abundant than any of us can ever have here on earth.

1 sweet friends had to say...:

Di-dan said...

Tracey, I've been waiting for you to post something today because I knew you were going to be here over the weekend and knew it would probably be a hard, bittersweet visit. You were (and are) very much on my mind and in my prayers. Thanks for this post and for the update on your dad. I am sure these days are very difficult for you, but I am SO glad you have had time with your dad like you did on Saturday night to say the things you most want to say. It is obvious that you have a very sweet relationship with him and my prayer is that having time with him like you did Saturday night will give you peace and comfort in the long run. You can't even imagine how much you are on my mind.

I heard the song "His Strength is Perfect" this weekend and thought of you...the lyrics are timeless and fitting...

"His strength is perfect when our strength is gone;
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on.
Raised in His power, the weak become strong;
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect.

We can only know
The power that He holds
When we truly see how deep our weakness goes;
His strength in us begins
Where ours comes to an end.
He hears our humble cry and proves again . . .

His strength is perfect when our strength is gone;
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on.
Raised in His power, the weak become strong;
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect."

I love you, my friend and am here when/if you need me. Remember that. (Sorry for the long comment, but some things just need to be said!)

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