They're supposed to live forever.
For some unknown reason or maybe it was my childlike belief in this area, but I thought my parents would live forever. Or at least when they died, they would be very old and from natural causes. No sudden deaths were in my future.. Nah ah. Not me. That was for everyone else. I'm good at consoling and praying for people. And even though, it is now my reality, the path that I know too many have traveled on before me is quite rocky, unsteady and painful. "They" say it gets smoother as you go along. We'll see...
We had plans.
The last time I saw my father was a good time! We met up with my parents on a Sunday at the end of June in Dalton Ga. It was half way for both of us. It was a FABULOUS time. We had breakfast at the Cracker Barrell and later Ezra and I snuck off to see a movie while the Grandparents enjoyed some QT with their grandson. I truly didn't want to leave, but we had to go. We promised to do it more often - maybe make it our meeting place on a regular basis. We had big plans.
July 3oth was the last time I spoke with my Dad. We were making more BIG plans. Big ones! :-) My birthday was on the 6th and my anniversary was on the 11th. We would be celebrating 10 years of marriage. Big deal that deserved BIG plans!! LOL. The plan was to travel home to Augusta, visit a minute, drop off Ethan and keep going to Charleston, SC, about 2.5 hours away. I hear Charleston is a very lovely romantic town. I was looking forward to our visit and honestly a couple of days of R & R. My Dad was asking for the 3rd time when I was coming home. I'm no fool, he didn't care about me. He couldn't wait to see Ethan or E-MAN as he affectionately called him. For some reason he had in his mind I was coming the weekend of my birthday. So our conversation - with lots of jokes and laughter, was updating him on the true plan :-) . To keep it clear, my mom marked the calendar at home to denote my arrival and departure. He was making his own set of plans to kidnap Ethan and put his getaway scheme in motion. It was a running joke we had. We laughed. I did that alot with my Dad.
But on August 2nd all of that changed. My father had a seizure during a routine Doctor's. visit. It's more involved than that, but too much to go into now. A few hours later, my dad was gone. Needless to say, my birthday was bittersweet. We had cake and ice cream. My family sang Happy Birthday and I made it though the day. On August 9th, instead of arriving in Augusta to execute my "Big Plans", I laid my father to rest. The calendar at home is still showing my mom's marking "August 9th: Marcie Arrives. August 12th: Marcie Leaves". I did leave on August 12th looking to get back home to some semblance of normalcy. I wasn't ready for this new life.
Memories at every turn
Since then, I've tried to start life over. I'm trying to get back into the swing of things, but almost every move I make brings about some memory of my father. We were very close. He was a good father. He seemed to have made his way into every aspect of my life. My son looks a lot like him and with similar builds. I think about him all day everyday trying to hold tight to the memories because I know I won't get to make any new ones. I've held it together for the most part, but there are some days where the tears are going to flow no matter what and I let them. "They" say it's apart of the process. We'll see...
The Greatest Man in the World
There was a running discussion between my Dad and I - especially when I was a little girl. It went something like this (in a loving embrace)....
Dad: Who's the Greatest Man in the World?
Me: YOU are the Greatest Man in the World
Dad: Ok then
The day after the funeral, I wrestled again with a gamut of emotions. For a moment I was disappointed. I thought the funeral was lovely but I felt like something was missing. I wished more stories had been told about who he was, how funny he was, etc. The people needed to know. I wasn't sure we had done him justice. I thought for a moment that I should have spoken. I had come up with all sorts of stories I would have told and how I would have had everyone laughing... just like my dad did. I wanted a funeral do-over for a split second. I shared this with Ezra who warned me not to dwell on the past - especially that one. He said "You're trying to convince people who already know him, how cool he was. That audience didn't need convincing... they knew". "But maybe I should have spoken", I responded. "I would have said this story this way and then said that". My husband calmly spoke directly to what was truly deep down inside. He said "No one knew him better than you all did. That's Superman. And No one can adequately describe Superman like you can." And that was it. He WAS Superman - The GREATEST Man in the World.. and no one was ever going to know or love him like I did.
I'll see him again.
I'm so thankful that my last time visiting with my father was so much fun and the last time talking to him was the same. Light and jovial. He knew without a doubt that I loved him alot and I don't live in regret of what I should have said or done with him. As a believer in Christ, I know this is not the end. All of what "they" say I'm sure is true, it will take some time, I will cry alot and this writing HAS been therapeutic.:-) But the one thing I hold on to more than anything is what the Bible says and that is that I will see him again in heaven. And that gives me all the comfort and joy in the world.
Until that time... Goodbye Daddy - I love you!
1st Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.