its been two months since dad died. it seems like its been an eternity since i had a conversation with him, gave him a hug, or told him i loved him. it seems like way too long. i think the longest i have gone without talking to my dad in some way was seriously a day. until now…and it sucks big time.
i hold so tightly to memories. remembering the past has been amazing…my family has been blessed with the strongest bonds of love that i can ever imagine. we have had many good times together and i am so thankful. i think about my dad a million times a day. i remember his laugh, his smile, his loud voice, his huge hugs. i look at pictures so i can always remember his kind eyes. i remember the good times, the healthy times, the carefree times.
then i remember his last days. its weird when i think about it because that time in the hospital was horrible and wonderful at the same time. it was my worst nightmare coming to life, but it was also a cherished time that was a gift from god.
i know i’ve written before about dad reciting a favorite passage of scripture. in our last moments, i told dad how i will always remember him spending hours memorizing bible verses with me. i told him that brian intends on doing the same with jude and lucy. i know dad was proud to think of brian carrying on that tradition. so i asked dad what his favorite verse was. it was jeremiah 29:11. he then went on to recite philippians 4:6 & 7. “do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, present your requests to god. and the peace of god, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in christ jesus.” it was so awesome to hear him say that, word for word, absolutely perfectly.
a few hours later, dad took his last breath. megan, brian, mom and i said our goodbye’s to the man we all loved and admired so much. i remember that moment vividly. i went to dad’s side. his body was lifeless. the room was silent. i kissed his cold cheek and touched his forehead. i can’t begin to describe how i felt. i was sad, lost, angry…but i felt an intense peace. its the weirdest thing. after days of crying, i didn’t even shed a tear. i felt relieved for dad, that he was meeting jesus at that very moment and his pain and suffering was gone. i was happy for him because i knew that he was rejoicing and the battle was over.
we left the room. i ran back in to kiss him one more time. i couldn’t fully grasp the fact that this was the last time i would see him. it was such an intense, tragic, out of body experience. we turned the corner and i held onto mom’s arm…down the hall, into the elevator, onto the streets of boston. the walk from dad’s room to the hospital doors felt like it lasted forever. it was weird. i held onto mom’s arm and could not believe what had just happened. how we were leaving without dad?
we walked outside and brian put his arm around me. he said, “that did not even look like your dad.” and he was right, it didn’t. and it wasn’t. my dad was gone and that was just a weak, foreign shell. it totally made sense. dad was in heaven, face to face with his savior, nowhere near boston or mass. general or liver disease.
sometimes i like to remember those days in the hospital and sometimes i don’t. but i cling to that peace that i encountered that night. i felt the prayers that were interceded on my behalf and i felt an insane peace that only god can provide. it was overwhelming and unexpected. it gave me strength and comfort. it was the peace that passes understanding.