Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My Dad

My father passed away the last week of April. He was 69 years old, which seems entirely too young.
It was sort of sudden, but then again, not.

He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease almost 10 years ago, around age 60, and had gradually declined. We had been losing him for quite some time, even though his body was still relatively healthy. He had gone into a nursing home in mid-January of this year.  My mom had cared for him at home until this point. We thought he might be in the nursing home for several years since his health was generally good, but it was only a few months.

My dad's final two weeks went fairly quickly. People around him starting noticing a change.  I am thankful that the nursing home staff prepared us that the end was near, and we were able to be with him the last two days of his life.

He left this Earth with his loved ones surrounding him. In his last hours, we held his hands and prayed over him. We visited among ourselves and talked with him--my mother told him we would all be ok without him, giving him permission to go.  My brother played my dad's guitar, filling the room with the sound of music that had been such a huge part of his life.

As he took his last few breaths, his eyes flew wide open, and they were clear and shiny. They seemed to look at something beyond the room. I believe that he saw his Savior--the one my dad first came to know when he was in his late 30s.

We were sad to say goodbye, but rejoicing that he was finally free of his Earthly body. No more suffering or frustration, pain or heartache.

Thank you, Jesus, for preparing a place for us. Thank you for the hope and promise of Heaven.

One of our favorite pictures of my dad...
May 2012