My birthday was the 29th of this month. The other day as I wanted to see all of my family on my special day in my hometown, I also made a trip to the nursing facility to see my dad. It had been around a month since I’d seen him last. I made my mom and husband wait in the hallway, my mom holding the milkshake we had brought him. Food is the only pleasure he has in life, and he loves to eat. I wanted to go in alone and be the first one to see him and make him smile in surprise. He always lights up when he sees me walk in with a big grin, and a spark in his eyes. This time it was different.
I entered my dad’s room with the expectation that we would exchange “I love you,” a few hugs, and a kiss on his forehead. I knew he didn’t say as much as he used to, but the last visit, even though I did most of the talking I could see his reactions and he uttered that he loved me before I left. As I eagerly approached him on my birthday and stepped up to his bedside, with high hopes I greeted him, “Hey!!!”
He replied “Who are you?”
I was crushed.
This was the day that I put off, buried in the back of my mind. The day that I knew would never come, because he constantly asked about me all of the time, and never forgot…And here it was.
I know that its just a matter of time now before my dad moves on out of this plane of existence and hopefully onto Heaven, in the arms of Jesus. Moving into a place of rest in God, no more pain. No more blood sugar checks, or awful skin cancers and Agent Orange. No more Dialysis-the only trips or rides in a vehicle that he has known for a long time. No more being confined to bed without legs, and his home. No more of the scary, lonely nights that we don’t even know about or could ever understand. Its time. He has weathered this storm, and it just looks like any day now he could pass.
Its not just my father’s mind that is bad. Along with the Alzheimer’s and dementia, his frail body that’s eaten up with skin cancers and large sores, there’s kidney failure. He does not qualify to be on the transplant list for a new one. They took him off a while back. Physically, he is withering away. I don’t want him to lie there and suffer any longer. I also don’t want to say goodbye to my dad. I never would have thought that this would ever even be a thought to cross my mind at the age of 29.
I am so grateful for Jesus. I am so happy for my faith. There is obviously more than this. There is an afterlife. Looks like anyone would suspect that by looking at the many different, beautiful sunsets around the world, the great mountains, the intimidating and powerful oceans… I see God.
I think dad’s ready. Spiritually at least. In our Christian faith, he obeyed God’s Word, was baptized, declared Jesus to be the Son of God, and his very own Lord and Savior. He took care of his family, always a great provider for many, many years. A great daddy, and loving husband to my mother. His heart is greater and deeper than any ocean, but I’m not writing a eulogy. Only God knows when my daddy’s days on earth are up.
This is very difficult for me. That’s why I am repressing it.
Daddy promised me that he and I would go out to eat together at I Hop to celebrate my college degree with great enthusiasm in his brown eyes. I am not returning to college. I took my 60 hours I was blessed to have paid for with scholarships and ran. But that’s okay. There are far more amazing things in Heaven than all of the college degrees on this earth. There’s better food too. Better pancakes, I know. Also, if we get to meet on that side of the shore, what an amazing and incomparable feat that would be. What a celebration for my daddy and me. Everyone.