Thursday, August 27, 2009

The First Call Home

I just talked with my mom on the phone for the first time since getting home from Wisconsin and also for the first time since Dad's death. (I hadn't called her earlier in the week because she had several family members staying with her.)

No one ever told me it would be so hard. No one ever told me that when she picked up the phone, it would be so hard knowing that I could never again ask to speak to Dad. That I would never again hear his voice in the background yelling, "Love you, Becky!"

When I hit the button on the cell phone tonight, the readout came up as, "Mom and Dad." I wondered how long it would take me to erase the "Dad" part of that.

Maybe never?

After I hung up the phone, I sat at the kitchen table and just sobbed. Steve came down, discovered me in my distress and comforted me with hugs and gentleness and Kleenex.

It's only been one week since my Dad's death and already tonight my mom was telling me that she's thinking of volunteering at a local youth center because, "Maybe some of those troubled young ladies could just use a loving grandma to listen to them."

Dad's heart for ministry will continue to live on through her, through his children, and through his grandchildren.

But while his ministry continues, his life doesn't. And that is so hard.

And it's especially hard when I hear the echo of his absence during the first moments of that first call home.

12 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Sue G said...

Such a bittersweet entry, Becky. My heart goes out to you, and at the same time I can't help but be touched by how very blessed you were to have had such a father. Not all of us do. And maybe that makes the loss so palpable, the echo at the end of the phone so resounding.

You have lived longer with him in your life than you will without him (unless you're really shooting for the 100's). And when the day comes that you get the "call home" from your heavenly Father, the celebration of all your dad was to you will begin again.

And it will last forever.

For ever.

Sue G said...

Oh, and I meant to say what an amazing mom you have as well. What a special lady. To think that her first thought would be to get out, get involved, and find a place to give some of that famous love of hers...well, she is a true woman of God.

What a treasure chest of love you have known. More precious than rubies.

Chill said...

May The Comforter intercede for you with those groanings which cannot be uttered, and bring you peace from The Prince of Peace this moment, I pray.

Chill said...

Your Mom has chosen a noble path, to continue to carry on in his work. I, too felt that if I could continue to be the blessing my Dad was to all who knew him, that at least a small, but important part of him would live on. I reckoned that my Dads faith and spiritual strength mixed with my Mothers unending love, would prove to be the most noble and blessed way to honor their lives and ministry, and by Gods help, I will do that all my days.

Ann Martin said...

Know the feelings you are having. Been there recently, too. Don't know when the tears will stop but it is better. I saw my Daddy almost every day and called him daily as our backyards join. It has been real hard to go across the yard knowing he is not there. I have to do so for Mama now. She is so lonesome and I wish she could get out and volunteer. At this time she is not physically able to do that. She is still having trouble sleeping at night. After 64 years of living with Daddy she finds it difficult to be without him. I am blessed to have had my Daddy 63 years. So many cannot say that. One man at church last night told me his Dad died when he was 5 years old so he did not really know him. How blessed I am!!! Memories are forever and pictures, too. I'll treasure each one as I know you will, Becky. Let the tears flow--they help. Don't think they will ever stop but times are better. Love you all.

Nancy said...

Ahhhhhhhhhh girl. My eyes are so swollen from reading your entries lately.
Becky you dont *ever* have to "erase" your dad. You Dad is always with you. Just in a different form.
I am so very sorry. Just know we love you annd are praying

brooke said...

you may never remove 'mom and dad' from your cell phone. i know i didn't remove my grandmother for years.. it took switching to a new phone where i had to manually input all the #s to finally not have her in there. and my friend dave, who died march 1 - still in my phone, even after switching phones and purging contacts. i just couldn't bear to purge dave. so yeah.

and really - in the words of erin's ma - be gentle with yourself right now. it's going to take a long time for things to get back in the swing.. and they will probably never feel the same ever again. you know this, and i apologize if you don't want to hear it. anyhow. hang in there.

SuperSuz said...

Becky, sending you many hugs and praying for peace and comfort for you.

My MIL passed away almost 3 years ago and her phone number is still in my phone and we still call her house "Mema and Papa's house" not just "Papa's House" because so much of her is still there.

Bless you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Becky,

I have been a long time follower of your blog and before the blog Sarah's site.

I don't believe I have left a comment before, however this morning I feel compelled to respond to your call home to your mom.

I lost my mother more than 4 years ago, however the phone directory remains the same. Since my children were very close to my mum I had my parents number listed under "granny". Now when I receive a call from my dad the call display still comes up as "granny" I cannot bear to change it and I don't think it will ever happen. My dad is ok with this, I have his cell number listed under grandad.

My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your father.


Gail Williams

Anonymous said...

I don't believe I have ever commented before, but I've been following your caringbridge and blog for quite some time. I wanted to thank you for sharing your words and your experience these past few weeks.

My parents have been hinting around that they would like to visit the Minnesota State Fair this year. To be honest, I was ignoring their indirect request because I knew that inviting them along would slow us down and limit the amount of ground we would be able to cover. Then I read your posts and I was convicted! How could I pass up the opportunity to invite them to my home for the weekend and create some precious memories? My dad has not been in the best of health and was clearly thrilled when I called to invite them to the Fair. So, thank you, thank you for reminding me that time is precious.

Your family continues to be in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.


DeLynn said...


I have been reading your caring bridge site/blog for quite some time. I am not sure I have ever commented.

I think you and I are the same age. My beloved dad died in January. We spent the last 2 days of his life on the hospice wing of the hospital---there was much laughter, as well as, of course, many tears. We commented many times that Dad would have loved it (he was unconscious). He would have been so proud of us being there, loving being together, crying, laughing, caring. The hospice staff commented on our family---that would have made him burst his buttons!

My cell phone, almost 8 months later still says "Mom & Dad", as does my email address for them. What a hard thing to change!

One day last week when I called my mom, I heard another voice in the background and came 'this' close to greeting my dad (it was my uncle visiting). It almost brought me to tears---I didn't say anything to my mom. It was a little like a punch in the gut.

I know my dad is healthy, whole, and enjoying heaven to the fullest. I sure do miss him, though.

Many blessings on you and yours.

Anonymous said...

(((HUGS))) Becky. Still keeping you (and your Mom) in my prayers.

Kris Herbst