Friday, August 21, 2009

He's Really Alive Now!

Heartbreaking. Joyful. Sacred. Horrible. Precious.

Those were the kinds of moments we spent together as a family at Dad's bedside yesterday.

It was truly the Lord's hand at work that allowed all six kids and mom to be together in the room when he died. One brother was just about to go out of the hospital for an errand, Debbie had been gone for the hour right before his passing, and another brother had just arrived twenty minutes earlier.

We noticed that Dad's breaths were coming further and further apart and after waking Mom, who was napping in the room, we called the nurse.

She came in with a stethoscope and said there was still a faint heartbeat. A minute or two later, she listened again and said, "He's gone."

I must stay that I've written a lot of words in my life, but there are very few words I can think of that can describe the feelings encompassed in that moment. Seeing Mom in tears, leaning over to kiss her husband of fifty-three years was dear and heart rending, all at the same time.

When Mom had regained her composure a little, she looked at everyone in the room and stated with a joyful, firm conviction, "He's really alive now!"

We wept with each other, hugged each other, and comforted each other--in doing so, we found peace for our own hearts.

Steve, Nathan, and Sarah are flying in today (I'll write about the provision of those flights in another post) and the funeral will be tomorrow.

We'll all fly back home on Sunday and Nathan will leave early Monday morning for the 560 mile drive back to school.

I have many more stories to write from the week (some serious, some funny) but for now, there are dozens of details I must attend to in the next few hours.

I've been so touched by the comments that have been left here and I have been amazed to watch the hit counter climb and climb. It's incredible to think that strangers all over the world care about our family enough to follow my dad's journey home--where he's really alive now!

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

Anonymous said...

Godspeed!

Cindy Wright
Tennessee

Anonymous said...

The depth of ones grief is an affirmation of the heights of
love shared.

Embrace, cry and celebrate, be kind to one another...love...

Lynie

Anonymous said...

Man, I've been teary each time I come to your site. So many similiar memories.

Continued prayers to your family as you travel down this new path in your lives. Praying you will find extra stength in the days ahead as you celebrate the life of your dad.

Hugs!
Connie F-G

Ann Martin said...

So glad all the children could be around the bed with the wife. We experienced the same two weeks ago to the day. We had our meltdown on Saturday before Daddy's passing on Thursday. Guess when the blood pressure dropped to 29 we all knew what was coming. We sang and wept together that night around his bed. On Thursday morning we said our goodbyes and wept some more. My Mama kissed her husband of almost 64 years (9 days short) goodbye. Becky, may you feel the love of God as prayers continue for your family during this time. Praying for safety as Steve, Nathan, and Sarah's travel. Love you all.

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

Oh Becky~
I'm SO thankful that you were ALL able to be with your Dad, when he left your hands....to join the hands of our heavenly Father.

Praying God peace and comfort, will wrap you like a blanket....and I'm looking forward to reading further posts...on all the things the Lord has done this week!

Blessings~
Kim

Lyndsay said...

I'm glad you were ALL there. Continued prayers for your family.

Nancy said...

Praying for laughter, tears, comfort, love and each other in the days ahead.

Anonymous said...

So thankful you could experience this as a family. May you continue to feel the support from all of us and remember always you are in my prayers. How awesome we all believe in God and heaven.
Hugs,
Marjie

Rechelle said...

God be with you Becky as you celebrate your dad's life. I will be thinking about you.

Melissa said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, but so pleased you're feeling peace. I lost my mother 6 years ago (she was 43), and my initial feeling was one of peace, of relief that she was no longer suffering (she had ALS).

My heart is with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Becky,
in your own words:

"It's time to dance, it's time to sing,
and rise on resurrection wings.
Though we cry for you,
we'd never hold you here when heaven's calling."

Imagining the angels joining your dad
(with his resurrection wings)
in his dancing and singing.

with love and prayers
Mrs. Pam

Anonymous said...

Sending condolences on the death of your Dad. I'm so sorry!
Love,
Judy
Naples, FL

Anonymous said...

From your extendeed family here at North Liberty Presbyterian church in Grove City, Pa....our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Kim said...

How wonderful you know where he is! Such and amazing thought to picture ones loved one at the throne of God! I pray your family draws strength from one another and our our loving Heavenly Father as you face the days a head. I am so glad you made it in time--
*hugs*
Kim

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you were able to be there at the end. Death is such a bittersweet process for Christians. I pray you will find laughter and tears mingled as you remember your dad in the coming days.
Danette
Spokane Washington

Anonymous said...

So wonderful that you all got to be together. Praise God! Praying for you all!

~Joleen

Gail Duncan said...

I feel your Dad knew when he had his entire family with him. May you all find comfort in and smile at the memories your Dad helped to make for his family. I'm praying for you all.....

Anonymous said...

Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Kris Herbst

Nancy said...

Becky,
You and your family have been on my mind 24/7. I know you must be hurting sooooo much right now. Please know we all love you and will continue praying. We are all here for you guys.
Love
Nancy

Rebecca said...

I was with my father when he died. It is one of life's most amazing privledge's.

Karo said...

Miss Becky, I am so glad you were able to be there. I spent the last week of my grandmother's life with her in the hospital and was there when she passed. I can tell you that it was one of the most precious gifts I've ever received. I've been thinking about you all, and especially Sarah on her birthday today.
Love,
Karo

~Brenda said...

Amen! I'll be in prayer for your family this week.

~Brenda

Chill said...

Yes, really alive! No sorrow, no pain, only opening new eyes, in a new place. A place of wonder, and beauty and utter loveliness and full of exciting adventures the mortal cannot imagine. Really alive, never again can death be named in The Presence of Life Himself, for in Him dwells all life and total abundance thereof.
Really Alive! How true, how simple, how pure, how hopeful, how sure!
May The Lord of Life fill you with His presence and Peace.

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