Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Last Stages of Good-Bye

The phone rang at 11:45 pm.

Steve was sleeping soundly and I was kind of drifting in and out of slumber. However, it didn't take but a second for me to come fully awake.

Just as I expected, the call was from the hospital. However, it wasn't a call saying that dad was gone. It was my sister, Debbie, calling so say that Dad wanted to talk to us.

I heard Dad's voice come on the line and I realized he was crying. He said, "Honey, I miss you so much. You've been such a treasure to me and I want you to know that I'm proud of you."

And the last thing he said to me was, "We'll all be together again."

His voice was very weak and I could hear the rattle in his chest but I could still understand clearly what he was saying.

While I was talking with Dad, Steve went to get Nathan and Sarah. Dad told Sarah, "You have taught me how to have a servant's heart and how to have a giving heart."

He said to Nathan, "No matter what you decide to do, the sky will be the limit for you."

When Steve got on the phone, Dad thanked him for being willing to preach his funeral and then he told Steve that he knew that God had chosen him especially to be my husband and take such good care of me."

He ended his conversation with each of us by saying, "I love you."

Finally he said that he had to get back on his oxygen and we hung up.

By that point, Sarah and I were in tears. She came and stood by the bed and held my hand and we cried together. Nathan went over to Steve's side of the bed and we all held hands and prayed for Dad, for Mom, and for all of us left behind.

After we were finished, Nathan laid down at the foot of the bed and we all started talking through the tears and telling stories about dad. Steve got it rolling by saying (pertaining to the late night call), "Well, Becky, your dad always has been a night owl."

And I said, "Yeah. And Mom has always been a morning owl."

Both kids giggled and told me there was no such thing as a "morning owl."

And suddenly our tears had turned into laughter and the pain of the pending loss was eased just a little as we continued to laugh and talk and cry together.

Since that phone call came, I haven't been able to get back to sleep. (It's about 2 am.) A few minutes ago, I was just sitting here and thinking back to a conversation I had with Debbie earlier in the evening. She was saying how wonderful our brother, Phil, had been with Dad all day. She said he just sat by his bed for long periods of time, rubbing his shoulders, patting his arm and talking to him.

She painted such a poignant picture that I could just see the two of them together there in that hospital room, a father and a son in the last stages of good-bye.

But I know deep down it's not really good-bye. As Dad reminded me, "We'll all be together again."



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

Georganna said...

Becky iam glad you got a chance to talk your dad. I remember before my grandfather pass away.. He told me that to stop crying you hear.. he said he was going to pull through for me. Last time i saw him alive before i left his hospital room my grandfather told me I love you.

whiterecluse said...

Oh Becky. I'm so glad you got a chance to talk to your dad and hear those words. I know that had to be a source of immense comfort and happiness for you, even with the situation being what it is. I'm so sorry to know your dad is doing poorly. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Dina from NC

Marysienka said...

Sending warm hugs your way
(((hugs)))

Anonymous said...

What a blessing to have such a Dad. And he is obviously blessed with an amazing family.
Crying with you now.
Much love from TN.
~Kim

Anonymous said...

What a gift that phone call was to all four of you!! Praying with you...

Mary Z

Catherine said...

Iam so glad you got to talk to your father one moretime. That was a gift. I know your glad you recieved it. Iam remembering when your dad was mine for about a second at my wedding. It was so special to me. Thank you for letting me borrow him. I will keep you all in my prayers. God Bless Catherine. AKA Kittie

MaryH said...

I understand this pain and, with tears for you, all I can say is, I'm sorry. What a gentleman and a loving father to make sure his messages for each of you were given. Go with God, sweet man.

Pam D said...

Becky, I crashed early last night (at 6:30.. that NEVER happens!), after talking to Sue G on the phone and celebrating her good news. So, I missed all of your updates til now. I'm crying FOR you; even though we are Christians and have faith and hope, we're also humans and have a heart that can break. What a treasure to be able to share these moments with your dad; as time passes, it's the good things that you'll remember, and being able to tell each other how much you've meant to each other will be so comforting. In God's timing, it will only be a little while before you'll be together again, but for now, I know you'll miss him. Sending a BIG hug... to all of you. What a special man; I know God is already waiting to welcome him home.
love you....

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the love, beauty and courage of your amazing family.........really beautiful post. Prayers and love for you all.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful phone call to have, and such sweet, compassionate words from your father. Thinking and praying for you and your family.

~Joleen

Lyndsay said...

Oh Becky. While I'm so very sorry that your family is dealing with this, how wonderful that you all had a chance to say goodbye to your dad and hear such beautiful words from him. Sarah and Nathan will always remember that moment.

Nancy said...

What a wonderful thing for all of you to be able to talk and say goodbye to your dad. How beautiful his words must have been. You will cherish those words forever. God Bless!

McLeod Family said...

What a blessing and legacy your Dad leaves. I lost my Dad so unexpectedly 7 years ago and I still long for one "final" conversation. I will be praying for you in the upcoming days, weeks and years. How beautiful that your Dad would be able to speak love into all of your hearts!!

Lauren said...

Oh, that made me cry. I can't imagine having to have that kind of conversation with my dad, but I'm so glad you were able to talk to him. Continuing to pray for all of you...

Beverly said...

Hugs and prayers your way...

Anonymous said...

Becky,
Your dad is amazing. For him to be where he is in his life, and know that you all would be blessed with his words shows what kind of guy he is...you are very fortunate.
I was able to have a few end of life conversations with my own dad 20 years ago when he was only 54. They still mean the world to me.
thinking of you & your family,
Lynda

Regina Ice said...

How sweetly perfect!

Anonymous said...

I am praying for you. HOw awesome for you to have a phone call with your Dad. May God continue to hold you in his arms during this time. I lost my Dad 18 years ago so I definately know all the emotions you have going on. I am glad you shared your feelings with your Dad and then your family.
In my prayers,
Marjie

Anonymous said...

sharing tears with you.

what a blessing for your Dad to be able to give each of you a special message that you will indeed cherish.

praying for your whole family.....


mrs pam

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