The soul of the father
is steeped in joy. —Edward Guest
I have a secret.
It’s not a good one, but it’s one I’ve held in my heart all day. I wanted to talk about it, but I thought talking about it would make me sadder and make the listeners sad too.
Today marks one year since I last laid my eyes on my living and breathing dad. After spending nearly a week at home (in New Orleans)—with EMTs being called and hospital visits almost daily—my sister and I were about to drive back to Huntsville. Reluctantly. We visited him in the hospital and whispered our good-byes.
My heart aches when I think about our quiet good-bye. He deserved one last, good celebration, with a lot of fuss and hoopla.
I knew his sojourn was coming to an end, but I pleaded with God to restore his health and give him just a little more time–for all the selfish but lovely reasons.
Having been down this road twice before, I also I knew I was in denial. I prayed for the miracle, though He had already given the answer: It was time for him to rest. It was time to let him rest.
Six days later…he took his last breath at home (thankfully) and left a nagging ache that I have been processing for almost a year now.
I am learning how to walk in the world without him, to cherish his gifts and celebrate his joy. That’s the thing I carry with me when I miss him most. His joy—a joy that delightfully danced across his spirit.
My last gift to him–mere weeks before his death–captured that. At least, I hope it did.
Thanks for letting me share my secret. It feels good to let it out.