My dad could be considered a jolly o' fellow. At times he even looked like Santa Claus. He may have been stubborn but he had a great sense of humor and passion. He loved his country. He loved his family. He was wise. He was Intuitive. (sometimes too intuitive).
I haven't slept since my mom called me at 2 o'clock this morning beside herself and said my dad had an attack in the bathroom and was gone. Right now that memory alone is what's haunting me. I feel the need to write about this while it's fresh in my memory.
Mom called me and asked me to call Clark and Emily. Emily was on her way immediately but getting a hold of Clark was another story. He was staying at his in-laws for the weekend. No one can be prepared for the emotions and physical pain death causes. Over the last two years dad has had 5 brain surgeries, leukemia, high blood pressure, etc. etc. He was making progress after each surgery. However, we all knew there was a chance the end could be close. We just didn't expect it to be in the middle of the night having a heart attack. (I personally feel all the medication he was taking had a big factor).
I didn't know what to do. It was physically hard for me to walk. Somehow Cony got us to my parents and we were met by mom and dad's brother Earle and our Aunt Ann. It didn't seem real. How could this be? He was just at our house this afternoon for Jordan's birthday party eating hot dogs and cupcakes.
Neither mom or I could sleep. All we wanted to do was clean. So that's exactly what we did. Clean. I was overwhelmed by how many people came to show their love by bringing a ton of food, we live in the south so our kitchen was stock full. And my dad's family has been wonderful. We aren't very close to them, but they have really shown compassion and love to us. It has brought me to tears a few times today thinking of everyone who has served us in some way today. The house was filled all day! Towards the end after we had gone to the funeral home to make arrangements it was getting to be a little much for me. I just wanted somewhere to go to be a lone. But I couldn't because everywhere you turned... someone was there. At the funeral home Clark asked if we could see dad. He had been em bombed but he only had a sheet over him. I didn't care to see him like that but it made it real for me. It was a moment that will live with me forever. Because I kept expecting him to walk into the house making some kind of smart remark and all the grand kids yelling "Papa!!". Or him keeping everyone up at night with his snoring. Or just to come sit down with us at the dinner table and talk for an hour. He worried about us. He worried about a lot of people.
My mom has been great. She's a real trooper. She just got to work calling everyone that loved dad or dad loved. Cleaning. Talking. Hosting. Planning. What a strength to have!
And that is why I love the gospel. I love what it has taught our family. That we are a family, forever. I'm so grateful for the priesthood power and the strength it brings in the hour of need. And by that same priesthood power we have been sealed together as a family in the temple for time and all eternity. Isn't that beautiful? It has brought much peace in our home today. Yes, we all cried but we were also able to laugh and enjoy each other because we understand that this is just part of the plan.
I know my dad is so much happier now and doesn't have any pain. I'm so happy for him! I'm trying really hard not to dwell on the what if's and just be grateful that I was able to spend a little bit of time with him on his last day on earth. He was a man that inspired and he has inspired me in many things that have molded me into the woman I am today. I'm so honored to call him my dad.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Posted by M Crew at 11:43 PM