Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Dad




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.

14 comments:

JustMe said...

Dearest Megan & Emily & Jordan & Cony: I am so sorry. It is so difficult to lose those we love, even if we know that we will see them again. All of your family has been in my thoughts and prayers. May the Lord bless and keep you, may he make his light to shine upon you and bring you peace. Families are forever and you will be with the Dad again. In fact, I can promise you that in the months to come, you will see him. You will be driving down the road and see someone drive past you and do a double take because you could swear it was your dad. Or, you will see someone walking by you and your heart will skip a beat for a moment because your heart will have forgotten that he is waiting for your elsewhere - when you are sure he has just walked by you. You will think "I need to tell Dad about this" and you will pick up the phone to call him. He will be closer to you than he has ever been until the day comes when you are at peace with his passing.

I love all of you - you are my other children.

Sara said...

That last paragraph was really touching, Megan. I'm glad you have so many wonderful people around you to help lift you up during sad times. I'll be thinking of you and hoping you're doing well . . . Take care. :o)

Lindsay said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this. If you ever need anything, we are just a phone call away. You will all be in our prayers.

isaacsmith77 said...

I wouldn't begin to know what to say. I am sorry about the loss of your father. That is terrible news. Understanding the gospel really does bring peace in times like this but the pain is ever so real. It is all part of life. I hope that everything will go well for you all. Take care.

Alma Clark said...

Hey Megan,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings on here. I appreciate the fact that you know that this is part of our life experience.

I know that your Dad will continue to "worry" about all of you and that you should not be surprised if you actually feel that he is there sometimes. I know that my Mom's dad is with me every once in awhile, I can feel it.

Let us know what we can do for you, your siblings or your Mom.

...George & April* said...

Megan, it is no accident that I chose to read your blog today. I have not been on very much lately but I was drawn to your blog. Thank you for choosing to share your deepest feelings about this experience. This definitely puts life into perceptive and how fragile it can be, but how wonderful at the same time. The opportunity you have to celebrate your father's life and what a beautiful he is experiencing at this moment, while being aware of you and each of your family. I love you and wish I could be there with you! Thanks for what you shared, I was touched.
I miss you deeply,
April

squashley10 said...

That was beautiful Megan. I am glad you have your family around you and a wonderful husband to help you though all of this. The last two paragraphs were really touching and beautiful. I'm greatful for your testimony that is shining through a difficult time!! Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Love you,
Ashley

The Potter Pack said...

Oh my goodness ... I was not expecting to read this when I decided to ck out your blog. Your dad was a great man. I loved your tribute to him. My prayers are with you and your family - much love.

Yvonne said...

Oh, Megan. I want to hug you really badly right now. Know that your family is in my prayers. You are amazing, though. Your strength and your perspective are inspiring to others. Much love!

Heather and Ryan said...

Our love, thoughts and prayers are with you. This is not something that I ever want to go through, even though I know it will happen sooner than later. I'm not sure how to console you, but know that I am here for you! I too am grateful for the Gospel and that it teaches us that we get to be with our families forever because of that strong sealing power. You are a strong, beautiful woman.

Becky Scanlan said...

Megan,
I love you and you are in my prayers!

Love you forever
Becky

HNM PHOTOGRAPHY said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I had just heard about this. I do remember your dad and family when I was a youth and he was always smiling and standing by your mom, they were always together. That is what I remember about him. He will leave a good memory and legacy here for us to see....which is you guys!!

Tom & Vera said...

Megan,

What a sweet post. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. You all have been in my thoughts.

Love,
Vera

I'm Natalie. said...

I can't NOT comment after reading this, though I haven't a clue what to say, which for me is completely uncommon and frankly unnerving.

I guess I. . . well I'm just SO SO sorry for your loss. I know there are places to find comfort, particularly given the wonderful blessing of the gospel, however there are also places of pure devastation and pain and I am so sorry that you have to face them. If I were in Georgia, I'd throw my arms around your neck and not let go for a very long time . . . an akwardly long time. . . then I'd tell you thanks for being brave and strong and moving forward in joy. You are a living breathing testimony of Jesus Christ. Thank you for the example. . .

xo,

Natalie Norton