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Saying good bye, one year later

October 20, 2012



It was one year ago today that I held his hand for the last time.


We had gotten the call. The one that told us that dad had stopped eating and drinking, and that he could go anytime.


We loaded up the family and drove the three hours to see him, hoping that we'd make it in time.


My heart broke as I watched my kids, one after the other, tell their papa good bye.


And then it was my turn.


How does one say good bye to the one who taught them to love Jesus–not just with words, but with your life? To the one who sacrificed to provide for our family, day after day, year after year.


I held tight to his hand, feeling the softness of his skin, and to this day, I can still feel his hand in mine.


I'll never forget leaning over his bed to kiss his cheek, and him reaching up and grabbing my arm. That was a God-moment, to be sure. Dad hadn't shown any recognition of us in well over a year, and yet, in that moment, I was sure he knew that I was there.


I didn't want to let go, as I knew that this would be the last time I'd hold his hand, this side of heaven.


I whispered in his ear, telling him that I love him and that I'm proud to be his daughter. And I didn't want to let go.


The tears wouldn't stop falling and the pain was greater than I ever thought i could bear. And yet,I knew I had to say good bye.


As I kissed his cheek one last time, I thanked him for loving me and for never giving up on me, and for ALWAYS praying for me, through the good and the bad.


And then I let go. I let go of his hand and I walked out of the room, feeling as though a part of me had died.


My dad died 8 days later, but not until both my uncle (his brother) and my brother had been in to say good bye, just hours before.


I can't believe it's been a year since I told him good bye, and I can't believe next week marks the one year anniversary of him going home to be with Jesus. So much has happened since then that, in some ways, it seems like its been even longer.


I realize now that I didn't really say good bye to my dad, I was actually saying, “good bye for now”, because someday, I'll hold his hand again, and together we'll dance around the throne of God, thanking him and worshipping him without end.



One Comment leave one →
  1. Danita permalink
    October 21, 2012 11:44 am

    One thing I remember most about your dad was when we would go into early morning prayer at church, he was always there. Sometimes no one else was there but your dad was. I know his desire was that his family would know Christ. I am sure is is very proud of you and your family and that he loved you very much! I love you my friend!

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