Nov. 1, 2009 4:32 am
Updated: Nov. 18, 2009 3:23 pm
Well, it's been over 3 weeks since I posted. We are back from Canada where my Dad passed away peacefully on October 24th. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time for my family.
Usually we only spend a few days back in Ontario but this time we were there for 2 weeks. I had forgotten how beautiful October in Canada is. The sun shines brightly and maple trees are everywhere giving big shows of red and orange and yellow. The air is crisp and the city is always alive with a melting pot of cultures. Such a different experience than the mid west.
Of course, this was a time of lots of tears as we watched my Dad live his last few days in this world. I am grateful for wonderful health care in a province where the family doesn't have to worry about how to pay the bills of a dying loved one. We got to spend lots of time with Dad in the Palliative Care Unit...a quiet place where private rooms have large picture windows with views of beautiful fall leaves.
As everyone that has lost a parent knows, even as you go through this experience, in the midst of it's pain there is also a powerful rebirth of family connections. It was good to be with family I rarely see.
My Dad was not a religious man but I believe especially in his last year with us, he developed his own relationship with God. I had a precious 10 minutes alone with him where I talked to him about God's mercy and love. I prayed for him as he lay semi conscious but awake enough to indicate that he heard me. He may not have understood all the theology but I know in his last hours, he accepted God's love for him and was peaceful about his journey to his new home. Dad died with no struggles at 1am with my sister holding one hand and my mother the other.
I have had a long relationship with God but I am not a sensational Christian. I am not one who seeks outward manifestations of God working, but I must tell you that on the way to the hospital the night that Dad died I looked out the window and up through the heavy fog of the night and asked God to assure me that He had my Dad with Him. I immediately had a vision of Dad bowing before the throne of God, dressed in his hospital gown, his body frail and stick thin. The arms of God swooped in around him and as they totally covered him, they transformed into 2 large white wings. As the white wings opened, I saw my Dad turn around, arms stretched out, as he stood there tall, strong, handsome and smiling. No more sickness, no more weakness....fully restored in his new body, waiting for the rest of us.........it was a quiet peace in my heart that he was at peace in his new home. It was such a gift to me, I was overwhelmed with gratefulness.
I think that a lot of us "Christians" can get caught up in our "formulas" of how we interpret scripture. In the end, I have decided that there are only two things that I know for sure. "Anyone who calls on the name of Jesus will be saved." and God's character is one of mercy and love.
"and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes,and there shall no longer be any death,there shall no longer be any mourning or crying or pain; the first things have passed away........I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my Son." Revelation21