A friend told me about a couple she knew who always said goodbye to one another each morning by saying, “I’ll see you tonight, or I’ll see you in heaven.” Maybe it’s because I lost 2 girlfriends to cancer last year or because of all the weird natural disasters (like the Tuscaloosa tornado) that have been going on, but I’ve been saying that phrase a lot to people I love since she shared that with me.
For months now, when I’ve said goodbye to my daddy, I’ve often choked on the huge lump in my throat as I’ve told him, “I’ll see you next time, or I’ll see you in heaven.” It’s been hard to watch his Parkinson’s disease slowly but steadily overtake him over the past 28 years. Since January of this year, his dear life has included falls, hospitalizations, rehab, nursing homes (including a forced move due to a tornado that destroyed one facility he was in), etc. Heaven has drawn closer and closer.
When my mom called this weekend to tell me he’d been taken to hospice, I cried. Yet, from hospice experiences with my girlfriends last year, I knew this was the best thing for daddy at the moment.
Tonight, my sweet sister called to tell me the words I both dreaded and welcomed— “He’s with Jesus now.”
I feel peculiarly numb right now… but also extremely thankful.
I am so thankful his shaking has stopped and his body is at rest.
I am so thankful he went peacefully.
I am so thankful his faith rested firmly on Jesus.
I am so thankful he took me and our family to church.
I am so thankful he lived a life of faithful service to others.
I am so thankful I never heard him whine or complain about his circumstances.
I am so thankful he was my daddy.
As the clock struck midnight and “June 6th” popped up on my computer screen I was reminded that this is my first day on the planet without my daddy here. Although heaven got sweeter tonight, I already miss him terribly.
He will always be etched on my heart. I can’t wait for the day when I get to see him again. I KNOW I will— in heaven.