I wondered how the call would go, what would be said. But my husband answered the early morning call. I knew. The words rang through my dreams and the look on my husbands face when he walked into the bedroom told me everything.
"Was that your mom or mine?" I asked, as his mom is very ill. "Yours. She just called Hospice and will call back...I'm so sorry, Babe."
For a few minutes I stood in the closet unable to dress myself. My husband suggested jeans and flannel were appropriate for this crisp blustery fall day. I remembered to brush my teeth. I forgot to comb my hair.
He had my coffee waiting at the back door and handed me the keys continually questioning if I was 'ok' enough to drive to Dallas. Yes, I am.
I exited at Skillman/Audelia, right where concrete and glass turn into the most beautiful residential scenery. At the top of the hill on Audelia as the sun lit up the yellows and burnt orange trees, their leaves dancing across the road, I thought of my father.
He loved Yellow!
As the leaves snowed down the scene in front of me became surreal...I saw him as he was years ago up at the level of the tree limbs. His hair dark, his dark eyes shining triumphantly. He was smiling a smile that said he was SO excited and then he blew me a kiss. I kid you not, I saw that. His expression said everything I needed to know. That he had a place to go, to be with the Lord in the place prepared for him. That he was free of the dementia, of the strokes, of the body's prison. The was no sorrow, just a beaming delight and assurance that he wanted to convey.
That was at 8:36am. The Hospice nurse had declared him at 8:30am.
I now know that vision was from the Lord. And it will comfort me daily.
Two ladies from the funeral home came to transport him from his home and they handed my mom a huge red rose and said it was a reminder for her that they were taking good care of him. I didn't know companies cared enough to do that.
Moments later he was draped with the flag of the United States of America. It was neatly tucked across his chest and mom and I kissed him goodbye once again. The ladies then respectfully covered his face and took him to the van.
We stood in the driveway watching them back out the long drive. They waved, like old friends, as they were leaving and I found that so touching.
All through the day I saw his face beaming through those beautiful billowing trees. It is that face, that smile, those gorgeous brown eyes I will remember each time I think of my dad. And I will thank God for the blessing of his salvation in 1975 and having had him for my earthly father.
Early the following Wednesday, Dec.5th, Pastor Geiger spoke of the assurances we have in Christ Jesus, Psalms 91, John 14 and then led us through The Lord's Prayer. The Flag was folded and handed to Mom. The service was exactly what Dad would have wanted. Though my father accomplished much on this Earth he didn't want those things discussed overly much. So, there was no mention of those achievements. There were no flowers, no fan fare, just a serene quietude of respect and remembrance. I placed a kiss on my fingers and laid them on top of the dark wood then said "Goodbye Daddy".
Forever in my heart will be your strength, character and integrity.