|Posted on August 31, 2017 at 5:00 PM|
It has been a ride since last Tuesday morning when I got word one of my Dad's brothers died after a lengthy bout with cancer. Late Wednesday night I got word that Dad was in ICU with an aneurysm that had begun bleeding. He went into a coma right after surgery early Thursday morning. The neuro-surgeon didn't want to risk an operation because of his age, but another uncle who is a cardiologist in Virginia called asked him to go ahead and try.
The following Monday we met with the doctors and looked at his Living Will. Dad was clear that he did not want to be on life support. It was a tough decision, but we felt we should do as he wished. They unplugged yesterday and he passed two hours later.
Dad was a smart guy, but he was also a simple kind of guy. He had retired from the postal service where he was a postmaster. He and my Stepmom, who is a retired teacher, enjoyed gardening, walking, travelling and spending time in church and with family. A few years back he had a massive heart attack and surgery. He never met a stranger and he would tell people about his surgery and the Lord's mercy on his life.
He wasn't a perfect man. Like all of us he made his share of mistakes. There was a lot of bitterness among my siblings and I towards my Dad for a lot of years from some things that happened during our childhood. Mom and Dad got divorced back then, and whereas I had a fine man as a Stepfather, and my Stepmother was a fine woman who was the better judgement for my Dad, it still hurts a lot when you are a kid and your family is split apart.
But, you learn to forgive. Forgiveness is not so much for the person you forgive, but for your own peace of mind. I made my peace with Dad years ago, and my wife and I have enjoyed his company a lot over the past few years and he had a special place in his heart for Lori. My youngest daughter loved her Papa Joel very much. I also know that for the believer in Christ, death has no sting, and while I will miss my Dad, I will see him again, and being more of the serious, driven type, the one thing I want to take away from his passing is to have the same love for life and people that he had.
One of the greatest honors in my life was that I could spend time with him, reading to him during this time he was comatose. I read to him from the Bible of course, because should I ever be in that state, I'd want someone to do that for me. Before I left I thanked him for the good things, the bad things as well, but most of all the good things that he had impacted my life with. I could say rest in peace, but I know he is at perfect peace with his savior.