Monday, February 28, 2011

The Unbelievable Day My Dad Died

Dad's home going and glory filled the skies

This is a letter to my heavenly Father about the day my earthly Dad stepped over into eternity.

My Dad had been on hospice and had Lewy Body dementia with Parkinsonism. Most recently he had fluid in his lungs, he had already stated he didn’t want any more tests or drugs.  He was skeletal and sometimes even unable to blow his own nose.  The hospice nurses were with him around the clock along with the nurses in the facility where he was living. He had been all excited about two weeks prior to getting so ill because he saw angels and was telling all the staff about them. Being a stoic German, this was quite out of character for my Dad, but all were enthralled with his recounting the event.

Dear Father in Heaven~
I thank You so very much for 6/5/02, the day of Dad’s home going. I thank you and I marvel that when I awoke (did You waken me?)  I felt impressed to go to the World Prayer Center at noon for worship, praise and to praise You over Dad, his circumstances and terrible health. None of this was a surprise to You. AMEN

I hadn’t been to World Prayer Center in several years.  It was the Day of Prayer at Every Home for Christ (where I worked) We were always encouraged to go to noon prayer at the Prayer Center especially on our day of prayer.  In our small groups that morning at work You led me to pray “thank You, Lord, for giving me Dad as a precious Father for 56 ½ years – now I give him back to you for all eternity.”

I went to the World Prayer Center  with a co-worker in our 2nd truck.  The truck I usually drove was in the shop and I had left my cell phone in that truck. The Prayer Center service was a glorious time of worship, complete with communion, as I was praising and thanking You for Dad.  I truly thought he’d go to be with You then.

When I got back to work my message light was on at my desk phone, “call hospice”. Dad was in renal failure, mottled and with a temp of 101.5, no voiding (urinating) in 15 hours, COME!, was the message.
My Mom had gone to Skyline, where she lived across town, that morning. I called Mick, my husband. He suggested I arrange for Mom, who had early dementia, to take a cab so I could go quickly and be with Dad.
Oh, Lord, I got to tell Dad how much I learned from him, starting with when he reached out to neighbors that no one else would associate with, Dad was no respecter of persons.

His mouth moved and he tried to talk when I mentioned the “Daddy Dragger” years. When I was three to five years old, he’d have me stand on his shoes and “dance” me all over the living room. When I wanted to dance I would look up at him and say “Daddy Dragger” and away we’d go. I got to tell him what a good Dad he had always been.

Later, or was it earlier, yes! Flip, the maintenance man came with the new cell phones that had been on order for over a month, it came that day. He suggested we call my sister and let her talk with Dad. Since my cell was in my truck that was in for service, this sounded wonderful!  My sister did speak with him and she told him not to wait for her – his lips moved again – we knew he heard Colette!

Mick came and spent time with Dad, this was so tender and touching since Mick’s own Dad had died when he was in high school. When we married, my Dad became his Dad, the father he felt he’d not had.
Lord, you worked more miracles.  Colette got a flight and not the $1600 one they first quoted her but one for $346, with 4 hours notice and a packed flight!

Mom was coming in the cab.  The cab got hit.  Had mom been in the front, where she typically sat to hear the driver better, she would have been hurt. Debris from the accident shattered the windshield on the passenger side. She was safe in the back seat.

You were holding our hands each step that day as we held Dad close till 7:30 PM, when he stepped into eternity with a smile. He hadn’t been able to smile in months prior to that final smile due to his disease and his Parkinson’s FROZEN face. What a blessing to see and, really, a miracle.

I was praising You all the way! And in my Quiet Time book, the one which is all scripture, that morning had been scriptures about our names in the book of life, faith and not works and it is all about YOU, dear Jesus. And you gave me more of a poem “Dad, You Are Our Hero” to share at his funeral and memorial!!
Best of all, we had assurance that our wonderful Dad was now safe in Your most capable hands.

He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. (NIV)

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God….  (NIV)

Lord Jesus, he was in pain and had suffered so much and now he went to be with You forever, walking and leaping and praising You, Our Lord Jesus! THANK YOU!!!

Will we miss him? Oh, You best believe we will. But we have the promise of seeing him again and right now, just knowing he is whole and with You certainly helps to take away the sting of separation.  What do people do who have no hope in You?

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with with proper credits.


lioneagle said...

Hi Marijo -

I love this tribute to your father. It is such a warm loving piece about him. It was such a joy that he smiled before he went to be with our Lord. Also, that your sister was able to be there. Praise our Lord for her discounted plane fare, and that your mother was in the back seat of the cab!

Revelation 14:13 - KJV
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

lioneagle said...


I love and adore that photo!

Marijo (Mary Jo) Phelps said...

The photo was taken from our front porch just a couple weeks ago! Thanks for reading and your comments - it was a most remarkable day - thank You Lord!