Sunday, February 2, 2014

Missing My Dad...2 Years Today

Today is the second anniversary of my dad's passing. It brings me right back to the last time I saw him. I've never been very good about calling my family. During my dad's sickness I tried to call more often to check on him. One particular morning a Twitter friend asked how my dad was doing. I hadn't talked to him or my mom in a week so I wanted to call before I responded to my friend to get the latest update. My mom answered and told me that my dad had been asking where I was. She proceeded to remind him that I was in California.

Living so far away, my constant daily prayer was, "Dear Heavenly Father, please let me know when it's time to see my dad before you call him home." As I hung up the phone, I felt an incredible, overwhelming prompting to drive to Utah right away. I checked the weather report, a big storm was heading in but not until late the following night. I took off the next morning hoping to beat the snowstorm, driving straight through to Utah. The storm arrived early. I was alone, driving right through the middle of almost white out conditions. I prayed and prayed, tense hands gripping the wheel, passing several cars which had slid off the road. My mom called worried, asking me to please stop & stay the night somewhere...but I knew I had to get there that night.

My prayers were answered, after 12 hours I pulled safely into the driveway. I went right in to see my dad. He was so happy to see me & my sister Stacy who had just flown in. We visited. His voice weak, but full of love and happiness to see us. As we said good night, he looked intently at us and said, "Tomorrow's going to be a good day." I  woke in the early morning hours being told that my dad wasn't doing good. My brothers. sisters, and mom all surrounded my dad, each taking turns with him.

As I spent time with him, I told him how much it meant to me when he told me how proud he was of the person I had become and the mother I was to my kids. Those words were powerful. They pushed away all thoughts of failure over choices I'd made in the past that hadn't always been the best. They filled my heart with peace. To know that my dad, the incredible man and example that he was, was proud of changed me. I told him how much I loved him. What an incredible father he's been never treating me like a step-daughter but a real daughter. I let him know that we'd all be there to take care of mom so he could let go and go home to his Heavenly Father. I wanted him to be filled with complete peace. To know that the family he'd loved, raised and provided for would be there for each other in his absence. He was our role model, our teacher, a man who not only led with words but more importantly by example. Which speaks louder than words.

As we sat in the room, nothing but love. Love of family, the only thing in this life that truly matters filled the room. Overwhelming love. Abounding love. Amazing love. Unending love. Tears of love filled to overflowing. We waited. I leaned close to kiss him against the backdrop of the slight flurry of snowflakes dusting the ground outside the window. Snow. His favorite. Nothing but love. His eyes looking toward the ceiling, he seemed to see someone familiar, his voice but a whisper, "Here He comes."

On a day that my dad knew would be, "A good day," He went home to his Heavenly Father. And though I miss him everyday, I'm so grateful that I was there to say goodbye. To feel the love inside that room. To hear my dad whispering to the Lord as He came to take him home. I know that one day, on "A good day," I too will see him again. I love and miss you dad. I know that your presence and amazing smile makes Heaven a little bright.

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