My daddy went home to be with Jesus yesterday morning. I have known for a long time that the day would come but wasn't really expecting it yesterday. I got up at 5:30 to spend time with God, have my cup of coffee and start my day. Glenn couldn't sleep so he was up at about 6:30 and we chatted about the many things that should be accomplished during the two days he had off this week. Going to Waterloo was not in the plans but that changed when I got a call from my Aunt AmyJo at about 7:15. Over the years I have gotten many calls from AmyJo and even before that from my mom about my dad. "He's back in the hospital," "His sugar is out of control again," "He's got an infection and they can't get his temperature down," "He has to have another surgery to remove a toe, a section of his foot, part of his leg, move his dialysis site...", all issues stemming from the complications of being a non-compliant diabetic for 30+ years. A few times the call has been "Sonja, I really think this is the time, you should come." So we would wake the kids up or carry them to the car and drive to see my dad in the ICU but he had more lives than a cat and in a few days, weeks or months he would bounce back. Just this weekend as I was talking to him he said he felt stronger and was able to exercise more and had a better appetite. Yesterday morning Teena went in to check on him and he wasn't responsive so she went down the hill to ask dad's brother Paul for help. When my 18 year old cousin Zach who is a volunteer firefighter and taking his EMT class got there he felt for a pulse and dad was still warm but there was no pulse. There was blood everywhere. What we guess happened was that he was itching at his dialysis site and somehow caused himself to start bleeding and he bled to death in his sleep. My uncle was there holding him as he passed on to glory with just about every emergency personnel from the area in his bedroom. He has been longing just to "go home" for ever so long. He was so tired of his body not working and the shots and the pills, the blood sugar and blood pressure checks and constant doctors appointments. Can you imagine going to sleep one night in pain with lots of medicine in your system with only one leg with hardly the strength to stand or walk and waking up in glory?? My daddy is dancing on two good legs. He's seen our Savior whom he loved so much face to face. He's been reacquainted with mom and so many others who have gone before trusting in Jesus and met so many of his heroes from the Bible.
I mourn but not as one with no hope. I know without a doubt that I will see my daddy again in heaven because I am trusting in Jesus Christ who paid the price for my sins just like he did. This morning as I read my Bible the verse I was on was talking about being obedient to your parents. I asked God, how can I be obedient to my parents when they aren't here? I was challenged to follow their godly example and seek to do the things that would have pleased them but ultimately to obey my Daddy in heaven. Yesterday morning I decided that I was an orphan but really, I'm not. I am a princess, a daughter of the King of kings and Lord or lords. My earthly daddy was flawed in many ways but my Heavenly Daddy loves me perfectly and will never leave me or forsake me.
I have to share my favorite story from yesterday. Every emergency response vehicle from the area was in my dad's driveway and many family members were there. After it was confirmed that my dad was dead the emergency workers were walking out of the house and trying to offer condolences to my grandparents and what did they see? How I wish I could have been there - My grandpa, a big white haired man in his eighties, with a huge grin on his face was passing them a New Testament thanking them for everything that they had done over the years. I think that they were a little surprised. That is not the normal response from someone who has just lost his son. My grandpa saw it as an awesome opportunity to get God's Word into their hands. Many of them would have definitely refused a copy of God's Word at any other time but how do you say no to a man who just lost his son? I am standing on Isa55:11 "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." That is how my daddy would have wanted it. He was just reprimanding my grandpa the other day for not taking New Testaments with him when he went to the replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial recently. With all those people mourning they need the hope that can only be found in God's Word so my grandpa is contacting Gideons in cities where it will be set up so that they can be there, ready with God's Word to help hurting people. My dad's legacy lives on.