A dear friend lost his Dad today. He was young, only 62. I completely understand the pain that my friend is feeling. Losing a parent is one of the hardest things that I have ever experienced. My friends pain brings back so many memories of losing my own Dad. It brought back one in particular that I thought I would share with you all.
My Dad was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer in June of 2010. He told my sister and I about his diagnosis on Father’s Day. My Dad was a wild child, to say the least! He did what he wanted, said what he felt, and everyone loved and respected him. When he showed the X-Ray films to us, I knew this would take my Dad away. 14 months of chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and numerous medications all failed. By the time I had given birth to my youngest son in April 2011, my Dad was a shell of his former self. He could barely hold his 5 pound grandson.
Throughout the treatments, my Grandmother (his Mother) begged him to meet with our pastor. She begged him to let his childhood pastor visit. She begged him to make sure that he knew where he was going when he passed. My Dad was as stubborn as they come, and he always told her no. You see, while my Dad had been saved and baptized as a child, he hadn’t always lived for God. We all knew that, including him, but he didn’t believe that this cancer was going to take him. He didn’t believe this was the end.
In August my oldest son turned 3. My Dad made an absolute point to be there, though by this time he was no longer eating, only sipping water. The birthday party was on Saturday and on Monday I took him to meet with his Doctors. The news was not good and by the end of the visit hospice was being set up. On the way home, I could see that something had drastically changed within him. At that moment, he knew that he was dying.
The next day he agreed to meet with a Christian biker pastor that was a friend of the family. My dad could no longer speak and he didn’t know exactly what was going on around him. However, when the pastor asked if he could pray over him, he nodded his head yes. We all sat with tears rolling down our faces as the pastor asked my Dad if he knew Jesus Christ as his savior, he nodded yes. By the time the prayer had finished, my Dad was at a place of visible peace. He no longer looked like he was in pain and he had a little smile on his face. He passed away the next morning.
Folks, we don’t all get that chance. We don’t all know when our last day is coming, it could be any moment. Our time here is not promised. I want to know that I will see all of my friends and family in heaven, don’t you? I beg you to be like my Grandmother. Beg, plead, talk to your loved ones. Ask them if they know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Don’t ever give up on them, she never gave up on my Dad. He was lucky to have such a Mother.
The morning that my Dad passed away, I cried like anyone would expect. I knew losing him was going to hurt for a long long time. Alone in my car with my thoughts a little tune began to play in my head. “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory!” Through tears stinging in my eyes, I smiled and looked up at the beautiful sunshine pouring in the windows. I knew that my Dad was no longer in pain. Most important, I knew I would see him again.
“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:2-4