Skip to main content

I Miss You, Dad

I had never prayed before. On a late night in the month of April I laid at the foot of my father's hospital bed, listening to his shallow breathing. Every few minutes a loud buzzer would go off and a nurse would rush in as if she could save my dad. That night I laid in the floor and begged God, a God I had yet to know, to either heal my dad or take him from this earth. 

I can still go back to that prayer. Tears flowing. My heart pounding. I counted my dad's breaths and wondered if there would be another. I begged God, "Please, God. Can You hear me? Please hear me. Heal my daddy tonight. Take this cancer from him. Allow him to breathe again. If You cannot do that for me then please take him. Please, God, don't make him suffer another night." My dad would spend three weeks in that hospital bed. 

I was nineteen. A young woman, but still so much just a girl. A girl who refused to believe her daddy was dying. No way! My dad would be here forever. God wouldn't take him from me. This girl with such a love would hate God for years to come. A God she didn't know, didn't want to know. 

A year earlier my dad was told he had terminal lung cancer and would never live past a year. That doctor got it right to the exact day. Now, knowing God, I know that with Him all things are possible. Then I believed Him to be a God who could do nothing. Oh, what a God of grace we have. My heart was so bitter and filled with such painful anger. God has healed my heart. He too healed my dad. Just not in the way I had hoped or had known possible. He would heal him on the other side of heaven.

My mother would remain at my dad's bedside for the next three weeks. Never leaving him for a minute. I would go to work each day, go home, clean house, and prepare things for my mom. I would visit my dad each day, but often called throughout the day to check on him. 

When my parents were told my dad was terminal they didn't share that information with me. I truly believed my dad would be coming home. Even those last three weeks at the hospital he would have days that weren't so bad. He celebrated Easter Sunday in the hospital. That would be the last day I would see my dad. 

I sat next to my dad, curled up in his bed, as he said to me, "Rob, I'm not gonna be able to leave here. You're going to have to take care of your mom. Always take care of her." As I type this tears flow so easily. I have worked to hard to keep that promise. I looked at my dad and said, "Dad, stop talking like that. Of course you will be coming home and you can take care of her yourself." But I still promised him and that would be a promise I would be determined to keep for the rest of my life. 

The next day the hospital was sending a hospital bed to our home for my dad. They knew they would be sending him home with hospice to die, but for me, I didn't know. I was thinking if they are sending him home he must be getting better. Still the little girl wanting her daddy, but so much the young woman wanting to protect her father. 

I was home on a sunny April morning. I didn't have to go into work until the afternoon. I called the hospital to check on my dad and mom said, "He's doing great. Having a great day." I was to wait for the bed to be delivered. I thought I'd catch some sun while waiting and then travel to the hospital to see my dad before I went into work. 

There I was with my iced tea as I see my brother-in-law and little nephews pull in the drive. I thought he came out to help with the bed. After all, my dad was coming home. He looked at me with tears and said, "Rob, we need to go to the hospital. Your dad has died." I was floored. I made him repeat it. I still didn't believe him. That was the longest ride I had ever taken. 

For years I carried such guilt. I should have been there. Here I was laying in the sun! He had told my mom to go get herself something to eat. That was the first time in three weeks that she had left his room. Did he know? All I could think about was him being all alone. Later I would realize he wasn't alone at all.

I wouldn't know until later and wouldn't understand until many years later, but two days before my dad died a pastor came in and visited with him. My dad accepted Jesus as his Savior. What a Jesus we have. Oh, to know that my dad would receive the love and forgiveness of a Savior I would later come to know. 

See, my dad could have easily died in a car crash on his way to work, never accepting Jesus. Never knowing that eternal hope. Was it God's plan for my dad to have cancer? I can't say that it was, but I can know for certain that God didn't allow one minute to go unused. He was planning. He loved my dad and was working to see my dad come to know Him as his Savior. Years later I would look back and see how God moved in my life to bring my heart to know him as well. 

All is possible with God. Thirty years has passed since that day. Thirty years without my dad. All those special times you wanna call and share with your dad were never to be.  I missed him as I walked down the aisle. I missed him being there when his grandchildren were born and now his great-grandchildren. To read my first piece of writing. So many moments, big and small,  we didn't get to share. But there were so many treasured memories.

I miss my dad's laughter. At night I would be in my room and hear my dad laughing as he watched Benny Hill, The Three Stooges, and Johnny Carson. His favorites. Oh, how he loved watching All In The Family. To hear his laughter one more time. 

We loved to fish together. He taught me how to play baseball. He taught me to love the Pittsburgh Steelers. Of course we were the home of the St. Louis Cardinals, but no one played like the Steelers! He taught me how to drive, but not before teaching  me to ride a bike. Each time I fell he would pick me back up and say, "Try it again, Rob". He was my greatest cheerleader. 

He made the greatest cheeseburgers and fries! Every day at four he would walk through the door from work. My mother would be preparing dinner. He always came through the door singing to my mom. "Hey, good-lookin'. Whatcha got cookin'? How about cookin' somethin' up with me?" Oh, the country music I endured in the backseat as a youngster I would one day learn to love as it brought me back in time. 

He taught me to believe that nothing was impossible. That I was capable and talented to do anything and be anything I wanted to be. We loved to laugh and Christmas was our favorite day of the year. Only we never waited for Christmas morning to open our gifts. We always had them open the night before, leaving my mom none to happy with us. He was everything a little girl needed. As an adult woman I look back so proud of him. 

I know he would so love my husband. His three grandchildren and three great-grands, soon to be four. I can only hope he would be so proud of me. I pray I have honored my dad in all he taught me. He taught me to stand up for what is right. To be brave no matter what may come. He taught me to be true to myself and never compromise who I am. Most of all he taught me to be humble and to walk with honor. To work hard and to never take a moment of life for granted. 

Oh, how I wish we could fish once more. That last year of his life he would catch and release. He loved catching the big fish. That year must have taught him so much. Something changed about his love of fishing. It became a different love for him. He purchased an old bike that he would ride a bike through the country for miles. If we could only have a few minutes for him to share with me all he learned on his journey. As a teen I wasn't so interested. So much time I allowed to pass. The years I would want to know more about my dad would just not be. I just always figured time would be forever. As a teen you never think about things happening to your parents. 

I look like my dad, but my son is perfect image. I look at my son at times and just fill with such joy. He would have been my dad's fishing buddy for sure. My girls would have been spoiled rotten and protected by his strong and mighty love. 

The years pass. I'm now older than my daddy was when he left this earth. That just doesn't seem right. But nothing is much right about this world we live in today. That God I once hated? Well, that God has moved in powerful ways in my life. I can look back and see His presence throughout my life. He has moved heaven and earth on my behalf. His grace and mercy brought me to know Him and I have loved Him for a little over twenty-five years now. I accepted Jesus as my Savior with my husband at my side as I cradled my son in my arms.

I can look back through tear stained eyes, but I too can look forward with a heart of joy as we will one day meet again. I'm sure, without a doubt, that we will have time to catch up. For me to hear all those stories I missed out on then. Now, there are even more stories to share. What a glorious day that will be for daddy and daughter to meet once again. Who knows, we may even get to throw the ball around again. 

Daddy, I'm all grown up now. I have accomplished so very much. Much of who I am today is because of you and all you instilled in me. You gave me such strength. You always gave me room to make mistakes and was always quick to forgive. So many years ago you wanted a boy. God had me in store for you instead. I know how proud you were to hold me that first time. I now have your wallet that carried my picture for so many years. Love forever remains and the love you gave to me was mighty. I thank you, Dad. I thank you for everything. We'll catch up soon and boy, is there a lot to share. 

I miss you.


Comments

I fought back some tears as I read this, Robin. What a special life you had with your dad, and you packed in so much in a short amount of time. I've learned through my own mother's death and have been told of others that some will have a desire to "spare" their loved ones the moment they pass into eternity. It's odd that we can actually have that control; I see is as God honoring one's final earthly wish - either to wait for a loved one to arrive or for one (or more) to leave at that time. It sounds like your daddy opted for the second choice. Like I said earlier, you've made him proud of the woman you've become. Thank you for sharing your heart. God Bless.
Robin, thank you for sharing your heart about your Dad. So much I could relate to. And, yes, my tears flowed freely as I read. I was the one who stayed in the hospital by my Daddy's bed as he made his way to heaven due to health issues of my mother and sister. Reading your experiences I could so vividly recall running down the hospital hallway to the nurse's station asking for help because I thought my Daddy was taking his last breath but he didn't until my sister and mother were with me. Daddy didn't come to know Christ until he was 67 or at least not publicly as he was such a good man always but we know goodness doesn't save you. He had 6 years before going home to be with the God he had accepted and what a blessing indeed he was to many. It has been 29 years now and he has missed seeing his grandchildren grow into adults and the great grandchildren they have given him. But, one day we will all be together again. My mother is now there with him. Thank you for blessing me today.
Robin Prater said…
Ladies, thank you so much for sharing with me. I so love when others share their transparent heart. What treasures for my soul. Blessings to you both.

XOXO

Popular posts from this blog

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

Oh, just where do I begin? This is the stuff in which great novels are made. I made my way through this richly beautiful novel turning page after page with such deep emotion and thought. I couldn't turn the pages quick enough, but I didn't want it to end to soon. It's one of those novels you could continue reading as long as there were pages. No page just made of fluff, words with no meaning on the page. Every single line in this novel created a story that will last in my heart forever. 
Ms. Everson, I am so happy stories of the war were shared with you. Oh, to have your Sunday school teacher share with you, "You can't choose who you fall in love with, but you can choose who you marry", is a blessing that has now enchanted your readers. What a story you have weaved together. History penned with such depth, detail, and a story that captures the heart. 
This lovely story begins in 1941. The war has started. Picture a family gathered around the Zenith to hear t…

The" I Am" Makes Us Think About What "i am"

In Genesis 1:26-27 it shares something valuable to each of us about who we are in God. We are created in His image. What I love about this verse below is that is says, "make man in OUR image". What's OUR? The trinity, God, the Holy Spirit, and Christ Jesus. Ponder that. I mean really go deep. We are make in THEIR image. 
"Then God said, "Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them."
We are His workmanship. He knew us before we were ever born. He weaved us together within the womb, but even before then He planned our life perfectly for us. That's so much to ponder isn't it? 
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared…

The Glassblower by Petra Durst-Benning

I came across this selection on Amazon. I had seen so many reviews that it intrigued me. I had never read anything from this German author. The cover caught my attention as did the description of this novel. 
It's a part of a trilogy. I am getting ready to open up book 2, The American Lady. I cannot wait to begin. I tell you this book marveled me. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. What a journey into another time and place. 
We travel to Germany where this novel is set. The year is 1890 and we find ourselves in Lauscha, Germany. The author did a fantastic job at the perfect description of not only the area, but circumstance, and heart of the characters. Her writing style flows so easily that the pages almost turn themselves. 
The characters are easy to love. Three sisters who are now wondering, after their father had passed from this earth,  how they will now provide for themselves. It isn't going to be easy, but these sisters show us how to prevail over challenges that…

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

I want to begin this review sharing two reviews I was blessed to do. The Butterfly and The Violinand A Sparrow in Terezin. For me these two novels were masterpieces. Works of such exquisite beauty. They showed that Kristy Cambron is gifted with the pen, a master storyteller. They remain two of my all-time top favorites. 
It was for this reason I was thrilled to be receiving a copy of The Illusionist's Apprentice. Once again Cambron shows us a masterpiece of bringing a story to readers that speaks of faith and our Lord. Although throughout the novel these aspects are not boldly proclaimed, but are masterfully weaved throughout the story. 
Magic and illusion are not the same. I love how she brings this truth. Love that the main character was an apprentice to the master of illusion. She takes the use of being an apprentice and walks that road with integrity and hope. When we choose to walk with Christ we are His apprentices. We are to walk as the main character, Wren Lockhart walked…

Unexpected Blessings

The last words my dad spoke to me from his hospital bed were, "Rob, take care of your mom." Those are words I have never forgotten. I have not only honored them for my dad, but for my mom. I too am commanded by my Father to honor my mother and father.
"Honor your father and mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12
My mom gave her life in caring for me. On my first birthday, my very first Christmas, was spent in the ICU as I was very sick with pneumonia. A little later I would burn myself with spilled coffee. A few years later I would tumble down many stairs and once again spent time in the hospital. 
I remember all the times I was sick and could feel my mom's hand brush against my forehead as she checked for fever. All the times she must have stayed up all night as I was sick. 
When I was little she would pour me a bowl of Raisin Bran. I loved it. Only I didn't like the raisins. She would take t…