Monday, August 13, 2012

It is so Strange; My Dad is Gone

by Steve Ray on August 13, 2012

It is so strange, so final. My dad is no longer here. He went to be with the Lord at 4:20 AM while I was in a plane high over the heartland rushing home to say “Good-bye.” But my daughter Emily was there, holding his hand and praying aloud the Hail Mary while he peacefully slipped away.

Janet and arrived at his bedside with my mom, my kids and my siblings. We had two blessed hours as his emaciated body grew cold. He was there, but he was not there. We hugged him and thanked him for giving us life, for being an ever faithful father and for being an example of how to live and how to die.

Some of his last whispered words to me before he went into a long sleep a few days ago were, “I believe more now than ever” while pointing up.

I’m a bit numb. I am who I am because he was who he was. I have his first Bible and the card he signed in 1953 (a year before I was born) professing his trust in Jesus Christ. It was the center of his life every day from point on. He lived the Christian life in front of me every day.

Will the reality of my loved father gone ever be real? He was the best. He’ll be missed and remembered. “Lord Jesus, greet him for me as you receive him into your presence.”

Dad’s favorite verse from the Bible: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

A picture of Dad a few weeks ago. He died in his bed in this room where he loved to watch the birds on the window feeders.