I recently posted about losing my dad. He was 90 years old and had lived a life filled with challenges and lots of blessings too. He was raised during the depression. He was a teenager during world war 2. He experienced the promise of the 1950s, he voted for Kennedy, and he voted for Nixon, and he voted for Regan, and he voted in every election of his adult life. He saw man first walk on the moon. He watched his children grow up. He watched his grand children grow up. He even watched some of his great grandchildren grow into their teen years. His oldest great grandchild was 17 and his youngest great grandchild was one month old at the time of his death. My dad knew hunger, cold, joy, accomplishment, love, pain, work, and faith. My point now is that he lived a long life. I should be happy for him that he not suffer any more and of course I am. I still miss him.
About a week before he died, I was able to have a priest from St Anne’s church visit him. Father Tom stopped by on a Friday morning annointing with the sacrament of the sick (which includes forgiveness for any sins committed) and bringing him communion. That day, dad was ready to see Father Tom, unlike the June visit at the hospital when he definitely wasn’t ready. When I called dad that day, he was happy and told me to be sure to call Father Tom and thank him. I did send a personal thank you note a few weeks later to let Father Tom know his visit and prayer had helped my dad to have a peaceful last week.
I feel gratitude for many things. I’m grateful for both of my parents. I’m grateful for the legacy of church and family. I’m grateful for the lovely funeral that we were able to have for him. I’m grateful for the people from St Frances who helped, the funeral home, my brothers and all my family. I’m grateful or the birthday party that we had for him in October. I’m grateful that we could bring our sons to see my dad on New Year’s Day that week and share the afternoon with him. I’m grateful for each family member. I’m grateful that I could visit my dad so often, even visiting the day before he died.
My sadness comes from a place of gratitude for having been his daughter and missing that relationship. I believe he is with Jesus now. I believe that although he wasn’t perfect, God forgave him and welcomed him into Heaven where he met my mom and so many relatives and friends that his joy would be overwhelming. He was my dad. I hope that he forgives me for needing the help of a long term care facility for his care. I hope that he is praying for each of us and interceding for our needs. I hope he will be able to oversee our steps as my brothers and I figure out how to be real grown ups without him. With our mom and dad with our Father in Heaven, maybe we never really need to be grownups. We can always be God’s children.
Oh God, please alow my my father and mother to rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon them. Please bless my brothers, my sisters in law, my husband, our children and our grandchildren. Help us to remember our parents with great love forgiving any failing as you have forgiven them. Help us to work together to continue to be a loving family through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.