Monday, October 27, 2014

My Father's Passing

Last Tuesday my father called all of his children home to say good-bye before the Lord called him home.

We dropped everything, took the kids out of school early and went up there. Everyone in my family came. We all had our private time to say good-bye. Even Tyler and Alyssa went in to see their Papa and say, "I love you." I am so proud of them for their courage to say good-bye to a dying loved one.

That night I sent Paul and the kids home, but I stayed to be with my parents and brothers and sisters. We had such a fun night playing cards and talking. 

Although my dad could only hear us from his bedroom, he said to my mom when she came to bed that night, "Thank you for a great day. It was nice to hear everyone out there having fun."

For my dad, "quality time" has always been simple. Just being present. And that is what we were. All of his five kids present.

Just being silly!
The next day our aunt and cousins made it in from Wyoming, so once again, we found ourselves gathered around the kitchen table talking and playing cards. We had so much fun.

We all hung out together throughout the week until it was his time to go to heaven, early Saturday morning, around 3:30 a.m.

To back up a bit ... Prior to my dad's passing, I told him about an amazing near death experience story I had read about. I asked him to give me a "thumbs up," that heaven is for real after he got there.

As I was driving to his house moments after his passing, he gave me that thumbs up. He played a song with the lyrics, "Don't you worry child, see heaven's got a plan for you" on the radio -- the second song into my journey. Throughout the last six months or so of his illness, that song always came on the radio whenever I needed it -- often while driving home from an emotionally draining day of taking care of him.

I believe he played me another song on that journey. Perhaps to lighten the mood -- driving while crying can be dangerous, you know! I had changed the station and suddenly I was listening to the Eagles and "I'm Already Gone." Pretty funny, actually. Not unlike my dad. He had an amazing sense of humor.

The next morning my brother and sister-in-law were at church. They, too, got their thumbs up. Check out the picture to the right ...

Below the screen (with the extremely significant words on them) is a sign with three letters on it, VRL. Those are the consonants in our last name VERLEY. Then below that is the EXIT sign. Maybe the message is something like, "the words on the screen are true" and "Verley Exited." That would be his sense of humor!

And so this is how we will go on without his physical presence here on earth. Holding on to our precious memories and looking and listening for the signs. Until that day we are reunited in God's kingdom.

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