On June 6, 2015, my father experienced a new beginning. Two days later, as I wrestled with my emotions, I prayed - 'Oh God, help me never to forget my father!' And I wrote...
I don’t want to ever forget…
… how blessed I was to have him in my life.
… our conversations, profound and deep into the mysteries of life.
We agreed to disagree often and he would say – further along at a higher level of consciousness I’d understand. He truly believed in the power of the mind. His wisdom was remarkable, and he had a way of seeing things that was truly his own. ‘This too shall pass’ was his sage advice regarding every bump in life from the least to the greatest.
… his calm almost nonchalant attitude about things.
He truly did mellow as he aged, and I thank God that I was able to experience and enjoy that side of him. He moved from one who didn’t relish taking pictures to taking lots happily with his children and grandchildren in his later years. Although considered an introvert, he touched many by his care, concern and generosity. Taking flowers for the nurses and inviting them to his home - his kind and courteous manner was noticed and admired by all.
As he grew older, he became more and more aware of God’s blessings in his life. He would often say he’s drinking from his saucer because his cup has overflowed. He told me that he never expected to live past 33… so to get to 88 with all his children and grandchildren, and the love he felt from them made him feel like a truly blessed man. And he was never too busy to help others bear their load, a virtue he passed onto his children. He often told us never to pass the Salvation Army – the work they do is necessary.
He wasn’t a man that showed a lot of emotion, yet we felt and were assured of his sincere love for us. He didn’t talk a lot but when he did, it showed a keen depth of understanding of the human heart and condition.
Don’t want to forget his keen mind and interest in news events. He was always listening to the news from around the world and whenever some new issue or event came up, we would discuss and analyze together. He had such knowledge and insight.
Don’t want to forget his wish and hope for peaceful living. I thank God that he passed peacefully in his sleep, possibly unaware of his crossing from life to death. He didn’t want to leave us… didn’t want to say goodbye… his love for us too great, but he also accepted ‘God’s will be done’ and knew how blessed he was. ‘Thine will be done’ he would often say during his last admission. He felt it was the beginning of the end, but prayerfully may it be a new beginning for his soul’s journey with God. He would often quote a dear friend who assured him to see his illness not as the beginning of the end but as a new beginning. This he pondered, and I think he accepted. He left this world with hope… never losing hope. I didn’t say ‘goodbye’, I said, ‘Meet me on the other side’, and he would smile and nod – remembering this brings me comfort and reminds me never to forget 'our hope'. May his soul find rest in God alone - the Source of all hope.
Don’t want to forget the support of my family. In their own way, given their own strengths and weaknesses; everyone came together and did his or her part to get us through together. Despite all our little shortcomings, I won’t trade my family for the world. They were not shy to grieve the loss of daddy, and their outpouring of raw emotion touched me deeply. Our togetherness is surely a legacy to daddy.
My darling daughter says of Papa – his was always a happy presence – even when we were there and he wasn’t talking much – he was happy to be with us and made us happy just by his presence with us - profound thoughts from the mouth of babes. May I always carry that presence with me and perhaps in some small way touch others the way my father once did.
What about you? What legacy are you leaving? What do you hope people will never forget about you?
As you ponder that question, please enjoy Live Like That by Sidewalk Prophets.