It was the early morning phone call that put me on alert from my mother, who rarely initiates phone calls. My oldest brother spoke, most unusual to hear his voice at the other end of the phone. He expressed that my father had passed away in his sleep and shortly there after my mom spoke on the phone. She sounded at peace over the whole ordeal, that my father was finally in the place where he wanted to be.
I was shocked really, as I had made arrangements to fly into town, for the very reason of seeing him alive, and now wondering what was I to do? I realized that this was all part of the Master’s plan. That it would have been more difficult for me, and my sibs, to deal with death in person, rather than this way.
We all had spoken to him during the last few weeks and we all knew how much he loved us and how much we loved him. We knew he was determined to “have it his way” “in his time” and that “he was ready to go”.
The selfish part of me wanted him here, but the faith or spirit part of me wanted him to move on to the other side, where peace, comfort, and eternal life waited for him. Where he could sing again, with his strong voice and perfect pitch. Where his smile, much like mine, would be full and enthusiastic. Where I would see him again, with his open arms and loving gaze.
I hadn’t thought much before that death was necessary to reach eternity. I knew it in my heart by it was different this time. This was about family and I was on a mission, ready to accomplish my mission only to learn it had changed before I really got started. And that is completely okay. Because it’s not really my mission here at a stake, but that of the Lord’s.
I am sad for sure, that I will not have any more earthly time with my father. That I won’t be able to ask about the past, his childhood, his life journey stories. I am though confident that I will see him again in glory. And all the questions I had, will one day be answered. I will rest my head tonight knowing he is in a better place with full health in his spirit singing with joy unto The Lord and he is where he wanted to be. Tired of what this life had become and hoping of what was eternal. I am grateful for the many lessons he shared with me, the son I am, of the father he was and the example he is. Still my hero for so many reasons.
I’m sure that I have not grieved all that I will, and maybe the funeral will really stir more emotions. All that is good, because it will remind me of his love and passion. The romantic that he was, the singer that he continued to be and the father to us all. Of the good times we shared, the appreciation of life, hard work, and simple pleasures.
Still so much to reflect on, more to think about.
I see it now, the importance of death before eternity. We all will pass through those gates. The choices we make now determine the direction later, when we’ll have no choice.