Last year, I wrote a three-part series about processing the loss of my father (click here to see it). Now that it has been more than a year since I last saw my father alive, I wanted to share something important with you that I purposely left out of my previous writings.
One thing that made the loss of my father easier actually occurred prior to his passing. Let me set the scene for you: On the day I last saw my Dad alive, my husband and I were getting ready to hit the road again for North Carolina after spending Easter with my family in Maryland. As we were leaving, things were pretty chaotic; I was holding our then 4-month-old while trying to grab the last of our things from my parent's house. I hugged my parents goodbye in a sort of "half-hug" kind of manner since my arms were full of a variety of things. I was in a rush since we were already late in getting started on our 8-hour long journey back home and was focused on just getting on the road. At the car, my husband began strapping our daughter into her car seat and I sat down in the front passenger seat.
That's when I heard it.
"Go back in and hug them again. This is the last time you are going to see one of them alive."
Now if you aren't a spiritual person, you might think I'm making this up. I didn't share this story last year because I wasn't in a place where I could handle negative comments about it. But now that a year has passed, I believe I have more fortitude to withstand whatever someone might say about my experience that day (but hopefully, you believe me because I certainly have no reason to lie about something like this).
Anyways, after hearing that warning, I got out of the car and walked back up to my parent's door. In a previous trip, I had forgotten my shoes under the bed so when they answered the door, I said I needed to check under the bed one more time to make sure I didn't leave anything. I even pretended to look under the bed for something left behind as if I hadn't already done it earlier in the day. Yep, I was too chicken to tell my parents what I had just heard about them, but looking back, I don't think it would have been a productive thing to say anyways ("Hey, God just told me one of you is going to die soon").
The Lord gave me the opportunity to give my Dad one final goodbye hug. My Dad was "a hugger" so this final interaction between us was more meaningful than any words could convey.
If you don't know my friend Jesus, I encourage you to put some effort in to getting to know Him better. He is merciful and gracious beyond measure. Visit a local church, talk to a family member or friend about their faith or visit a website like this one to get more information. None of us knows when our last day will be, but don't you want to make your life here on Earth more bearable in the meantime?
In case you are wondering, after that last interaction with my Dad, I walked back to the car crying. My husband immediately asked me what was wrong and I told him that would be it for seeing one of my parents alive (remember, God didn't tell me which one, so I honestly didn't know which one we wouldn't see again). We took some time to reflect on the sadness of it all but could honestly rejoice in the Lord granting us some advance notice about the situation. Both of my parents are Christians, so we were confident that whomever it was that would be moving on would take their place in Heaven alongside our Savior, Jesus Christ. What a comfort that proved to be.