Today is July 2, 2012. Eight years ago today, my father passed away. Anticipating today while I was working over this past weekend, I couldn’t help but think about what I was doing 8 years ago on June 29, 30, and July 1st of 2004. I was enjoying the last of my Dad’s days with him, getting in my last giggles between us, enjoying tapping our toes in perfect timing together to Cape Breton tunes playing on a CD next to his bed, taking shifts with my mom and sister spending time in the room with him, and spending time with each other in Mum’s kitchen.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 3-9
I am so comforted knowing my Dad was happy when he passed, surrounded by those he loved the most, and even more comforted knowing that he is in heaven, shielded from the hurt of this world, enjoying his inheritance and no longer burdened by the cares and hurts of what goes on, on this earth.
And God, knowing so well the ache in my heart as I miss my dad daily, but so much more this week as I look back and remember his last days, provided me with comfort all weekend while I worked. I took care of an elderly gentleman who recently became confused, much like my dad in his last days. In the times when I was alone in the room with him, we talked about Jesus, and heaven, and how He never, ever, ever leaves us. And yesterday as I was getting ready to leave after 3 days with this man, he looked deep into my eyes, just as my father did the day before he died. My own father had said to me, “You are just like me, and I appreciate you!” (biggest compliment I’ve ever gotten) But my patient looked at me, and through his tears said, “You always make me smile, and I’m always happy when you are here. I really, really love you.” I have absolutely NO DOUBT that God was reminding me through this man, that my father loved me.
But, not only did the Lord provide me with comfort, but He also provided me with a good laugh. While I was in a holding area with my patient waiting for an hour for transport to come and get us, we talked for a long time, just us. At one point, he started drifting and I noticed he was looking at something above him. When I asked him what he was looking at, he said, “The ceiling tiles. They did a great job!” And I was reminded once again about the day before Dad died. I had just had a conversation with my sister about whether or not Dad was seeing angels. So when I was in the room alone with him, and he was staring in the corner up at the ceiling, I thought I was about to get a glimpse into heaven when I asked my dad, ever so quietly, to tell me what or who he was looking at me.” I whispered, “Hey Dad, what are you seeing?” and he answered me, with one eye brow cocked, as if I were nuts, and answered, “The ceiling!”
I’m so thankful for the moments of comfort the Lord provides me with. And I love how He brings me a chuckle in the middle of my heartache. He knows me so well. And He has been faithful to me always. Psalm 34:18 says “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
I’m quite sure there is a Nova Scotia kitchen party going on in heaven today to celebrate 8 years in heaven. And all of Dad’s favorite fiddle tunes are being played. Cookie Johnny is likely playing the Orange Blossom Special. All of Dad’s brothers & sisters with him. Oh, what a party it must be.
There just isn’t anything like Nova Scotia music, and you can bet that’s all one will hear today from my windows!!!
This is for you, Dad! Until I see you again, and we can tap our toes in timing together to the best music on the planet!