Friday, March 4, 2011

The Apple of His Eye...Part III

With memories flooding my heart and mind and tears in our eyes I held his hands and look right into his eyes. It what we girls do isn't...we look right into people's eyes.

I asked about the letter. What did he think? Did he already pray the prayer? Did he want me to pray with him?

"I want you to be here when I pray!" --that is what he said! Probably the most precious words I could ever hear. Whether it is from my Dad, my children or a friend at the altar. Praying along side a person as they pray a prayer for salvation, assurance of Heaven, is just the about the greatest honor of all! The Bible says in Luke 15:7 "In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!" I can tell you from first hand experience there is nothing quite like it!

I asked my Dad the questions. Did he understand? He wanted to pray, but was so shy. I prayed for him first, thanking God for bringing him to this place, asking the Lord to give him courage to take the next step. I remember being so empowered by the Holy Spirit as I prayed for my Dad. Then I held his hands tight and told him it was his turn. OH how we wept..right there on the hospital bed. We were a snotty mess, the two of us! All this time, alone, not one interruption. That was a divine appointment for sure! His prayer...I wish I could have bottled it up to save. I remember it being so simple, he mentioned Billy Graham in his prayer and told the Lord that he believed that He loved him just as he was. He invited the Lord to take residence in his life, asked him to forgive him of his sin, and thanked him for saving his life and thanked him for his daughter! I just embraced my Daddy and sobbed all over his hospital gown. We cried and we laughed.

Then it happened. Someone else came into the room. First a nurse. She asked if everything was alright? What was wrong? My Dad said, "This is my daughter, I have Jesus in my heart now!" He proceeded to tell every person that came into the room, that he now had Jesus!! (Confessed with his mouth!)

A few weeks later Dad was in a hospital in Philadelphia. It was there that the Doctor asked Pat (my step-mother) and I to talk with us privately. My Mike stayed behind to be with Dad. The doctor proceeded to tell us to get our things in order, Dad only really had 6 months to live. He can have some radiation, but chemo would not be helpful at this stage in his esophageal cancer. It would be a difficult ride! Pat decided it best not to tell Dad how long he was given to live. Wise choice knowing my Dad. However he knew he didn't have much time. While we were with the Doctor, my Dad sat my husband down and asked him to tell him about what Heaven was like! Mike sat with my Dad, bringing him the comfort of God's Word and prayer to take away any fear.
My Dad lived 9 months. Right when it started to get really really bad....the Lord mercifully took him home. March 12, Dad got a new name in Heaven, a new body, got to meet Jesus face to face, and hopefully saw my mother! Knowing my Dad...he danced on streets of gold too...his special dance that only I got to see! (twinkle toes) :) What an amazing gift for this daughter! Blessed assurance that one day....I will be with him! OH how I miss him. I wonder what he would have thought about my boys? When I snuggle with my kids, I always think of my Dad - Shane would have loved snuggle buggling with him! Brendan...sometimes has a smell that reminds me of Norman! Kyle, well, he would love my Dad with his whole he does so well!

Dear Daddy, I know you can't read this. But, as I sit here with tears flowing down my face I want you to know that I'm so thankful I had a Daddy who loved me unconditionally. Because of you, I could totally accept the Lord as my Father! So many have a poor God image because of their past experiences. Not me, Daddy!

So many years have passed. When I visited your gravesite, I would talk with you. I know it sounds silly, but it made me feel good. Mike has been so good to me Dad! You would have been proud! I was able to teach 9 years in a High School in NJ. I gave birth to three amazing boys Dad! I think you would have loved them! They would totally have worn you out. But you know what, they just saw you on video a few months ago and they talk about you now! Brendan's head has the Norman Sine smell! lol! I lost 14 babies trying to get pregnant, I wonder if you know them? I know this sounds crazy, but when I lost my first child, I remember seeing (probably in a dream) him with you...smiling!

Honestly Dad, these past few years have been very difficult for me. I sometimes miss being someone's daughter, someone's little girl. But I have to say, God has totally and completely filled your void Dad...and He really is the perfect fit! As I'm sure you know! The Lord has also been with me during these most difficult years/months/days. He has done amazing, miraculous things for Mike and I...He really is taking such good care of us! I love you Daddy! I miss you like crazy...for some reason...a lot this year! I'm not sad, no worries! Yes, I'm crying like a baby, but you my kids would put it..they're combo tears: tears of joy, sadness and just because I'm a woman! lol! I look forward to sitting at the marriage feast of the Lamb with you Dad....until then...I love you always...and forever in my heart! ♥

I think all the tears that have flowed while I wrote down these memories...have really be theraputic! If you've followed along, thank you for allowing me a place to be so private (so publicly). I hope you, in some way, if you've endured these past few posts, were blessed!


Caroline said...

My sweet friend ... I am happy for you on so many levels. Thank you for sharing this with me/us. For having such a wonderful Dad, for standing so strong in the face of our human weakness("how will he take this" "I don't want this to be weird") and making what IS the most important - THE most important. Seizing the moment in His love. Love you Sister...

Matthew said...

Oh my Lisa...I waited to comment until you were done. I have cried for you too...the combo tears...because of the joy he brought you and for your loss. My heart cries out for you because I never had a daddy like that...mine is so arrogant and selfish, that he has continued to toss me aside my whole life. That's why I have always struggled to have God as my daddy. What a legacy your dad has passed down...a blessing for you and Mike...for your sons...and one day your grandbabies. I look forward to meeting him at the feast.

Allison Reynolds said...

The last comment from Matthew is really me Allison...oops, was on my husband's google!

Doris said...

So very blessed Lisa! Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt and personal story. I can't find words worthy enough to say about the last letter you wrote to your dad. Our blessed assurance and hope of Glory truly is a comfort to those who are missing loved ones..Thanks for reminding us of that..
Love you!

Michelle said...

Thank you for sharing, what a beautiful love story. I cried, I laughed I read on :)

Adrienne said...

Ugh. *tears* this is beautiful, Lisa. Thanks for the comic relief at the end: combo tears!