Today was the funeral for my dad. He died on Thursday of last week. He was 50 years old.
He had multiple sclerosis, the kind that gets progressively worse and kills in the end. We knew it was coming, but it still isn't easy to say goodbye ...
If it were not for the faith I have in my Lord Jesus Christ, or the love and support of my family and friends, I don't know where I'd be, but I know I will be crying or feeling sad for a very long time. Dad was one of a kind!
I'd always known dad to be sick. He was in a wheelchair; when I was little, he let me sit on his lap while he took me for '"rides". I thought it was great fun! He also loved to sing in the church choir, but he had to give that up two years ago when his voice became weak and he couldn't talk above a whisper. It about broke his heart; dad had such a beautiful high tenor voice!
Eventually, dad ended up being bedridden. He had to have people take care of him, he was that weak. The multiple sclerosis ravaged his body in so many ways, and at times, it made me angry because it took away his body (and eventually his life).
I would help mom out with dad's care any chance I got. I was a stay-at-home mom, and my kids were growing up into reliable, capable teens, so I was able to stay with dad while the kids were at school or were away doing church activities. I enjoyed being with my dad, and I know mom appreciated my help, especially since she wasn't well either (mom has rheumatoid arthritis). She couldn't do it on her own, not with her painful joints (or on days where she was suffering from a flare).
My brother, Ethan, would help out too, but not as much as I did because he works as a high powered CEO for a reputable business. His job was his life, so he often had to leave me alone with the lion's share of the work in caring for dad (and for mom when her RA was acting up). I would get jealous of him because he would leave the house, but then again, I was happy to help out with my parents' needs any time I could.
I also had the support of friends. They would call and check up on me. They would also come over if I needed to talk or if dad was in the hospital again. That helped so much. I don't know how I would have made it without their compassionate hearts!
In addition, my church family helped in so many ways. They would lift up dad, mom, and my family in their prayers, and I felt loved, comforted. I felt the presence of the holy spirit around me, and I knew God was in control with whatever came our way, in relation to dad's health.
Then dad died, and I felt as if my world had collapsed. That's when my husband and teenage kids rallied to my side. They were grieving as much as I was, but they tried to comfort me in their own pain. My friends and church came to my aid as well. They still continue to offer sympathy wishes and continue to call or visit, asking me if I need anything. The love that they've generated has been nothing short of overwhelming!
The last of the company has just left. It's just me, the kids, my husband, and mom. Now we pick up the pieces and try to move on. It won't be easy, but with God's help (and the love/support of loved ones and friends), we will make it in the end.
And it helps knowing that dad was a Christian. He's now in Heaven, celebrating his new body with Jesus Christ, and I am sure they are having a big blow out to end all big parties! He's now healed. Healthy. Whole. And I am sure he is shouting his praises to his good fortune!