Friday, December 14, 2012

Memorable Moments.......

My last Christmas card from Daddy.
Daddy's last Christmas with us was celebrated on New Year's Day, 2011.  He had been sick and hospitalized from Christmas Eve, 2010 until Dec. 30, 2010.  I stayed with him at the hospital so my sisters could have Christmas with their families.  They all stopped by at varying times throughout that Christmas Day.  Daddy was so sick that it was difficult for him to enjoy their visits.

It was during that hospitalization that we decided it was time to introduce Hospice into his care plan.  The coordinator met with he and I before he was discharged and then came to my house to meet with us and my sisters.  Daddy was not at all happy about having Hospice involved.  He was very sick but not yet ready to accept the inevitable outcome.

As the year advanced, he became more ill and began to settle in to the fact that he would soon be going home.  The closer he got, the more peaceful he became.  He was eager to see his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren at every opportunity.  Going to church became too much strain on him.  The inability to attend church caused him to become somewhat depressed.

On Sept. 20, 2011 Daddy went home.  He was peaceful and knew us up until the last few hours of his life.  He closed his eyes and rested as he awaited the Lord's call.  When that call came, he slipped quietly and peacefully into his eternal rest with the Lord.  I can only imagine the joy as he met Jesus and the rapture of seeing Momma again.

I couldn't believe I still had the money.  I have to find some way to
spend it to make it a more permanent memory
and something that can be passed
down to one of the grands or greats.

On that last Christmas celebration, he wanted to give us each a gift.  He sent me to the bank to withdraw the money and had me put it in money gift cards for each one, even the smallest of the greats.  He had me write a message in each card saying that he loved each individual and wishing them a Merry Christmas.  He gave a small gift to each daughter, SIL, grandchild and great-grandchild.

As I was going through my 'card drawer' this year, I found the card I had written and stuffed for myself.  I had forgotten it was there.  He would not allow me to put my money away.  He insisted that
I must have a card too!  Still stuffed inside the little card was the $20 bill he had given me.  I stood holding it in my hand, remembering the joy with which he gave his gift; the love that shone on his face as he watched everyone open their envelope.

Daddy gave me much more expensive gifts in my lifetime, much more elaborate.  None will ever mean more to me than that $20 bill.  He knew he was soon going home; he left us with that token of his love for us.  A Daddy who loved us, who prayed for us, who loved our Momma so deeply and was so dedicated to her, who took us to church every week, who tried to live his Christianity the best he knew how.........those are the real gifts Daddy gave us. 

Oh, but how I love to caress that $20 bill and know he went home still thinking of us and giving to us.  I have to make a point to purchase something with that money that is a more permanent memory, something that can be passed to one of the grands or greats.

“Honor your father and mother.”
This is the first commandment
with a promise:
If you honor your father and mother,
“things will go well for you,
 and you will have a long life on the earth.”
Ephesians 6:2-3  (NLT)


Jada's Gigi said...

Such a sweet memory!

Trish said...

How wonderful...your sweet Daddy blessed me this morning Di! I love you!

Marsha Young said...

Diane -
Such touching memories of your dad. I took care of my mom the last two years of her life, and can imagine how you feel.

I also made out her Christmas cards for her, including my own. :)
And like you, I am so glad that I took the time and trouble to honor her, as I have such good memories of that time, even thought it was difficult.
Blessings to you this holiday season. - Marsha

Margie said...

that is absolutely precious!!! ohmyword! what a loving daddy you had!!