Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I was there when he died

I was there when he died. It was an Easter Sunday, the day for bunny rabbits, Easter eggs and church. The day our Lord and Savior was raised from the dead. It was a day to rejoice, not a day to mourn. We were talking to him, all of his children, gathered around his bed, chatting about the grandchildren and Easter egg hunting. The doctors had just implanted a new pacemaker, and everyone believed he had received a new lease on life. We were smiling and laughing and rejoicing. And then it happened! The alarms went off, his face look startled and his eyes rolled up and back. The nurses came running, and the doctors came too. From every corner of the hospital the alarm was sounded. “Code Blue ICU, Code blue ICU.” Suddenly our joy was replaced with a wild flurry of activity, panic, fear, and anxiety. It had happened once before that week. Nurses and doctors scrambling to save his life; ventilators in place; momentarily stabilized. We could breathe again. But that was earlier. Now, it was happening again. But this time there was no happy ending. No rejoicing at a life momentarily stopped and restarted. No, it was just the end. I was left without a father, my mother without a husband, and the grandchildren without a grandpa. Heart disease had come and stolen my dad. MY DAD; the most precious person in a young girl’s life; the one who should be proud of you no matter how lopsided your kindergarten craft; the one who loves you no matter which boy rejects you and treats you poorly; the one you run to when our young heart is broken; the one who smiles as you run to him at the end of the day; the man with the big blue eyes that sparkle when you walk in; the one whose face, frozen in that moment between life and death, is forever etched in your mind; the one whose smile looks at your kids through the picture on the mantle because he didn’t live long enough to see them any other way. And people wonder why I eat a plant based diet, and why I take exercising so seriously. I remember how it felt to lose my dad and I don’t want my children to have to experience that either. Yes, someday the Lord will call me home, but until He does, I’m fighting. Fighting to have the healthiest life: fighting to be able to race my 6 year old son to the car without getting winded; fighting to see MY grandchildren be born; fighting to live life without hesitation; fighting to be able to serve the Lord with full capacities until the very day He calls me home.

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