On death and my father, Ed: October 29,1959- June 3, 2011

I was thinking all day today (I guess really yesterday, though I have yet to go to sleep) about a post I was going to write about life and it’s uncertainty, death and how quickly it comes upon us.

I got word this morning that my aunt, (my mom’s younger sister), after going to the hospital regarding horrible pain after a recent back surgery, was told she has stage 4 colon cancer.  She just turned 50. 

This brought back thoughts of my grandma who passed, wow, 10 years ago already(?!), and how much I miss her

It was on my mind all day, not just the news of my aunt’s sudden condition and thoughts of my grandma, but of death itself; how quickly our life can be changed by it’s possibility, how life is uncertain and we really don’t know when the Lord will call us home…

I went about my daily activities, with every intent on writing it up tonight.  And here it is, though drastically different than I had originally intended.  Life, death… It has changed me yet again.

While at the grocery store this evening, I got a call. Through the sobs of my aunt (my dad’s younger sister), I was able to make out the words, “Your dad” “heart attack” and “died”.  I was alone (for a change), in the middle of the store with a cart full of groceries.  I remember saying, “I’m by myself at the store. I don’t know what to do!” and then, rather than leaving my cart and running to my car, I went to the checkout line and bought my groceries… Through tears and shaking, causing a scene I’m sure.  Why did I do that?

I made it home, on the phone with my mom the entire way because she wouldn’t let me hang up for fear I wouldn’t make it.  I don’t remember much of the 2 mile drive, but I made it home ok.  The rest of my night has been a blur; collecting up the kids and going to be with my family at my grandparents home, trying to figure out what to do.  Sobbing in grief, then in a trance, not sure what to think or what to do. Is this real? Am I dreaming? Is this possible?  Remembering my dad, memories flashing in my mind, regrets filling my thoughts, another wave of grief and tears.  Head pounding, feeling like I am going to vomit, then sitting again in stunned silence.

Now all I can think to do is write, to get all my emotions and feelings down and out.

My dad, at age 51, is dead from what we think to be a heart attack.  I am still not sure what I am saying is true.

I just saw him this past weekend.  You know the camping trip we took at our family ranch?  He was there, along with our entire family.  My grandparents, my dad’s 2 sisters and brother and their families, my brother and I and our families.  He stayed up there this week with our cousin/one of his closest friends, intending to come home sometime next week.  They had gone into town to the little store there.  In the car as they were leaving, my dad apparently slumped over and was unresponsive.  Paramedics were called and they worked on him for a long time, but to no avail.

I have been going through a lot of emotions all night.  Regretting that we hadn’t stayed up there longer this weekend and spent more time with him.  Thankful we DID get to spend the entire weekend with him.  Regretting my rushed goodbye as I was trying to get 4 kids and a dog loaded in the truck and out of the insane wind that drove us home rather than giving him a longer hug, another kiss, another “I love you”.  Regretting not taking advantage of the fact that he lives lived, just miles away.  I should have made more of an effort to bring the kids to see him every week.  I should have called him more often just to chat.  I want more than anything to give him one more hug, a real forever “goodbye and I love you more than you’ll ever know”, to kiss a warm cheek rather than the cold cheek I’ll have waiting for me when we are finally able to see him after the autopsy on Monday.  I hate that I can’t see him right now, can’t speak to him.

Then I remember that man has an appointed time here on Earth, and the Lord will call him home when He is ready.  No, I was not ready to see my dad gone at age 51. I am not ready for my kids to be without their granddad.  But I do know that the Lord knows better than I, that His timing is perfect, even when it comes to death, and I rejoice in knowing I will see my dad again someday.

Dad, I miss you more than words can say.  I know how much you loved me, how much you loved my kids, how proud you were of Aadam and I and all we’ve become, and, although I know you do, I still want you to know how much I love you.  I am so thankful that you are my dad.  I will miss your laugh, your hugs, your goofiness… Everything. I think of you, remembering and retelling the story of my birth.  The difficulty mom had, how we both could have died, the trauma I went through.  I still see your tears as you remember the first time you saw me, and placed your finger in my hand, which I squeezed tightly as if in reassurance.
I remember the last time I felt grief like this, though not nearly as bad.  Grandma Bishop had passed away, and Aadam, you and I sat in the basement and cried. You consoled us through our tears, and Aadam played his guitar and sang.  I will never forget, he sang Fernando Ortega’s “Give Me Jesus”.  I am singing that song over and over in my mind tonight, thinking of you and knowing you would be singing along in agreeance: “And when I come to die, Oh when I come to die, and when I come to die, give me Jesus.  Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus, you can have all this world, but give me Jesus.”  I’ll think of you always dad. I miss you, I love you.  Until we meet again, Goodbye from “Your brown eyed girl”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ecclesiastes 3

 1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
 2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
 3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
 4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
 5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
 6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
 7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
 8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
 9What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
 10I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
 11He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
 12I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
 13And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
 14I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

Comments

  1. Again, I'm so sorry about your dad. It really is surreal and often stays that way once they're gone. Love and hugs for you and your family, I'm grateful to know the Lord is speaking to you during this time.

  2. What a beautiful post, Alesha. I love you and am thankful for the love we have in our family and most especially for the hope we have in our Lord and His comfort and love. My heart goes out to you, honey, and your brother and all of the kids. It doesn't seem real at all. Your dad was a good guy, our lives are enriched because of him, and many will have to step up now. Love and hugs.

  3. Crystal Blair says

    So, so sorry for your loss, Alesha. Your writing about it is beautiful, and I'm sure has been cathartic for you and will be a comfort to others. What a gift to be able to express yourself in this way and share with others who struggle to put feelings into words. As someone else said, God has a plan, and although it doesn't seem possible, greater blessings are waiting for you and your family because of his wisdom. Lots of love and prayers for you and your whole family. We will all miss him.

  4. Anonymous says

    Lesh, I don't know blog etiquette so forgive me if this goes too long. It is good to read your thoughts here. I was so concerned for you yesterday.

    I feel such an emptiness right now. Your dad was such a special person and touched my life.

    It is the little things that come to mind. Playing in the backyard of your house and watching him tend to the bees. I remember thinking how brave and crazy he was to walk right in the middle of them!

    Spending the night with you in the basement and his fathering of all your friends. He was always so much fun.

    He has been so supportive of me. We would watch movies and get dinner from time to time. He always supported my job and gave me advice. He helped me when I was injured and made special efforts to reach out to me. I appreciated it so much and I hope he knew that. He helped me in my move and any time I needed it, he made himself available.

    On the hunting trip when I got my first Elk, I had so many proud dads there. Mine, yours, Joel, Hubert, and Andy. Every one of them was so excited and had that twinkle in their eyes.

    When the storm hit and our tent was ripped apart he gave me his bed in the motor home and slept on the floor.

    Over the past few years we've had an opportunity to grow closer and have many long conversations. I will miss our talks over the fence at my parents' house, his smiles and his love yous.

    He asked me to go up to the ranch and said he would be there till the 6th. I'm sorry I didn't go, but happy he was able to spend time there with his family and friends. It was his perfect weekend.

    I love him and miss him. The thought of him not here is so strange.

    The Lord blessed us all with him for a time and called him home in His time.

    I love you and am here for you whatever it is you need. It would help me to help during this time, so please ask if you need something.

  5. Anonymous says

    Anonymous is Erica. Sorry, I don't know how to do this very well.

  6. So very very sorry for your sudden loss. I lost my own father at a young age so I know a bit of what you are feeling. It just stinks. You and your family are in my prayers. May you continue to find comfort in the fact that your dad is with Jesus.
    Angie

  7. {{{Hugs}}}} I am so sorry. Will be praying for you and your family.

  8. HUGS Mama!! Your in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry for your loss.

  9. Alesha–this post is a beautiful memorial to your father. I know that you will read and hear this possibly a million times in the days ahead but I am truly sorry for your loss. I wish I had something better and more profound to say to you. I have been praying for you and your entire family since I heard the news and hope that you find comfort and peace.

  10. Alesha,
    This is so beautifully written. I am praying for you and your whole family. I lost my dad when he was only 52. He never got to meet any of his grandkids, so your dad, Ed, was a very blessed man. You & Aadam have grown into wonderful people and I'm sure your dad was a big part of that. I remember when I first met him. You were just a toddler. 🙂 Ed was one of those special people who made everyone else feel special–even if he just met you. He truly knew how to love. God bless you all.

  11. Dear Friend,
    Ever since my last birthday I have been overwhelmed with gratitude that I have been blessed with such amazing friends… life long friends. These friends have been involved in EVERY aspect of my life and I theirs. growing up struggles, graduation, weddings babies, the list goes on. I began thinking and rejoicing that I had people I could count on to be there for me and I them, in the good times and the bad times.

    I also thought, that someday with these friends we would experience “loss” with each other. Loss of parents or other loved ones.

    I didn't expect it to be so soon as I am positive you did not either. The passing of your dad is hard to grasp, I know. And as your friend, my heart aches for you and I want you to KNOW that I am here in anyway I can be of support.

    I do rejoice however. Rejoice, because I know you have a greater hope and comforter that you depend on… Jesus Christ. He will uplift you and carry you through this difficult time. He will fill your heart with peace when it seems that life is just spinning out of control, and He will give you rest when you need it the most. I rejoice, because you already know this and have depended on it your entire life.

    I have been praying for you multiple times a day and will continue to. I love you and your family very much!

  12. I'm SO sorry Alesha! I can't even imagine what you must be going through. He sounds like he was a wonderful man 🙂 You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. ((HUGS))

  13. Alesha,

    I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face. My heart is breaking for you and for your family. Thank you so much for sharing this piece of your heart with all of us. What an amazing father and what a testament you are to that! You are an amazing woman! Please know that I will continue to lift you and your family up in prayer. Please, please let me know if there is anything at all I can do for you. Love you!

  14. Oh my goodness, I 'm so sorry to hear about your dad. What a shock. My thoughts are with you and your family. – Amy

  15. oh jeez. i'm so sorry! I'm bawling here because I cannot even imagine what you are going through! the only close death was my dad 3 years ago. he went to the hospital after we ate at Olive Garden. He was a vegetarian but decided to eat some steak off of our plates for giggles. That following day he had horrible stomach cramps. they checked him out and it turns out, he had gall stones. while taking those out, they discovered he had cancer and there was no turning back. 1 yr. later, he was planning his funeral and he is now gone. That hurt me so much! But loosing someone in just snap like you lost your dad, I cannot imagine! like i said. I will pray for you and dont regret or feel guilty about anything. you'll then drown in guilt and bring yourself down. to me, there is reason why he passed when you were gone. GOD didn't want to let him pass when you and your kids were with him. I believe he had finished business with you and he know's how much you love him. he knows! oh gosh. i dont know what to say or do. my throat is cosed up in tears. *hugs*

  16. Oh gosh Alesha, I am so terribly sorry. I can feel your pain and my heart is breaking for you, and your entire family. He sounds like an amazing dad. Please email even if it's just to talk or get things out. Big hugs sweetie, thinking of you.

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  1. […] I have no idea what his secret was, since I never expected to have to ask him so soon.  Since his death in 2011, I’ve been the one to make the sweet potatoes for the holidays for our family […]

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