For my family, in remembrance of Dad
It's been 10 years, but I still remember it like it was yesterday.
I remember Dad getting sick again and going to the hospital.
I remember going into the waiting room at the hospital and finding out the diagnosis and his decision that it was his time to go home to be with the Lord.
I remember comforting Mom and each other and going in to go cry on Dad's shoulder like we were all little children again.
I remember his strength, both of spirit and of his physical embrace.
I remember him being at home where he wanted to be.
I remember Mom's strength, devotion and love in taking care of Dad.
I remember Dad's faith in the Lord shining brighter than it had ever shone before.
I remember God never leaving or forsaking Dad.
I remember Mom literally being right at Dad's side when he died. (That was no coincidence.)
I remember Mom coming to wake us to tell us Dad was gone.
I remember us crying and comforting Mom and each other.
I remember Mom asking the Hospice nurse to wash Dad's body just as Jesus' body was washed.
I remember saying goodbye one last time when the Cremation Society took Dad's body away.
I remember crying with and comforting friends as they came by to grieve with us.
I remember planning Dad's memorial and how "the Anchor Holds" couldn't have been a more perfect song choice.
I remember putting out all the pictures and mementos of Dad (especially that "Uff da" shirt and the suspenders).
I remember how the church was filled beyond capacity at Dad's memorial by people who had come from far and wide to remember and honor him.
I remember how I was first to speak at the memorial and how I just looked around at all the people and said, "Wow!"
I remember how we kids each took turns speaking, sharing poems and memories.
I remember choking up when Mom was presented an American flag in honor of Dad's Army service.
I remember family and friends coming together afterwards and doing what we Scandinavians always do at times like this: have a potluck.
All these memories bring tears to my eyes, but I wouldn't ever not want to have them. They make me sad, but it's the good kind of sadness that you don't mind having. I don't know if that makes sense, but that's how I think of it.
See more at my big brother's blog.