Sunday, February 17, 2008

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.

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