The Memories of 5 Years Past…

Dads Last Words

I opened my bible on Sunday, and this memory is what came out…

All I had was a conference call and I could head back home to go to the hospital. I mean, it was a conference call, I had to be in my office for that, of course…right?

I was leaving the subdivision, and slid. I almost hit the pole. Wow, that was scary. OK, I drive, listen to my music and think about how I can’t miss the conference call.

We were working on integration of HRIS for an upcoming acquisition. I was leading it. I had to be in the office for that conference call. I had high self responsibility, so of course I would go in and let the office know I was working diligently on this project.

Mom stayed with us, she had been staying with us for a few days, actually. She agreed to take T to pre-school since it was North and she was headed that way. I was driving South for that conference call I had to be in the office for.

My conference call was at 9a. I was gonna be there for it snow or not!

I walked through the building up to my office when I got a call asking for my mom. “Why would you want my mom when this is my cell phone, I thought?” I ask if everything was OK, and they wouldn’t say. They needed my mother. All the while, I needed to make my conference call.

I get into my office with lots of time to spare and prepare. But, instead of that conference call, I got another call.

It was my mom…

“Andrea, he’s gone. He’s gone, Andrea!”

Sobs, tears, pain on the other end of the line.

My head shook, the tears came flooding out, I couldn’t breathe. “Noooooooooooooo!”

My dad had passed and I was worried about a stupid call.

I panic, run into the copy room and break down freaking out about how I would get to the hospital. It was like I didn’t know where I was. The CEO was in there, and I felt like an idiot for sobbing like a little girl in front of the leader of our company. But, in reality, I was a little girl who just lost her daddy.

He immediately said “Someone will take you to the hospital, Andrea. You are not driving there yourself.” And, immediately someone stepped up – no questions asked. I remember getting to the elevator lobby and calling my husband. Then my best friend. I woke her up since she had just gotten to sleep from working the night before. I remember the people and the places that where I was present that day and knowing that those people are who God wanted me to be with oddly enough.

I call my mom back and beg her to tell them not to remove him from his room. I needed to see him there. I wanted to say my own goodbye.

I get to the hospital and walked directly back to the ICU, I didn’t even buzz. As soon as they saw me, they didn’t say a word. They knew.

There was my dad.

Dad as I knew him was gone.

His spirit, it was no longer here on this Earth.

My mom sitting there beside him just losing her soul mate. I was crushed for her. It tore me up inside to know that she would never have him again to share life with.

But, selfishly I knew I lost my dad and my boys lost their grandpa, one who was his namesake.

I have never embraced a dead body before. That seems too morbid just saying it. But, it was oddly comforting. I embraced my dad one last time. His cold, lifeless body who once would wrap his arms around me and our boys. I remember the way his 5 o’clock shadow face would prick my cheek when I gave him a kiss. And, his big *buddha belly* that we joked was the only thing he owned.

That was all gone. He was gone.

I wept.

++++++++++++++++++

I praise God for allowing a man who had denied him for 60+ years to accept him in the final week before he would eventually meet Him. I praise God for healing my heart for missing the last minutes with my dad. I praise God for helping me retain vivid details I could document for my kids so that they would know their grandfather who loved and adored him. And, while Dad never met Andon, I know he adores him from a mansion in Heaven.

I never truly embraced the name, Heavenly Father, for God until I lost my earthly Father.

Thursday, February 10, 2005, started like a day just like any other. My focus was on a call, something that was so irrelevant in the grand scheme of the day’s events. Sadly, it ended a day that took away a piece of who I was.

I will always praise God for never giving up on my dad, for giving me the courage to ask him the last few days of his life if he wanted to live for Jesus. And, for keeping a place for me so I can hug both of my Father’s one day and never have to worry about missing the things of the world ever again.

The picture above was, I believe, my dad’s last written message. We kept a picture of our boys in the room hung in the ICU room. Dad was in and out of consciousness. But, there were a few times he was completely conscious. One was when he opened his crystal blue eyes and showed me his affirmation to my question – that he was living for Jesus. The other was when I shared that message above and offered him a pen to write back, which I believe is his final “I love you” to me.

Both are a gift that words can’t really express. One is a piece I have here to remind me of his love tucked in my Bible. The other is a gift that I will see him again in Eternity. That reminder is written in The Bible.

I have so many behaviors just like my father: loyalty, compassion, assertiveness, stubborness, private. They may seem like an odd coupling but they fit perfectly for those whom I call friends. Whenever I am suggested to be any of those things – good or bad – I think of my dad.

So many memories, I have from that day that still hurt all of these years later. Time does heal a lot, but only if you let it. I, or we (my husband and I), grew closer to God because of my father’s death. And, it was because of a Son’s death that we can feel the Holy Spirit during times of great sadness and pain. But, even then, you can only sense His Spirit if you let it.

It was in May 2008, that I first shared some of my pain here on losing my dad. I am very private by nature with my emotions. That throws people off since I am pretty outgoing in general. But, I know that I heal each time I share about these memories from all those years ago. Sometimes I never realized I needed healing. If you have lost someone you loved, you know what I mean.

Life goes by so fast, and I do pray to draw closer to Him and be more aware of His Spirit. I continually seek to let it in too despite what else life also wants to throw my way. I try to use my trials for His Praise. Even if it means losing someone I loved or having a sick child. By His wounds we will be healed…

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on February 10, 2010

22 Comments

  • Nancy - February 10, 2010 @ 11:15 am
    1

    I understand what you are going through. I lost my Dad on February 5, 2006. Due to autopsy and traveling issues today February 10 was his visitation. Tomorrow the day we laid him to rest. Friday, I stayed home from work to be by myself to bawl like a baby because I still miss my Daddy so much! I understand and I am praying for you.

  • I’ve written out this comment three times, and deleted everyone.
    I wanted to let you know that I love you. You’re such an amazing person, and bring light to so many people’s lives. I’ve seen a very little amount of the pain that you are experiencing from this, and I wish I could take it all away. I’m praying for you.

  • Emily from Mommin It Up - February 10, 2010 @ 4:10 pm
    3

    I know how much you love to open up about these things, and I am proud of you for doing it here.

    Love you, girl.

  • Jenny from Mommin' It Up - February 10, 2010 @ 4:22 pm
    4

    Oh Andrea, love, thanks for sharing your story and your testimony. Others will be better for it! Love you!

  • Cortney - February 10, 2010 @ 6:14 pm
    5

    Oh Andrea, thank you for sharing! Rejoicing knowing that your daddy is with Our Heavenly Father, but also praying for you on this anniversary!

  • Briana - February 10, 2010 @ 6:49 pm
    6

    Andrea – Thanks for sharing! I’m sure it was difficult being so open. I can’t imagine your pain and sorry for the loss of your dad. Love you!

  • Thanks so much for sharing your heart! My dad passed a year and a half ago and I remember being at the hospital the week before he passed. A pastor from his church came to talk and make sure he was a believer. My dad clearly shared the gospel with this pastor and told him of his conversion 7 years previously. I just remember crying because I knew for certain that he was going to be the Lord and it brought such peace to my heart. Even now I am getting teary-eyed remembering the faithfulness of the Lord and knowing that was exactly what I needed to hear.

  • Amy in OHio - February 10, 2010 @ 8:15 pm
    8

    xxoo

    reading this reminded me it will be 13 years this year since we lost my mom. in the blink of an eye i can be back in that moment. so scared and confused.

    i know she is in Heaven, at peace and surrounded by joy, but I’d give anything to introduce her to Doug and P and share one more day with her. anything.

  • Marcy - February 11, 2010 @ 1:07 am
    9

    Andrea, I just want to give you a big hug and you know I am not a hugger! So proud of you for sharing this. I can’t imagine how difficult going through this was (and is) for you. So glad that you have the comfort of knowing that you will see your dad again one day. Saying a prayer for you.

  • Gina - February 14, 2010 @ 9:25 pm
    10

    Sending you a virtual hug. I lost my dad three years ago and it still feels like yesterday. Thinking of you…

  • Katie @ Frugal Femina - February 14, 2010 @ 9:38 pm
    11

    Wow, you put that into words beautifully. Thank you for sharing this with all of us, Andrea. We love you!

  • Stephanie J - February 14, 2010 @ 11:35 pm
    12

    Ok – I just cried like a baby reading your story about your Dad. I had no idea you had lossed your father, and I am very sorry for your loss. I think daughters always have a special bond with their father. They are our protectors. I’m happy for you taking some time off (although I’ve become addicted to your site). Enjoy the break and do something fun. Have an awesome week!!

  • Lesa McMahon - February 15, 2010 @ 1:05 am
    13

    My thoughts are with you as you take this time off to remember your dad and spend some time with your family.

  • Marianne @TheNewFrugalMom.com - February 15, 2010 @ 10:43 am
    14

    I’m blessed in having both my parent’s still with us but in 1999 we lost Knute’s dad. He was only 56; Knute was 26 and I was 25. We were in Florida with the Navy. Knute made it back to say goodbye (he was in Orlandao); I didn’t. My flight from Jacksonville to Atlanta was delayed.

    There’s not a day that goes by that he isn’t missed, for all that he was to our family and all that he could have been to our children.

    Knowing that he is with Him is a comfort and there are times I could swear that he’s standing next to us, nudging us in the right direction or just laughing at how my boys will out of the blue say or do something just the way he used to say or do.

    And like Amy said above, Knute and I would give everything we have away to just have one more day with him, a day for our kids to really know their Grandpa Don in person and not just through our stories and memories.

    Bless you for sharing this.

  • Amber - February 16, 2010 @ 12:35 am
    15

    I don’t think you could have told your story any more beautifully. Life is so precious, but the gift of eternal life is even more. I had to hold back the tears from spilling down my cheeks while readying your story. This is my first time visiting your “my life” section of your website and I’m so glad I did. My prayers go out to you as remember your Father in the most wonderful way.

  • Kristin - February 18, 2010 @ 4:30 am
    16

    Oh, Andrea, this is such a beautiful tribute that you have written to honor the special bond that you shared with your father. I cannot imagine the pain you went through losing him and continue to go through living without him; losing my Daddy is one of my biggest fears, as i cannot fathom a life without him although Im happily married as well with a life of my own. The bond between father and daughter is sacred and special, I truly believe it is never broken. I believe he is sitting in the Kingdom above, watching over you and your family and waitng for that day when you are all reuinited once again.

    You’re such a strong person; I have never met you but I have come to admire you for many reasons, both professionally and personally because you are such a strong, passionate person. I truly believe that God does everything for a reason,and allows everything to happen for a reason. There was some reason you weren’t supposed to be with him when he was taken Home. The same situation happened wth my grandmother in May 2005; we didn’t live near my famly at the time, and I spoke with her the night before when my dad snuck his phone into the ICU. They had said she would hang on for a few days, so there ws no hurry to get there so we decided to leave early the next morning. Long story short, my dad called before we could get out of our driveway early that morning because she was gone. It hit me harder than anything ever had, and I was mad at God for years for taking her just an hour and a half before we could get to her side. I now realize that there was a reason He wanted me to be somewhere else. I’m not sure I would change things if I could go back and do so. He has His reasons.

    Thank you for sharing your story and for being such an inspiration for all who cross paths with you. I will keep you in my prayers!

  • Lara (of Bits of Whitt) - February 22, 2010 @ 9:14 am
    17

    Andrea,
    I lost my step-father (like a father to me) also on February 10… 1994. It’s still painful all these years later. We had a praise and worship “session” for him on his last night on Earth, in the hospital. He was a music professor, but could no longer sing himself due to his illness (ALS). I know the angels were watching and he was comforted. Thanks for sharing your heart, Andrea!

  • Lesha Spahr - February 25, 2010 @ 10:56 pm
    18

    Andrea:

    I just read this and the tears came streaming down my face! Thank you for sharing. I remember I was out of the office that day and so wished I had been there with you, but you are right, God had who he wanted to be with you that day.

    You are such an inspiration! God is doing amazing things in your life. I will keep you in my prayers.

  • Okay, so now I’m ready to bawl and I was just trying to find your email address because stupid me can’t get it to pull up in my mess that is my emails. I FINALLY have that guest post ready, if you’re still kind enough to want it. What a wonderful tribute to your father, to your faith, to life in this world and after. And how wonderful that someday your boys will be able to read this, too. How many women “rushing to a conference call” did you speak to in this, you may never know.
    Jolyn

  • Jill Howell - March 13, 2010 @ 8:21 am
    20

    I lost my dad in 2001. He was my best friend. I was having a group of friends over on a Friday night and they had all just arrived. The phone range and it was my Mom. Her words: “Your Father was in a car accident and he didn’t make it!” I was slammed with the oh my God, no this can’t be real, oh my God Momma you are so sad, all these people at my house I have to go tell and deal with, oh my God my 7 month old daughter won’t get to know the most wonderful, giving man. I was at a glorious time in my life. Great happiness with a wonderful husband and new baby… no, no, no my best friend would not be there to share it. And my Mom, she was so, so, sad. She had just retired, Dad was working on slowing down his practice. Now my Mom, who is a strong lady and takes care of everyone – Had lost the one who takes care of her…. Now 2010, I am said for not having Dad around. He was really my best friend. We spent so much time together doing what each other liked to do. My question then for a number of years was: Who will be that now? The answer is no one really. But because God gave us Jesus, I talk to my Dad all the time. He often shows up sitting in the passenger seat next to me when I am thinking about something I need to resolve. Or in the geese formation as they fly overhead. Our portal is the moon. When it makes itself present, I know Dad is watching.

  • Anne - March 25, 2010 @ 5:19 pm
    21

    Very sorry for your loss, You are a lucky girl to have such a good father!
    I send my prayers to your mother also

  • Keri Lyn - February 10, 2013 @ 11:35 am
    22

    Andrea, that was so beautiful and I so appreciate you sharing it. It makes the important stuff matter more and reminds us to not sweat the small stuff. I love that your father leaves a testimony through you, as to the amazing power of God’s love. Prayers and love for you and your family!

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