The past few days have been a tidal wave of emotion for me and some may have even realized I have been absent from the online world. It wasn’t planned but real life happens and get in the way of our plans all the time. You see over the past few days I have had to experience one of the worst kinds of grief, saying goodbye to a parent.
Last summer my dad was diagnosed with cancer. Through a few surgeries, rounds of chemo and radiation we were all optimistic and hopeful that he would beat the odds and enter into remission and continue to live his life. Sadly that wasn’t the case.
Early February he had a scan that revealed his cancer has spread and the tumors had multiplied. We were told we had months but we didn’t have months, we only had a few short weeks.
About three weeks ago he suffered a stroke that weakened him beyond what his body could recover and over the past few weeks we had to watch him slip further and further away from us.
Yesterday he took is final breath and left his body. I have hope in the assurance of my faith that he is celebrating in heaven and is reunited with his son, my brother, who we lost 13 years ago.
I wasn’t always so certain about his faith. My dad and I have had a rocky relationship with ups and downs over the years but he was still my dad and I loved him. A few weeks ago my pastor went over to visit and pray with him and he boldly made a statement of faith that removes any of my fears or doubts.
I know he is with Jesus.
Even though I have that assurance, the lose still hurts. I have lost my dad and my kids will never really know their Papa Joe outside of stories and photographs.
The grief is real, harsh and hard. While he has left this earth and his cancer ridden body, we are left in the sea of grief and lose of never seeing his smile again, hearing his voice or his laugh.
The if-onlys are creeping in… if only I had one more conversation to tell him how much I love him. If only I could give him one more hug. If only my kids could know him. If only…
The truth is this life is temporary and there is pain and grief but we have a Father who knows what our pain is and has felt it. He knows the tears we cry because He has cried them himself. We have a Heavenly Father who knows us so deeply and loves us more than we can ever comprehend.
In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord ~Romans 8:37-39
The cancer spread faster than we can comprehend and to us if feels like he has been taken from us all to soon. I’m left with some harder days ahead as I learn to cope with the grief and answer questions from my son as he tries to battle the comprehension of “Where is Papa Joe?”I have to learn to move forward without my dad here on this earth.
I appreciate your prayers during this difficult time. I’m also asking for grace as I take a short break over the next week or so from this community.