I‘m sitting in the airport now reflecting on my parting words to my Dad. ”An Epitaph“ by AE Housman seemed an appropriate beginning:
“Stay, if you list, O passer by the way;
Yet night approaches; better not to stay.
I never sigh, nor flush, nor knit the brow,
Nor grieve to think how ill God made me, now.
Here, with one balm for many fevers found,
Whole of an ancient evil, I sleep sound.”
I continued with:
“Today I lay to rest the body of my Dad. I loved him dearly. We had the same eye color. Every card and gift he sent to me was addressed, “To Susan of the Brown Eyes.” He loved me unconditionally. I wanted him to never die. He has. I wanted him to live forever. He will.
He has overcome the ancient evil through his belief in Jesus’ work on the cross. His faith was put into practice as he led us to pray at the dinner table that “God was Great and Good and Provider” and at bedtime that “God was Protector.” When asked, he said he “considered himself a saved person.” His confession assured me of his belief.
Moreover, his actions spoke of his belief. No one could have put into practice 1 Corinthians 13 more. He loved with loyal devotion, patience, and kindness. His feet were shod with peace. He clothed himself in humility. He used his large toolbox of words to encourage and build. He was for me.
He was for everyone. Though he was fiercely independent and did not want to be beholden to anyone, he would help whenever he saw help was needed: a struggling widow, a desperate relative, a lonely friend received his generous care in simple ways. A card, a note, a yard flower, a meal, a Kid’s Day check, and especially a frequently placed phone call. These were his calling cards.
Life without him will be duller and quieter. I will miss his laugh. I will miss his strong handshake. I will miss hearing him call me “Sugar” and “Suze.” But not for long. He has overcome death- that ancient evil- with the balm of Jesus’ blood that paid the full price for his sin. Herein is our hope, too.
I thank you, Father, for Godly parents. Their example shows us how to live and die well. Mine did both. Tu me manques.”
Now the season of my life without earthly parents begins for me. LORD, You are faithful. You are our All in All. All is well.
—with many tears shed today, I covet your prayers, dear reader, Susan (of the Wildflowers and Brown Eyes)