Thursday, March 29, 2007

Charley Alfred Is Whole and Happy Now!

Well, I just talked to Mom about 8:30 tonight. Yesterday she called me to say that Dad was in the hospital and not expected to be able to come home.

Joyce and I had already made plans to drive up on Saturday, the whole gang plus Jazra: the Next Generation.

But Mom called tonight and said that the hospital had just called her to say that Dad had died.

Oh Lord, thank you for my dad! He had been so sick since he went into the VA hospital to have a polyp removed. He was left underattended (or unattended) overnight, had a mini-stroke, pulled out his IVs while flailing around, and as a result the VA nearly killed him.

That was about three and a half years ago. His eyesight has never gotten better, and he's had pains and back problems. More than a decade ago he was diagnosed with something like COPD, and he's been on oxygen ever since.

My dad, who five years ago was shooting his age on the golf course and had shot his last hole-in-one sometime in the 1990s, couldn't hit the greens any more. He couldn't even read Sports Illustrated ! He'd had good and bad times, but recently had been fighting off pneumonia and other stuff.

You know, I wouldn't want to hang around like that either!

And Mom feels that way too. As she told me, we want Dad to be whole and happy, and we knew that it wasn't going to happen HERE.

Especially if you (like Dad, Mom, me, and lots of us) have a personal friendship with God, and such a deferential, thankful, interactive Life with Jesus and his love in our hearts and (we hope) showing in our lives!

I'm so thankful to have known such a decent, strong guy. And to be his son! Me, who was hyperactive, couldn't sit still, couldn't shut up his yap. And, yet, with a few bumps along the way, he never failed to show his love, support, and guidance for me.

And also, Lord, thanks that we had all the time to say all those "guy things" that, sadly, sometimes go unsaid. We could say "I love you." It is great -- it is WONDERFUL -- to hear your dad say, "I'm proud of you."

So, here we are. God has promised that anyone who asks him to forgive us through Jesus's death and resurrection, will be forgiven and receive eternal peace and joy; only it starts here, on Earth!

And now that those frail breaths are now finished, Dad is alive and rejoicing with the Lord right now.

Any time now, Jesus and Dad will be teeing off on the front nine of Heaven. And if Jesus is lucky, Dad might let Him win!

In the words of a song I wrote a long time ago in sympathy for the death of a friend's father,

I'm going to see him
I'll lie down in the grave and rise up in my father's arms
I'll run with him to Jesus, freed from all this Earth's alarms
I'm going to see him
One of these days

Oh, friends, if you're not satisfied with life, please learn from my Dad. Any man who, with God's help, could love and raise even a weirdo like me, and who could show God's love at work, at home, and even on the golf course, must have found a strong shoulder to lean on!

God is dependable, and he loves us. Please rejoice with me that Charley Alfred Is Whole and Happy Now!

1 comment:

JohnnyNVA said...

Sorry to hear about your father Mark, it sounds like the two of you had a good relationship and that he had a good life. We should all count ourselves lucky to know someone like that.
- John Hunter

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