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(This is a re-post from March 2008.  Three years ago today my beautiful Dad met Jesus face to face.  This re-post is in honor of that anniversary and in memory of my Dad.)

Today is Easter Sunday morning of 2008. At just past 4:00 in the morning, the only sound in Daddy’s house is the gentle whooshing of his oxygen supply and the machine that generates it. We’ve kept watch over Daddy through the night, thinking that each breath might be his last. And that’s ok. Daddy is non-responsive now, laboring to draw each breath. It’s time to let go.

There were a lot of people in the house earlier today- well, I guess that technically that would be yesterday- family and friends and well-wishers bringing food and kind thoughts and sweet prayers. But it is very odd that this house be so full of people, and still be so quiet. This house- this home– is always a hub of activity, abuzz with the flow and laughter of life. The quiet that blankets the rooms here is unnatural. I’m sure that will soon change.

We have spent a very sweet time with Daddy. This afternoon, my sisters and I had a chance to hang out with him. He couldn’t speak or open his eyes, but he knew we were there. My younger sister, sitting in the bed with Daddy, gently rubbed his hair, his shoulder, his tattooed forearm. I couldn’t help but think of my favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird, with Scout telling Boo Radley that “it’s okay, you can pet Jim if’n you want to…” She left a while ago to go home for some rest, taking my wife and daughter with her. My older sister is in bed next to Daddy now, gently singing songs he might remember; songs about heaven, hymns we have sung in church. We don’t know if he can hear in his physical body, but I think his spirit, his soul is being comforted. Her voice, low and hushed, is beautiful.

I can’t sing to him- tears choke off my vocal cords. I can’t get in the bed with him- too many people there already. But I stand next to him, hold his hand, and thank God for the blessing of my fun-loving, beautiful dad. And I pray that he is not suffering; that I can let him go.

Mrs. Jean, our angelic stepmom, is walking the house. She has showered and dressed for the day; she is making me a ham and biscuit for breakfast. Pretty soon, the family will return. We’ll watch with Daddy until Jesus decides he’s had enough. And this cold Easter day, my Dad- Daddy- can celebrate with all the hosts of heaven the resurrection of Jesus face to face….

If I believe what I say I believe, really….
How bad can that be?

All night we kept vigil over our father and husband. But at 6:30 AM, Jesus decided it was time for Daddy to go home. With a final labored breath, Daddy let go and slipped gently into the new home God has been preparing for him for almost 76 years. We were all there- Ms. Jean, my two sisters, and me- crying the soul-deep cry of the mourner while offering praise and thanksgiving to the Heavenly Father for releasing our Dad from his tortured body here. In his new home, there is no cancer. No deaf ear. No irregular heartbeat. All is fresh and new! Go, Dad- you are the man!

He was born April 1, 1932, a holiday perfect for his personality and character. And he went home at 6:30 am, just as the first light of dawn was breaking on this resurrection Sunday. He was the first one today to enjoy the Sunrise Service of Easter- only he really gets to see the real sunrise service of Easter- in heaven.

I love you, Daddy. I’m proud of you. Rest now- I’ll see you in a little while…..

Three years later, life is still good.  Who do you need to call, to see, to hold, to say, “I love you”?

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  1. #1 by Eric Barron on March 23, 2011 - 8:21 PM

    please leave a comment….

  2. #2 by Martha Brasher on March 23, 2011 - 8:33 PM

    I can’t believe I almost forgot what today was…the words bring in your story bring the memories rushing back…three years…

    Love you.
    M

  3. #3 by George and Linda Hale on March 23, 2011 - 8:45 PM

    Eric, we still miss your dad. Your letter makes us remember how much he is loved here on earth as well as in Heaven.

  4. #4 by jim caudle on March 23, 2011 - 9:23 PM

    Eric, that is a sweet and beautiful entry. you are a reflection of your dad based on what you said about him.

    I never have had anything like that with my father and he is still alive.

    Have a great week and I’ll see you Sunday.

    Jim

  5. #5 by Brett Elbon on March 23, 2011 - 10:41 PM

    Eric, my Mom passed 5yrs ago and my Dad, 10yrs ago this month. Reading your words is comforting as I remember my parents’ passing.

  6. #6 by Beverly on March 24, 2011 - 1:48 AM

    I am sitting here crying right now.

  7. #7 by Cindy on March 24, 2011 - 7:25 AM

    Wow…Eric…a beautiful tribute to your Dad. Thank you for sharing your thoughts during a difficult time in your life as a testimony about God’s great love and comfort in your time of need.

  8. #8 by Katy on April 3, 2011 - 12:39 PM

    How lucky you all were! Your dad was surrounded by love, and your family got to be with him at his last minutes. That is amazing. I have to admit I’m a bit envious. My mom passed so quickly. None of us were there to see her safely off. I regret that.
    I hope, that when it is my time to go, I am surrounded by the same kind of love that your dad was. It really is all that matters.
    That was a beautiful memory. Thank you for sharing.

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