I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
2020 was no picnic for anyone. While the year started off alright, by mid-March COVID hit and everything changed. Curfews were enforced, schools and businesses were closed, masks were mandated, and many lost their jobs. We also lost a lot of loved ones. To me, Facebook seemed flooded with sympathy and condolences for the grieving.
Seven months into the year and three months post COVID; the undeniable slammed into our family, sat itself down…and took my beloved Dad. I remember crying out to God to save him or if He was going to take him to take him soon so he would not suffer. Then I would berate myself with guilt for feeling that way. We had prepared for the end, and we spent the last two weeks of June just…waiting and praying and watching.
We got a call from the hospital one day that he had turned a corner and would most likely recover. Since the doctor’s had already said this was the end, Mommy and I didn’t believe it and I raced to his bedside, convinced his doctor was an absolute quack. After arriving at the hospital, the Physical Therapy staff came and got him up and seated in a chair. I was allowed to feed him lunch and he seemed to brighten. I gave him a hug and a kiss after lunch then danced and ran all the way home calling everyone to tell them “Daddy’s going to make it.”
The next day he was sent to rehab and though everything else was still backwards and upside down, the shine seemed to shine brighter than ever. The following day, we received word that he had stopped eating and swallowing so a nasogastric tube was decided on. Before the procedure, he developed a fever and was brought back to the hospital.
Dad decided long ago that he wished to die at home and so we honored his wishes. We brought him home on America’s birthday (fitting for a retired Soldier) and he went to his heavenly home the very next morning (which happened to be a Sunday).
I remember that day as clearly as it just happened yesterday. My eyes were barely opened before I grabbed my phone and texted Mommy “how is he?” Her reply of five words still echoes today. Five simple words that would alter our lives from that day forward.
It’s been just a little more than a year and in that time many things have changed. COVID seems to be winding down, I’ve got a great job, we’re all just a little bit older and wiser, but nothing has changed more than my faith in Christ.
I’ve always had the habit of having absolute faith…in the valley. As soon as God pulled me out, I’d try to be good but eventually I’d take over, things would be fine for a little while and then like a newly licensed teen driver with a phone in my hand and my eyes on the screen, I would crash into another valley and beg for God to rescue me once more. I would “reaffirm” my faith and things would be fine…until once I again I took over.
This cycle continued until my greatest fear was shoved in front of me and I could no longer avoid it. Since losing my Dad, I find myself immersing more into worship and the Bible and praying. Most of all, I’m keeping my place in the passenger seat and letting God drive my faith. I still have my days where I pout and whine and yell but like before and as He will again and again, always, and forever, God reminds me that with Him, all things are indeed possible.