With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: My Dad

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Dad

October 31, 1921 ~ May 15, 2006

My dad became a Christian shortly before he died 3 years ago. He was always polite when conversation about God came up, but would always say, "I had enough religion when I was a kid" and then slip away from the conversation. In his last years, he had some short term memory loss that exhibited itself mainly by repeating stories about the past. He was also the picture of health, taking many walks every day. Unbeknownst to anyone, he had a heart attack one evening. As he prepared for bed, he turned to my mom as said “I want to get things right with God”. She asked him what he ment. He said he wanted to say a prayer... then recited the childhood poem, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and then The Lord’s Prayer.

Several days passed and he became very ill with what seemed like a bad bug. I took him to the doctors and he sent us to the emergency room. Testing there revealed that he had, indeed, suffered several heart attacks and that his prognosis wasn’t good ~ that perhaps he would not survive.

Well, there were many ups and downs for the next couple of weeks including a couple of surgeries. All of his children and most of his grandchildren were able to visit (the youngest one ~ my grandson just 2 weeks old). When the decision to enter the “do not resuscitate” phase became reality, we were given an incredible gift. He became alert and responsive ~ able to whisper and shake his head yes or no. He responded that he knew Jesus was his savior and that he would enter heaven.

My mom, sister, brother, my oldest daughter and myself took turns holding his hand through the long night while his nurse kept him free of pain. We watched his breathing become slower and shallower and then we watched as he entered eternity. My daughter gently closed his eyes as we all sat together and wept quietly.

Our pastor had visited a few days earlier and I spoke about my thoughts on my dad’s conversion. The “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” prayer was touching and sweet… but it wasn’t exactly the sinners prayer. He reminded me about the two thieves on either side of the Cross. One turned to Jesus as said, “remember me”. Our pastor explained that this man didn’t grasp all the theology and right words, but that he recognized his need and he recognized who Jesus was. That Jesus was the Way.
My dad was coming with child-like faith.
It was assurance enough for me. He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:2 – 3

16 comments:

Abounding Treasures said...

What a wonderful story you've shared ~ it has not only touched my heart but given me hope for my own elderly loved ones, still unsaved.

Blessings to you!

Linda C said...

Such a touching story of your dad realizing his need for the Lord. I know you miss him, but oh the peace and joy and that you know you'll see your dad again:)
My dad went to heaven in November, a few months after your dad. What joy to know he is with the Lord.

Thanks so much for sharing this. It's a blessing to hear it.

Hugs,
Linda C

Mildred said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful memory.

Walking on Sunshine... said...

This is so beautiful! It brought tears to my eyes. I lost my father last year, May 19th and as you know he was a minister and followed the Lord all his life. But I'm so happy that THAT's not what it takes to spend eternity in heaven. It takes just the simple "child-like" faith your father demonstrated! My thoughts and prayers are with you as you remember your father in a special way today and with joy knowing one day you will be reunited with not only your earthly father, but your heavenly one as well!

marie said...

What a lovely post ~ thank so much for sharing it.
We, all too often, worry about the right words & the right actions...what a blessing to know that the Lord knows our hearts!

Miss Jen said...

Mrs.H,
This was SO beautiful!!
What an amazing testimony!!!!
It brought tears to my eyes... the Lord
is SO good!!!!!

Love & Hugs,
Jen

debbie said...

SUCH A BEAUTIFUL POST. I REJOICE WITH YOU THAT HE IS IN HEAVEN AND WEEP THAT HE IS NOT HERE WITH YOU.
STILL HAVING MY PARENTS, AND AN ONLY DAUGHTER THAT IS ILL, I CAN'T IMAGINE HOW HARD IT MUST BE TO LOSE THEM EVEN WITH GOD'S GRACE...BUT I DON'T THINK OF LOOSING THEM AS I DO SEEING ALL MY LOVED ONES AGAIN BECAUSE I BECAME AS A CHILD AND REPENTED OF MY SINS KNOWING JESUS IS MY SALVATION.
A BEAUTIFUL, HEART-FELT POST.
BLESSINGS
HUGS
debbie

hip chick said...

What a beautiful and touching post.

Joy said...

That was great, thanks for sharing. My Grandmother taught me that prayer. Yes, your dad had saving faith and that's all it takes. I'm sure it's comforting to know that you will see him again. I've often thought of the thief on the cross--he simply believed that Jesus was the son of God, and God rewarded his faith.

Nadine said...

What a beautiful post about your dad. I'm sure it comforts you to know that you will see him again one day in heaven. I love the prayer he said - it does cover it very well.

Joy said...

I'm re-reading this again, LDH. Good post. Sorry to change the subject, but I posted about your Schnauzer figurines and my two Schnauzers. That prayer that your Dad said--and you posted, would I be able to borrow that? Is it like a 'button'or something like that? I want to do a post on my grandmother who taught me that prayer.

Karen said...

That is one of the most precious stories I have ever read.

Michele said...

Absolutely sweet remembrance of your daddy. I love the prayers he chose to express his heart to the Lord. Praise Him for seeing our hearts! My thoughts are with you as you honor your father's life.

Bless you,
Michele

crochet lady said...

Oh, by God's grace we are saved. Praise His name!
Thanks for sharing those beautiful words about your father. I said goodbye to my mom 8 years ago. If you'd like to read about my 'grave side hope' go to www.scrapbookofaclosetpoet.blogspot.com

Blessings! Jen

sandisstuff said...

What an inspirational story about your Dad. I enjoyed reading about his journey. I have lost both my parents and both my in-laws - all of them Christians all their lives so belief in God was not something I ever had to ponder about. Hope you will take a minute to check out my blog as well. www.forheartandhome.blogspot.com

Hugs - Sandi

Snippety Gibbet said...

What a blessing to have such a memory of your Dad and a confirmation of his salvation. So many people wonder and question such things about loved ones.

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