It’s been 23 days, 5hrs and 25mins since you took your last breath and became a resident of heaven. I have cried more in the last 3 and a bit weeks than I have in my entire 40.5yrs, but don’t you worry, not all of those tears have been sad ones. I am beyond overjoyed that you are free of your broken body, released from your tortured existence and now smiling in the presence of our Lord & Saviour !!
Now, to survive the grief….
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
I can only thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you taught me, as I’m having to draw on all of it at the moment. The biggest thing you taught me was to LOVE JESUS WITH ALL MY HEART, to TRUST in Him at all times, and to not lean on my own understanding. Check !! (the last bit can be tricky sometimes)
Next thing was to TITHE… I couldn’t possibly count the amount of times you said to me “Give that first 10% back to the Lord and the remaining 90% will go so much further than the 100% ever would have. ” Now, that was a harder one to fully take on board and I’m gonna be honest, I’ve only be doing it properly for about 6yrs now.. but guess what… you’re right (surprise surprise), I have not struggled financially in all that time.
Proverbs 3:9-10 Honour the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
For me personally, for my emotional health, the stand-out thing you taught me was to BELIEVE IN MYSELF. You constantly told me that I could do anything as long as I tried my best. I struggled at school big-time, with my eyesight, with bullies & teasers, with insensitive and uncaring teachers… but you were always my strongest advocate. Whenever I worried about my marks not being as good as I would have liked or what I imagined you would have liked, you were so quick to tell me that as long as I’d tried my best, than you were more than happy with that.
Psalm 18:32-34 the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You also taught me about STRENGTH !! You displayed the utmost integrity and grace during hardships that most would have broken under. Not everyone knows all the things you struggled with, but we, your family and those closest to you, knew.. and we can only marvel at how you stayed strong right to the very last days.
You gave my children the best Poppy they could ever have asked for… and an awesome handshake that I’m sure they’ll never forget. You may not have been able to run around with them, but you displayed such loving traits to them that will set them in good stead for the lives ahead of them.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
You gave my husband an amazing example of what a loving, devoted husband should be, as well as showing him how a Christian stays strong amongst life’s struggles… and still smiles while going through it.
You taught me how to be a Godly parent !! (However it’s something I have to constantly work on.. funny that.)
You taught me that much wisdom can be gleamed from Daffy Duck.. and that humour is needed for nearly EVERY facet of life !! 😜
You taught me that Hymns are AWESOME, rich and full of goodness !! They are greatly helping me get through this tough time. My children now know all the words to most old hymns. ❤️
You taught me about PERSEVERANCE !! Life isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t mean you throw the towel in, or have a hissy fit about it.
Colossians 1:11-12 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
You taught me about being PATIENT !! I watched you wait extremely patiently to be taken Home to The Lord. Some of the things you had to endure in your 67yrs are too heartbreaking to even think on, let alone write down, but you continued to trust in The Lord and His plan for your life.
Isaiah 40:31 But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
You also taught me that it’s ok to not always be ok !! The amount of times I had to see you in tears, my heart breaking for you and the quality of life you were having to endure, were torturous. But, you always pulled yourself out of it, dried your eyes with one of your many many hankies, and curve your lips up into a huge smile. You KNEW your finest days were yet to come !!
Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
You taught me about the importance of FAMILY !!! I was beyond blessed to have been given you as my Dad for 40.5yrs and honestly couldn’t have asked for a better Dad. You showed me that it’s not worth letting little squabbles get in the way of the love of family members.
You taught me about TOLERANCE !! You were treated badly by some, but you never displayed bitterness or resentment.
Ephesians 4:2 With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
I honestly could go on and on about all you modelled to me in your time here, but in the interest of saving paper (that was a big thing when we first had a printer… ink was super expensive, remember?), I’ll wrap it up by saying that I hope you will take it as the biggest compliment that giving you back to The Lord was the HARDEST thing I ever had to do. I don’t say that lightly… it seriously was the most gut wrenching, agonising thing I have ever had to do.
I have prayed for years that you would be taken Home to Glory and be spared from all your hardships, but when I really did it seriously in the last 2months of your time with us, I always had to follow the request up with “but please give me the strength to survive it when you’ve taken him.”
When that stethoscope was placed over your heart and it was confirmed you had gone, 6 of your girls collapsed to the ground and wailed… really wailed. Now THAT is love right there Dad… deep, abiding, rip my heart out love that will never be forgotten !!
You left a lasting legacy Dad, and a deep handprint on our hearts. You loved us so much, so unconditionally.. and you know, that’s what will get us through this. You loved us enough to get us through the time we’ll need to be without you. I also know that you smiled, turned around and went with those angels because you knew you’d left us with a firm foundation in which to base our lives on.. the Word of God. We can know that we’ll get through anything life throws at us if we only rely on God and His Word !! The biggest reason we can do that with absolute FAITH and not a hint of doubt, is because YOU MODELLED IT TO US !!
I love you more than words can say 💚
See you soon Daddio !!!