Saturday, February 16, 2008

Longing for Eternity

I was sitting in Nikelle's school parking lot waiting for the doors to open when I decided to call my mom. She informed me that some of my family, as well as a lifelong friend, were over visiting. I turned to Nike and asked her if she wanted to skip school to go to see Grams and Papa and her cousins. So, off we went.

It still seems so surreal. My dad has always been the epitimy of good health. Not in a million years did anyone expect what is happening with my dad. There are so many emotions and thoughts running through me that I might sit and write for hours. I'll attempt to stay focused.

I cannot comprehend how it must feel for Dad as he lies there waiting for God to allow him to go home while we all continue life around him.

The grandkids all go inside and greet Papa only to run downstairs to play with their cousins. In some ways that is comforting. It tells me that no matter how much it breaks my heart that their Papa will be gone from this world, they'll be okay.

My sister is great at knowing what to do without anyone asking her to do it. She did some laundry. She always cleans up little messes and takes care of her kids. Through it all, she would walk over by Dad to sit and hold his hand and talk to him.

My brother closest to my age came in right after work. His wife and son were already there all day. He walked in and stayed close to Dad. He kept conversation going with visitors so Dad could rest and just seemed to know what to do as well.

Later after they all left, my older brother came in with his family. This cheered Nikelle and Jaycie up to be able to play with more cousins. Walking in the door with some Ensure and other nutrient-packed drinks for Dad, he, too, sat down next to Dad and stayed nearby. Dad's best friend was there so Will was engaged in conversation with him while dad laid there.

It just seemed so strange to me. Dad was part of our day but he didn't interact all that much. He couldn't. He welcomed our hugs and kisses. He greeted the grandkids and attempted to interact a bit with them. There were even moments that he made attempts at humor. Thankfully, his eyesight has not completely failed him as of yet and we can still understand the little of what he had to say. The only time he would sit up would be when my brothers would help him so he could have a drink or move his head to the other end of the sofa.

I talked to Dad a bit about my conversations with the girls about heaven. To be honest, I don't feel as though Dad and I have much to say. It's all been said already. I do want to be near him but at the same time, I've already let him go. My mind is in eternity when it comes to my Daddy and I want him to be able to go there now. I spent my time looking through pictures, pulling out the ones that included Dad, finding comfort for my heart.

It seems wrong to talk and laugh and interact while he is right by us in pain (although the drugs work pretty well) waiting to leave this world. Still, our lives go on. That's the sad part of it all. We have to wait for eternity.

Nikelle and I were talking about the fact that Papa will get to see Great Papa (his dad) in heaven. She said "he sure is lucky". Just a matter of fact. That's how she is with all of this and it's kind of comforting. She just accepts it. She's not fighting it. It'll be interesting to see how she reacts once he's gone because I know she loves her Papa.

Jaycie seemed a little uncertain. "Papa leaving?" she asked me. "Heaven?" "Jesus?" It's the only way I know how to explain to my 2-year-old what's going on. I told her we'll have to say bye-bye to Papa because he's going to heaven to meet Jesus.

To be honest, both girls are confused. Nikelle wanted to know if we were going to say goodbye to Papa for the last time. She even told my mom as we were leaving, "I'll see you at the funeral". Mom said Nike's a little too well-adjusted to all of this.

I am sure going to miss having my dad around. I just find myself wanting to know more about heaven. I long for him to go there. I long to meet him there as well. This temporary world has too much pain. I want eternity without any goodbyes.

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