It has been tough without him. In all honesty though, it was harder to watch him, consumed with Alzheimers and totally blind, wither away bit by bit the 3 months before he was finally able to be at peace and knowing my Dad, I really don't think there was ever a time in his life that he was truly "at peace," even as a child.
My Dad and I are a lot alike. Things weigh heavy on our hearts and we love intensely, to the point that it sometimes hurts.
He worried a lot. He worried a lot about us and I have tried very hard to break that cycle of fearfulness. I have learned that worry is a sin! Did you know that? I have a lot of forgiveness to ask for in that regard!! Giving my fear and worries to God has been very freeing and I have felt Him lift that burden from my shoulders. It began to happen a few months ago, right around the time, one year ago, that I was watching, helplessly as my Dad slipped away from us and I wish he could have known that feeling of freedom in his lif
He was such a kind, caring and compassionate man who helped many people during his life, many of whom we did not know about until after he was gone.
He loved my mother with such passion and wanted to take of her forever. Gradually, she had to become his caretaker and I know how hard that must have been for him and her!
He wasn't perfect but my brother and I always knew how much we were loved and how safe we were with him.
His grandchildren meant everything to him and oh how I wish he had been able to know Emmeline and Lizzie better! He would have gotten such a kick out of them! His back was always an obstacle and he wasn't able to do the things with the boys that he would have loved to do but how he loved it when those grandsons of his were around! You could just see his face physically soften whenever one of the grand kids called for their Gada!! It touched my heart!
I will never forget the last day that I spent with him. He kept asking to go home. Mom and I could not understand which home he was thinking of. We tried to reassure him that he was home, but it was not the home he wanted. We asked him if it was one of his childhood homes and again, they were not the home he sought. Finally, I asked him if it was the first home we lived in as a family? The home that they brought myself and my brother home to. The home that we became a family in.
He became very excited and said that yes, this was the home he wanted to go back to. So, we loaded him up in the car and drove him "home." I will never forget what he said to me when I told him that we were there, in front of the home he had been longing for. He said, "I knew it would be bright here." He was totally blind and yet, this home so full of wonderful memories for him, lit up his dark world. It was very hard to physically get him in the car and take him there but I will be forever grateful that we did.
It has been a year and life has gone on, but we still think about him all the time and the kids love to remember him.
One day recently during school, Em and I were talking about God and how we can reflect His love onto others. She stopped, looked at me and said, "Mom, do you know how I know that God is always in your heart?"
Me, "No Em, how do you know that God is always in your heart?"
Em, "You said that Gada is now watching over us and that he is in our hearts, so I know that Heaven is in our hearts!"
One morning last week, I went in the girls' room to wake Lizzie up for school and discovered Taz (our resident nanny dog), standing guard. He was actually lying down and asleep but he was ready for trouble, really! Hehe!
I told Lizzie that Tazzie had slept with them last night and was watching over them, to which Lizzie replied, "So Taz is watching over us just like Gada."
That is the kind of impact that my father made on the people that he met and the people that he loved and we miss him terribly.
I know that he is up there just smiling down on us and keeping a watchful eye on his dearly loved family.
We miss you Dad and take comfort knowing that finally, you are at peace.
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