Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Sharp (03/07/13)
TITLE: A Startling Visit
By Janice Kelley
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(A true story)
“When did my mother die?” The question surprised me as I lifted my eyes to Dad’s inquiring face.
“Grandma died forty-six years ago,” I replied.
Dad’s expression turned from questioning to quizzical as he continued: “I just visited with her yesterday.”
“Did you have a nice visit?” was my next inquiry. “Oh, we had a wonderful time.”
My ninety-five-year-old Father was usually mentally sharp and very much aware of the everyday happenings and his surroundings. We talked quietly for some time about the time he had spent with his long-deceased Mother, all the while I wondered if he dreamed of this visit. I even wondered if God might have allowed Dad to glimpse a bit of what his future held.
Years before I was faced with an aging Dad, I had often heard people advise that you must “pull your confused loved one back to the present.” It did not make sense to me then, and it didn’t make sense to me that day either. I thought trying to keep elderly loved ones in the “here and now” only frustrated and confused them more. What harm was there in letting Dad enjoy the time he had spent with his Mother, even if it was only in a dream?
I visited Dad again a couple days later with no mention of his Mother. Days and weeks went by with my seeing him every two or three days. Then, one day he casually mentioned that he had seen his Dad and Mom walking hand in hand down the hall. This time he did not question concerning the times of their deaths, but was comforted by just seeing them.
Dad lived another three years and for the most part was alert and clear of mind. The phone rang early one fall morning. The nurse on the other end of the line said, “Your Dad is not doing well. Perhaps you better come.” My husband and I dressed quickly and headed north on the lonely highway to the little Minnesota town where Dad lived in a beautiful nursing home. I had never been with a dying person, but when I saw Dad I knew he was on the verge of his Homegoing. He was very sick, but he knew we were there. His voice was barely audible, as he asked, “Am I going to die?” Forty-five minutes later his head rolled gently to the side and he expelled his last earthly breath. My mind snapped to: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” 1
Dad had lived ninety-eight years before stepping over to the other side of life. He enjoyed good health, a sharp mind and left a legacy of fifty-one descendents, all serving the Lord. Dad’s final journey was a day of peace and gratitude!!
1 Psalms 116:15 NIV
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