Many of you already know that my dad passed away July 25th. I am thankful I was able to be there with him, holding his hand when he slipped very peacefully off into eternity. Harder than facing his death was telling my mom, who was still recovering in a nursing home from her car accident -- we brought her home the day dad died. But, thankfully, we made it through with God's help and here we are a couple of short weeks later, making great strides.
I spent a good portion of today at my mom's house, cleaning out my dad's closet. Bittersweet memories wrapped up in flannel shirts and "old man" khaki pants. Fishing trips, tall tales, and many a late night camping memories came flooding back as I removed each item and folded it to give to a local missionary. It tickles me to no end that my dad, a man who lived his entire life not wanting to have anything to do with Jesus, accepted Him a week before he died. And now all of his clothes and shoes will find themselves on a truck to Mexico with a missionary who will distribute them to new converts in Christ.
I found myself chuckling as I went through his dresser -- hidden amongst the folded pants were brand new and never-used Craftsman drill bit sets and a myriad of other "special" items. Anyone who knew my dad would know he was probably "saving" those - because he rarely bought anything new - he was a lifelong garbage collector. From his days working in Fairbanks as the head of the Sanitation and Waste department all the way down to to his retirement home in Texas - he owned the key to the city dump.
Mom came in and sat on the bed halfway through and all productivity ceased as we began to reminisce about the man he was and how much we are going to miss him. There were a few tears shed...okay, a lot of tears were shed. But it was such a sweet time of bonding with my mom and I think we both needed it.
He had 91 years on this earth - I pray that Jesus comes back before I'm that old...but if not, I pray that I live them to the fullest and greet each day with a smile and a song in my heart, just as he did.