This Is Why I am Not Afraid to Die
This is Why I’m Not Afraid to Die
I can remember clearly as a little kid feeling the fear of ageing. When I looked at my grandparents I thought, “I don’t want to grow old and die like them!” I can still recall this realization and thinking this can’t be what will happen to me!
I am sure that many people have felt this way sometime in their lifetime. When a loved one passes, we are reminded of the cycle of life and death.
Growing up on a farm in rural Ohio, life seemed so simple. My Summers were magical as a kid, with green grass to run in, my Dad plowing the fields on the weekends with my mom in the kitchen baking a blackberry cobbler. The Summertime delivered new kittens in the barn to love and daily trips to our pond to catch tadpoles with my sister.
I have always felt great joy when I was with my Dad. He is such a kind soul. He always made me feel special. As a little kid I would spend hours with him in the barn while he repaired the farm equipment and such. He had me separate the screws, washers and nuts into their own labeled cigar boxes. You see my father smoked Kind Edward Cigars for as long as I can remember. He used the cigar boxes for many things. My sisters and I used the cigar boxes to hold our school supplies each year.
As you grow older you begin to realize that times speeds up, life goes by quickly. Before I knew it, I was grown with two children of my own. There came a time in my own life when it was necessary for me to move back in with my parents after a divorce. My Dad came to Michigan and drove the U-Haul with myself and my two children following behind. We were headed to New Mexico to live. He was retired and took the time for me. He did not want his daughter traveling across the country by herself. I am still appreciative of his kindness today. Thanks Dad. I was a mess at the time, and you made it better for me.
How blessed my children were to have my father in their lives as he drove them to school and picked them up every day. He also stepped in when a school project was due, or a math problem seemed unsolvable. You see he was an engineer with a creative mind. My daughters school projects were unbelievably great because Grandpa helped them create It! What a relief for me to have such a wonderful soul stepping in when their father was not present.
Life got better for me. I began a new career in Real Estate and became one of the best in my field. It wasn’t until a few years after my success that I realized my father had kept a scrap book with my Real Estate advertisements and awards that I had received. He was keeping track of my success and it meant the world to me.
My Father came to my new brokerage office before the grand opening and helped me put together all the desks that I bought that required assembly. I am grateful he was there for me again.
The years seemed to fly by quickly and my Dad began to slow down. His age and all of his hard work over the years had taken a toll on his body. Throughout his life he had trouble with phlebitis in his legs and had a difficult time getting around but would still somehow make it up on the roof of their two-story home to place the Christmas Lights. There came a time when I drove up to my parent’s home and saw new modern Christmas lights that shine up on the home. Although he could not get around like he used to my fathers was full of life and laughter and always joked around. He was a Mason, a Shriner and a member of the church with the integrity and honesty you don’t see very often. You could say he’s an upstanding fellow. As you probably figured out that my father is someone, I have looked up to and honored my whole life.
As time passed, he had a several mini strokes and could not work his crossword puzzles any longer. He had a difficult time hearing me on the phone when I called as his hearing had been impaired from an accident at work years earlier. He became frustrated that he could not walk and could not hear the conversation with many people in the room. When I came to visit him, he could hear me if it was just the two of us with no back ground noise.
My life changed and I married a wonderful fellow. We moved five hours away so I did not get to see my Dad as much as I would have liked to. I visited on Holidays and when we could. Last year he gave me our 310-year-old family Bible to have rebound and pass down to the next generation. This act of kindness touched my heart deeply. As I felt he knew he could entrust this precious symbol of our family with me.
It was on a Monday when my little sister called and said that Dad had taken a turn for the worst and that this occurred quite suddenly. I made a plane reservation the next day to fly to see him before he passed.
I must share with you that for three weeks straight prior to my father’s passing, a beautiful yellow bird that would come at the same time every day and peck at my window. It was the strangest thing, what did this mean if anything? My cat was freaked out as much as I was and would watch him peck and peck at my window. It was if he had a message to tell me, but what was the message?
The night before my flight my youngest daughter was at my parents’ home, when she called to say that Grandpa may not make it through the night and ask if I wanted to Facetime my father. The phone camera came on and I could see my father in his bed.
His eyes were closed as I told him how much I loved him and what a wonderful father he had been to me and how I appreciated his kindness and love. It was a difficult moment, but I somehow knew he heard me as I saw his lips turn up. I walked into my living room in Texas and sat down on the couch with my husband after the call. I looked up and, in the distance, in my mind’s eye I saw my Dad, but he was young, maybe thirty years old and he was standing tall, very muscular and he looked Great! His blond hair was thick and curly, and he smiled and waved good bye to me and then he was gone. I was shocked! I told my husband I saw my father and he waiver good bye to me. His body died the next morning, but I knew he left the night before.
My father showing himself and waiving his final farewell is etched in my mind for eternity. It was the biggest blessing that I have ever received. I tell you this story so that you know that there is life beyond this one, and what you do here and how you treat people does make a difference.