I awoke with great anticipation of the graduation celebration we planned in the park. I bolted to the window, gray and damp. God has a wonderful sense of humor. Laughing, I headed for the shower. The day would still be awesome because of the family coming in from all over.
Barely audible over the running water, a scream broke through, followed by my husband rushing in and telling me to head downstairs. Within seconds I had hit the bottom and rounded the corner to momís kitchen. ďI think your fatherís dead!Ē
The words werenít making sense. My brother was on the phone talking to 911. Dadís position on the couch was awkward. I placed my ear to his mouth, no breathing. I reached my hand to his chest, no heartbeat. The coldness of his body pierced my heart. Immediately I headed upstairs, dressed, and grabbed my keys. ďDadís gone Dave,Ē I said and headed down the stairs.
The ambulance had arrived and loaded dad. I grabbed mom and her purse and we followed behind it to the hospital. Momís shaking was uncontrollable. I could see her heart beating in her chest. I wanted to pull her into a bear hug and tell her it would be alright. I knew different, Dad was gone.
After doing all the paperwork and continuing questions from Mom about Dadís status, the attending physician came in. I knew what his words would be, but they took Mom by complete surprise. ďMrs. Orr, your husband is on life support. He has no brain activity.Ē Mom looked to me and then back to the doctor.
ďMom, we have to let Dad go. He isnít here now, he is with God now. Out of pain, happy.Ē Mom forced the words from her mouth, ďtake him off the machines.Ē
Mom called my sister, I called my brother, and asked them to come to the hospital. I called my husband letting him know Dad was gone.
When everyone arrived, we went to where Dadís body lay. Tube in his mouth, the machines quiet. Even so, he looked peaceful. I knew he didnít suffer. I smiled, Dad went quickly, just as he would have wanted.
We took turns, hugged him, hugged each other and tried to come to grips what had just happened. A nurse came in and told us someone was on the phone for mom. It was Pastor John. Dave had called him and he called to pray with us. It was only a few minutes before the Memorial Day service was to start at church. Pastor John took time to pray with us. The comfort he gave us, especially Mom that day is more than can be put into words.
God, our ultimate pastor, had orchestrated taking Dad to the hospital. If He hadnít done that, we would have had to wait with Dadís body in the house for the coroner to come in and pronounce Dad. The wait would have been unbearable.
We held the party as planned. The cold rain pierced our skin. The darkness of the day matched our emotions. I joked with family that Dad would love this celebration. His family was all together. While the mood was dampened, the stories we shared of Dadís life brightened our hearts.
I know Dad was looking down from heaven, content in knowing that his family surrounded his wife, our mom, at this time of her profound grief and sadness. God, the wonderful Counselor, the mighty Pastor, had orchestrated the time, the place, and the family. How awesome is that?
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