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Topic: TEARS - (as in crying) (10/04/04)
TITLE: No More Tears
By Clay Drysdale
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To his surprise, he had kept his composure during the funeral. He had sat among the rest of his family as the minister spoke gracious words about his father. Memories of playing catch in the yard and fishing on Sunday afternoons flooded his mind during the service. Only when he allowed himself to relive those long-ago scenes did tears begin to well up. But no, he thought, he must be strong for his family, and his mother in particular. She was having her own difficult time in the midst of her husband's death and needed to see strength in her children, Ted believed.
Now, however, outside the funeral home, he had to let go. He'd witnessed his older brotherís breakdown earlier that morning, and now it was his turn. Ted had no choice - if he didn't he'd explode.
Why did his father have to leave him? Why now, when Ted himself was still a young man with so much of his life ahead of him? He would now live the large majority of his life without a father's influence. Whatever knowledge and experience his father had managed to pass on to him would have to suffice. For anything more, he'd be on his own.
Now, standing outside on a blustery January day, Ted felt totally alone. Even though he still had the rest of his family, he and his father had shared a special bond, especially during these last painful months. Jud Minter had been diagnosed with a brain tumor only five months before his death, and had deteriorated quickly.
While the family had had adequate time to prepare for the inevitable, for Ted the end had been extremely difficult. Jud did not recognize anyone the last month he was alive. It took all of Ted's energy to make the visit to his father's hospital room the morning he died. He certainly was not up to it emotionally, but something inside told him that this day, of all days, he should go. Ted knew what was imminent.
As he had for weeks, Jud Minter asked his son who he was when Ted walked into the lonely room. "Hey, Pop, it's me - Ted," had been his customary cheery reply.
Usually that was met with, "Well, whoever you are, can you pour me a glass of water? I'm parched." Sometimes it was the shades that needed drawn, and sometimes it was the TV that needed adjusted. Jud just seemed glad that someone, anyone, was there to meet the particular need he had at that time.
On that morning, Ted fought back bitter tears when he walked out of Room 225. Somehow he knew that day would be the day. He wouldn't have left except that a teal-clad nurse came in to wheel Jud down the hall for more tests and Ted knew it would be some time before his father would be back.
As he had walked through the doorway, Ted paused and turned. "Bye, Dad."
"Goodbye, Teddy," came the reply. It seemed to Ted that the words were spoken with complete knowing, a perfect clarity of mind who he was saying goodbye to.
Now, three days later, Ted stood out in the cold weeping, fatherless for the rest of his life. "Please, God, help me. Give me some sort of peace about all this."
His mind recalled a familiar passage, "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain" (Rev. 21:4 NIV). He felt a peace wash over him, replacing the bitter anguish that had taken root in his heart.
Ted smiled faintly. He knew that someday he would see his father again, and on that day, there would be no more sorrow.