God is always working to make His children aware of a dream
that remains alive beneath the rubble of every shattered dream,

a new dream that
when realized will release a new song, sung with tears,

till God wipes them away
and we sing with nothing but joy in our hearts

--Larry Crabb

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day 2

As the minutes turned into hours and that devastating day faded into the next I laid awake. I could hear Mom stirring in her room so I went to check on her. I laid my head on my dad's pillow and my body where he should have been laying. I could smell the scent of his hair and I felt so close to him. My mom and I laid there for nearly 2 hours crying and praying and talking about God and how this all had to be part of His plan and that we shouldn't question why it happened.

Finally around 3:30 AM I drifted off into a twilight sleep. I heard every creek in the old farm house and starting at 5 I heard the neighbor's rooster. The closest neighbor to my parents is 1/2 mile away but that dang rooster had some umph behind his cock-a-doodle-doo. In all the nights that I have spent at my parent's house I have never heard a rooster.

Sunday morning we sorted through pictures trying to find the perfect one for the obituary. I sat down with my sister and her laptop to write the obituary. That is where I felt my mind numb. On some level I knew what I was doing, but on another it was just the start of many things that I've done over the last couple of weeks that make me feel like I'm living someone else's life. We went through Dad's closet and found a suitcoat, pants and shirt. The suitcoat had a small coffee stain on the collar and sleeve. My dad never could eat or drink anything without spilling just a little. :)

We quickly ran to Penney's to get dad a new tie. We thought that he deserved something new to wear even though it seemed silly in some respects. When we reluctantly arrived at the funeral home and began making plans for the service. It was surprisingly not that difficult. The worst part? When the funeral director gently told us that dad had a lot of structural damage to his face and that we may not be able to have an open casket. I got an image in my mind at that moment that haunts me. In my delusional mind this planning was not being done for MY dad.
After the planning was done we retreated back to the farm, but before the extended family arrived there was something that we all wanted, yet did not want, to do.
As we walked back behind the barn--all together as what was left of my family--the first thing to catch my eye was the tractor. The fender was all bent up, the muffler bent off to the side, steering wheel broken, but had clearly been cleaned up a bit. I couldn't help but kick the tires of that dang tractor. It had taken so much from me, but yet, it seemed somewhat sacred. That seat was the last place my daddy sat, and that steering wheel was the last thing he touched. The keys were in the ignition and caught my eye. I took one key off of the ring and put it in my pocket. Knowing that dad turned that key shortly before he left us drew me to it. It felt good to have my fingers wrapped around the same thing that his fingers were on.
As Sunday drew to a close we headed back to Davenport to get our home in order to be gone for a while.
Somehow, we had made it through a full day without Dad.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The worst day of my life...

Writing is my outlet. It helps me understand my thoughts and emotions. It helps me feel more connected with God. It forces me to put some of my thoughts into words. I wouldn't normally post anything so personal, but I feel like sharing. Here's a little peek into my thoughts...

The searing pain of loss is so fresh on my heart I can't even pretend to compose myself at times. Less than two weeks ago on Saturday, September 12, 2009 my life was completely turned inside out. What started off being a boring Saturday afternoon ended up being what is the worst day of my life to date. My mom called and I knew instantly from the sound of her voice that what she had to say could not be good. After about 15 seconds on the phone I learned that my dad was pinned under a tractor and the paramedics could not find a pulse. I knew at that instant that he was gone. The only words I could say were "NO and NOT MY DADDY!" My head fought with my heart trying to convince me that there had been a big mistake, but in my heart, I knew.
We gathered up the essentials for a nights stay and rushed the 2 hours and 15 minutes home. Craig is not one to speed and I was thankful that he was rational because I most certainly was not. We had to stop for gas and it seemed to take an eternity to pump. As we continued on our way we got caught up in conversation and somehow missed our exit. I was almost glad in a way because I didn't want to face reality. My sister called and said that they had taken my dad's lifeless body from the farm, and that everyone was meeting at the house. When we finally got there I hugged my mom and just cried, then found my sister sitting on the steps. We sat there and cried and hugged and shared our disbelief. How could my dad be gone? I need him. He had so much life to live yet. I felt weak and like I had just been beaten down. Craig left to pick up Maddie in Osky and I worried about his safety. I moved into the family room and began to talk with my aunts and uncles that had also arrived. I found my brother and hugged him. Out of instinct I looked around for my dad, but, of course, he wasn't there. The thought of it made me literally sick to my stomach.

To be continued....(when I am not in desperate need of some serious sleep)...

Monday, September 14, 2009

I lay here awake at 6 am pouring through the events of the last few days. Not wanting to believe it, overwhelmed, and with a broken heart. Tomorrow Iwill see my dad for the first time since his accident on Saturday. Tomorrow will be the first time that I can't look my dad in the eyes or see his ready smile. I know that it is just his body, an empty shell of the man that meant so much to me. I know that this is only a temporary separation and cling to the promise that we will meet again, but reeling from the fact I never got to say goodbye. I never got to tell him that I love him one last time. I never got to tell him thank you for being the greatest example of a life lived by faith that I have ever known. Yet, I know he knew. And, although it came at much too high a price, I am thankful. Thankful that death came to him instantly. Without pain or fear. Exactly as God himself had planned since the beginning of time, and thankful that he has already stood before the Almighty and granted permanant citizenship in heaven, where I will see him again. Thankful that I was given nearly 34 years with my daddy, and they were good ones. Thankful that we went on vacation with him this summer and that we met him and my mom for dinner just 2 weeks ago. Thankful that the funeral planning is done and that the only things left to do are order the casket spray and find something to wear for the service and find a way to somehow say not goodbye forever but "see you in a litte while." Thankful and tired and so so sad.