This is the Day

22 Sep

Three years ago today, I whispered good bye to my wonderful dad. I sat beside him as he took his very last breath. I held his hand as he died.

So hard to say good bye to someone you care about. So hard to let go of someone you love.

And an unwelcome reminder that cancer can be a terminal disease.

When my dad found out I had breast cancer, I think it nearly broke his heart. No father should ever have to hear that his little girl has cancer. I remember a Sunday morning soon after my first surgery. The others had gone to church, but my dad had stayed to watch over me as I slept. Not doing well, I was experiencing lots of pain and feeling sick from the medications. I also felt a crushing sense of dread at what lie ahead of me.

When I awoke, I found the house unusually silent. From my bedroom, propped up by pillows, I could see into the dining room. My dad sat at the table, a newspaper spread out in front of him. But he wasn’t reading it. He was looking at me. I had never before sensed in him such deep sadness. I smiled for him. He smiled back a little, and for a moment, the sadness left his eyes.

He quietly came into my room, and sat in the chair beside my bed. He held my hand till I drifted back to sleep.

Neither of us knew then, that just over a year later, he would be the one dying from cancer.

One of my dad’s favorite Bible verses was Psalm 118:24. “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (NIV) It may not seem like an appropriate verse for remembering a day of loss and mourning. But I like to imagine that, for my dad, September 22nd is indeed a day of rejoicing and celebration as it marks his very first day in heaven.

After all, my dad always liked to point out that the whole reason we can “rejoice and be glad” is because of God’s amazing gift of salvation. Today, more than ever, I am thankful for that gift.


5 Responses to “This is the Day”

  1. Julie September 22, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    That is really touching. You have lots of reasons to rejoice and certainly having a father who loved you in that way and pointed you toward the Lord are two terrific reasons.

  2. Julie September 22, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    There are a lot of times when I have to say, “Lord, I have no idea why you are allowing this” and disease is one of those things. Saying good-bye too soon to loved ones is another one!

  3. Amy September 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    I remember sitting around your dinner table with your dad reading bible veses to us all. What a great example of Godly character he was. Remembering fondly with you!

  4. Carla September 23, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    Your dad was a wonderful man. I remember the first time I met him he was so excited to see me with Greg like he already knew we would be married someday. He is forever in our hearts….

  5. writergirldreams January 2, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Hello Jill. I don’t know if you noticed, but in my New Year’s Eve blog post, talking about love, a line in there was for your Dad, and you. Did you find it?

    “Love is faithful and abiding, like a candle in the window or at your bedside while you sleep.”


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