Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Goodbye Dad, see you in heaven

If you read my last post you knew what happened at the airport to affect my dad's health. That put dad in the Intensive Care Unit. Several days after dad got admitted to the ICU he unexpectedly had cardiac arrest and died. It has been a sad time for both my wife and myself. We have missed him a lot in the last two and a half weeks.

As Christians the sadness we have is not one of loss forever, but rather missing him now. With dad, my wife, and I all believing that Jesus is Lord (we should follow his teachings and example instead of our own imperfect thoughts and lives) and that God raised Jesus from the dead for our salvation we will see dad at death or at the return of Jesus Christ.

We have missed dad in a number of ways. We have missed doing things with him. I have lost count of the number of times my wife has started crying because she had picked up the phone to call dad, and then remembered that she couldn't talk to him.

My advice to everyone is two things:
1) Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Regrets are a terrible thing. Even in the last couple of years alone I have had some very good memories with my dad. I wanted to make sure I got to do some things with him. I took him to the Korean War memorial in Wilsonville Oregon and got to take a picture of him in front of the granite wall that had my dad's 7th Division patch (the hourglass) on it. It made him proud. Another thing we got to do: we took him over to the Goldendale Washington observatory. We all had a good time there. I took dad to Hood River Oregon and we went geocaching after a cache called "The Pipeline*", waypoint number GCC51C. At the time you could walk on a huge pipeline coming from Powerdale Dam. You got to walk in the caging system the power company used to repair the pipeline. There was even a section of the original wooden pipeline to splash us with water. I hear a flood washed out part of the pipeline, but there are still other ways to get to the Geocache.

2) Make a commitment to God that Jesus really is Lord and Jesus really was raised from the dead for your salvation. It is bad enough missing someone like my dad who we miss but will see again in heaven. I cannot imagine the loss people must feel over the fact that a loved one has died, and they will never ever see that person again. It must be an empty, lonely existence knowing there is no hope and you won't get to see the person alive again. That doesn't even include your own judgement on Judgement Day, followed by being sent to hell for your sins. We have all done wrong, but there is new life in Jesus Christ.

So with that I say, "Goodbye Dad, see you in heaven." It's much better to say that than "So long and thanks for all the fish." (from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.) I'm looking forward to seeing and talking with dad again.

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