It was 13 years ago today that I got the unexpected phone call that my father had died.
The way I heard it, he and his wife went out to Friendly's for lunch, Dad had a big steak, and when they left and got into the car to drive home, Dad suffered a heart attack.
I live 3000 miles away so I didn't hear about it all until he had passed. He was 80 years old, and we had just celebrated that date in November. His birthday was actually Dec. 10, but ,because of New Hampshire winters, my stepmother decided to have his party early in order to avoid travel challenges. I'm so glad she did.
I'm so glad my Dad lived to be a good, long age.
I'm glad he did not have to go into a nursing home (not that I would have allowed that!) and suffer.
His spirit was so free, even though he walked with a walker after several debilitating strokes.
And I'm so glad that he accepted Jesus as his Savior years before, because now I know without a doubt that he's waiting there for me, to help me over.
A friend of mine passed away last Sunday from a brain tumor. Curly was an extraordinary man, like my Dad was. He was a strong family man, he lived a life of respect and honor, and he was incredibly gifted at songwriting and singing and playing the guitar. He took one of my poems and put amazing music to it, and then, together, we won an award for that collarboration.
I have a card I picked up to send to Curly's wife, and I chose it because of the unique and original thought expressed on the front of the card. In honor of Curly and my Dad today, I'm going to type it here:
What if the brilliant,
that bring the dark night sky to life
are windows looking out of heaven?
and at the very moment
when we're wishing on those stars,
hoping that the loved ones we have lost are happy,
safe, and free...
maybe they are looking
at those same stars from the other side,
making the same wish for us...
sending us all their love.
Though they did not know each other "down here," in my mind Dad and Curly are together now, strumming guitars, Dad listening to Curly and loving his deep, rich voice, his poetry in his lyrics. Every once in a while, they have to put the instruments down and go welcome one of their friends and family into Heaven. It's the way things are done up there, I've heard.
Welcome home, thou good and faithful servant.