People are good.
It took me about 12 hours to get home once I heard my dad was gone. I couldn't get a seat on the flight that would have got me home quickest. Instead, we arranged for relatives to get me at the airport three hours away - so all totaled - I walked into my parent's house almost exactly 12 hours after I heard the news.
Some relatives were already visiting with mom. Before long neighbors stopped by. All day, people stopped by with food and hugs and memories of my dad. It was really something special.
Later that same afternoon, we went to the funeral home to make arrangements for the funeral. Since the rest of my family had been at the hospital with dad just after he died - and I hadn't - I needed to see him. I asked the funeral director if it was possible for me to see him, and he assured me I could.
After we settled all the arrangements, my mom and brother left the room - and the staff wheeled my dad in on a table. I got to spend time with him, just the two of us. I prayed over him and sang to him - It Is Well With My Soul. Because it was.
My dad was 78 years old. Not that all that old if you ask me. I was just sure he would make it to 80.
But, he lived all the way up until he died. He worked hard every day of his life, and he was getting to the point that he couldn't work the way he wanted to - and that was a blow to his dignity.
Dad left this world just as he had hoped and prayed that he would. Without growing so old as to be frail - without suffering - without ever having to be in a nursing home - without being stuck on life support (which was his greatest fear). So I can't help but be happy for him.
My dad has seen the face of God and I'm stuck here. Great for him, rough for me.
I had the best dad any girl could ask for. He loved me and he showed it. It was proud of me and he told me. He was wise and kind, and everyone who knew him witnessed it.
I don't think my dad knew just how many people thought the world of him. The funeral home was so packed, they said their were only two chairs left in the whole building! In the small town, the funeral home is just two blocks off of the main street... and we heard that traffic was backed up where a trail of cars had to wait for the traffic light to turn left!
The church was packed at the funeral, and it's a good-sized church.
It reminded me of three years ago... when we threw a surprise party for dad's 75th birthday. We had about a hundred people there - and dad was shocked that so many people would travel just for a party for him. He joked that night that he was afraid there was a funeral the next day because he felt like he was at his own wake! Actually, I loved that... because so often, people don't get together until someone dies. How nice it was for him to enjoy the party!
We had a big party for my parent's 50th Anniversary in June. It was bigger than his birthday party - and it was a great time! We were all so happy that we had that party, everyone got to see dad and mom together... happy... in good health and good spirits.
Even better that everyone remembers him fondly.
What a mighty good man.
I love you daddy. See you soon in eternity.