Unexpected Gifts

I’ll never forget the look in my Dad’s eyes when the doctor told him the cancer was sprinkled through his abdomen~like powdered sugar. At that moment, the man I considered fearless, was afraid.

What started as an exploratory surgery concluded with the unspeakable diagnosis.  Mom and Dad asked me, and my brother and sister to leave the room; they needed to ask the doctor questions that no parent wants their children to hear.

The fight of my Dad’s life began behind those closed doors.

Through chemo treatments and all that inflicts on the body~He was going to beat this thing.

In the beginning…He believed it.

Only years later, after his year-and-a-half battle ended, I was given the greatest gift.  While his body was clearly beginning to fail, his faith grew.

I still don’t know how and when I received his bible. But well over a decade after my dad Joined his Savior, I opened it.

His notes were everywhere. The most beautiful penmanship written with his favorite, black ink pen. Along with dates. Highlights. Underlined phrases, words, passages.

A spiritual journey…

Now, in my hands~documented on the almost antique-like pages of the book he had received on his wedding day -over 50 years ago.

The contents within the margins of those pages explained so much:

Why everyone at his funeral said, he was their good, if not best, friend.

Why grown men had tears in their eyes.

Why my Grandma died suddenly-not long after his passing.

Why my Mother never remarried.

Why our hearts were broken.

His was a life filled with incredible depth. He loved selflessly. And unconditionally. My Mother knew she was IT in his eyes. So did his children.

And now, as I flip through his roadmap in Romans, John, James, Jeremiah… I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that during the last months of his life, he was at peace. And he knew, unequivocally, where he was going.

My Dad’s gifts continue to bless me. Some moments they are crystal clear; other times they wash over me like a gentle breeze.

At the end of the day, there is some peace, knowing I will see him again.

Thank you, Dad.


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