How I Lost My DadI imagine every person can remember a time in their childhood when they experienced the gut wrenching fear of losing their parents. Perhaps the separation happened in a clothing store walking through deep canyons of clothes or momentarily hiding in the center of a clothes rack lured in by the imaginary secret hideout. It could have been in a busy crowd at Disneyland where the distractions were so mesmerizing that the hand you reach up to hold, that should have been your parents, was actually that of a complete stranger. The reaction is universally the same. A slow comprehension of what just happened followed by an overwhelming flood of emotion that you are alone rushes through your every limb accompanied by paralyzing fear that the severed relationship will never be restored.
Today, I lost my dad. Not a physical misplacement while hiking through the woods or shopping in a big box hardware store, but a very real loss in the fundamental ability to communicate. His Alzheimers has finally taken its toll and has rendered my Dad speechless and unresponsive... which has left me speechless. No more stories of escaping from concentration camps, near capture by the Germans while traveling on a train, or his dad whisked away by the Russians never to be seen again. But I’ll never forget his reason for etching these stories in my memory. They all pointed to God’s faithfulness and providence. No matter what “life” threw at him, Dad rested in the fact that God was in control and all things would work together for his good. Even recently when feeling agitated and restless, scurrying about in his wheelchair with great determination to get... somewhere, the mere mention of the Bible or Christ completely changed his demeanor and seemingly a blanket of peace would envelop him.
I don’t believe Dad has long on this earth, especially since he’s virtually stopped eating, but the sweet memories of him will last long past his presence.