I do not believe it was a coincidence my father went home during Holy Week. The day after Christmas he was moved from ICU to CCU where he took his last breath on April 1, 2015. As painful as it is to write my first blog post, I felt I needed to carry on his legacy of courage. I had the blessing of miracles amidst my pain.
Sometimes there are encounters so divinely timed like the time I was leaving the courthouse in Graham. Three months before my daddy’s last breath, I picked up a piece of paper lying on the damp pavement, which Psalm 23 and Luke 1:26-44 “Life of a Believer” is written. It’s not just a simple coincidence. The following day in consultation with three doctors I am told that daddy was in a very, very critical state and after six weeks on life support, they had “done all they could do” and I should consider removing life support. In my heart I knew finding the scripture “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…and “The Life of a Believer,” was not a coincidence and it was a sign from God. It solidified my faith in something bigger than me and I desperately needed to pray and give everything I had to God. I reflected back on my faith the last eight years and the miracles in my own life when I became a believer.
After the consultation the next day, daddy remained in sepsis/septic shock with a white blood count of 53,000, normal 7,000-10,000. As I earnestly prayed over my daddy, I asked God for just one miracle…a sign of life so I could talk to him…if I could just have “one more day” with him to tell him how much I love him and thank him for being such a courageous and loving daddy. Early the next morning his labs proved miracles exist. In disbelief the doctor ordered a second set of labs, which reaffirmed the miracle. Yes, a miracle his white blood count was down to 16,000. I was told from his doctors if he encountered another infection, it would, no doubt, take his life.
Prayers were answered the next couple of months as my father fought off three deadly infections and my family had this time with him, talking to him, talking about his time in the military, having an incredible bond with him while he was facing death. I never expected to witness miracles over and over again. Each day I asked daddy if I could pray for him, he would shake his head “yes” and close his eyes in anticipation. I know in my heart daddy knew his time was soon but he was so courageous until the end. After we cherished this time with him until the third week of March, his blood pressure would no longer continue at an adequate level to sustain life. The medical team started blood pressure fluids plus three other BP meds. When this failed, I prayed for mercy remembering Psalm 23 and then the call came from Palliative Care. On Palm Sunday, I tearfully signed the consent papers to take daddy off life support. Three day later, Holy Wednesday, he took his last breath with his family by his side. It was peaceful for him.
In the midst of my pain, God granted me incredible, peaceful time with daddy. I prayed for just one day so I could say my good-bye. I never lost sight of my daddy’s impending death; I knew that with the miracles I witnessed, there would also be pain. Just like Jesus Christ, he granted miracles to the humble and the sinners because they learned to trust their faith and believe in Him! I, too, also relied on my faith as a believer! I never gave up, I never ceased praying, and I felt God’s presence every day. I wrote scripture on his board daily, I prayed over him daily and when I asked for one miracle, I witnessed three miracles when his doctors were in disbelief. It was not a coincidence his doctors repeatedly told me daddy beat all odds and he was a courageous fighter. My daddy knew when it was the end and so did I…God answers in His perfect time, and in His perfect way, according to His perfect will.
My daddy served 26 years in the military and since his retirement, he spent his remaining life serving and honoring veterans. America’s mascot is the Eagle, which represents great power and balance, dignity with grace representing our Nation’s military and the brave men and women who stand before us. The last scripture I read to my father was at his funeral service…Isaiah 40:31. Daddy, until we meet again, I will have the blessing, peace and presence of both of my Fathers in Heaven.
If there is something you need to do today, do it without delay.
I have loved you always,