A Life Well-Lived

Almost two months ago I came up with the title for this blog.  I wish I had written it then.  The title was a phrase that popped into my head on one of my frequent visits to see my dad, who lived in an assisted living center.  At first, I was thinking about all those old folks, and how they all used walkers to get anywhere.  And to be honest, as you know, I was also thinking about my dad’s poor health, with most of his problems being related to his long-term only moderately controlled diabetes.  And originally, in my brain, I used that phrase ‘a life well-lived’ to mean that I just wanted to keep myself healthy and fit so I could say at the end that my life was a life well-lived.  And then I realized that in spite of his poor health that phrase perfectly described my dad’s life.  PERFECTLY.

My dad died yesterday morning.  I’m so very glad I made the decision to go down and spend the previous week with him.  I am sad, but I am okay.  My dad spent his entire life serving the God that he loved so much.  And he is happy to be in His presence now.

Two years ago, when he moved into this home, he started a Bible study for the ‘old folks’ even though he was still grieving the death of his wife.  In the last year he has mentored a young pastor at his church, and just a few months ago was put on the elder board at their church.  They were so kind to dad–they had their meetings in his apartment because it was too hard for him to go out.  He dreamed of starting a discipleship program for the young men at his church.

He spent his last week dictating letters of encouragement and love to the people closest to him.  The last day, when the hospice nurse came,  (we had hospice for one whole day!) he was quoting his favorite Bible verses to her.  And when his pastor called that evening, Dad SANG a hymn to him!!

I was thinking today how very blessed I was to have a dad like my dad.  Some dads are good ‘kid-dads.’  And some only become good dads when you are all grown up.  But my dad did both well.  He was the best kid dad around.  We took trips to the zoo, and the aquarium.  He read books to us, and played board games (and never let us win!)   He indulged my love of dogs, and always encouraged whatever craft I was involved in.  In fact, he actually bought both of my sewing machines.

And then when I was grown-up, we actually developed a closer relationship.  I always called on Dad when I had a spiritual question.  He actually didn’t like giving advice, but he always listened, and would give his opinion when pressed.  He was a great encourager.  But most of all, he loved me unconditionally.

I can only hope to live my life half as well as my dad lived his life.

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16 thoughts on “A Life Well-Lived

  1. Debby

    My sincerest sympathy. It really hurts to lose our Dads and the ache never quite goes away. I miss my father every day and sometimes see someone in the street who reminds me of him and you know what, nearly 5 years later I still cry – even if just a little before I blink the tears away.

    At times I yearn to ask his advice too instead of having to figure it out on my own.

    Dads are so special.

    The greatest thing is that your Dad, like mine, loved his Heavenly Father so much and is with Him now. That is hugely comforting. Your father is rejoicing and the best bit is that one day you will see him again.

    May God comfort you and bless you.

    x

  2. I’m so sorry, Debby. Having lost my own Dad about a month ago, I know how hard it can be.

    He sounds like he was a wonderful Father, and a generous, loving man who served the Lord right up to the end. I am sure he was greeted with “well done”…

    Hugs,
    Loretta

  3. A beautiful way to describe your Dad and your special relationship. What a wonderful man.

    I’m sad for you yet also encouraged by the faith he shared with you.

    Blessings .

  4. Debby – my sincerest condolences to you. It sounds like your dad was very special and I am so glad to hear that you had such a wonderful relationship with him as a child and an adult.

  5. Debby,

    This post does not surprise me. Why?? Yesterday morning during my quiet time, you suddenly popped in to my mind and I realized it had been several days since you’d posted. I breathed a prayer for you that all was well and planned to send you a note this morning telling you I missed your posts. A wise youth leader many years ago taught me that such thoughts are “divine mind stirrings” and never to ignore them. I hope that prayer found it’s way to you and your dad and helped bring some measure of peace. This is an absolutely beautiful tribute to him.

    Sharon

  6. Debby, I would like to offer my condolences. Your father left you with a great legacy which you will be able to treasure.

  7. I am so sad for your loss.

    and so glad for you that it is a loss. that you had a great dad who you will miss. that he will be missed by many and lived a good life. that is something to cherish.

  8. I’m so sorry Debbie. What a blessing it is that you had such a good relationship with him and can cherish those memories. Even in your grief you’ve written a lovely tribute to your dad.

  9. Oh Debs, I knew it was coming, but had no idea it would be so soon. And what a sweet eulogy this post is – I think it’s every parent’s wish to be so loved and respected.

    ((((hugs)))) for you my friend. ♥

  10. What a perfectly lovely tribute to your dad. When all is said and done, you really can’t ask for much more than how he lived his life, can you? You have my sympathies and I’m sending you strength and comfort from Texas.

    P.S. Love that picture of you and your dad!

  11. Oh Debby, I had wondered where you were but wasn’t smart enough to put 2 and 2 together. I’m so sorry to hear the news about your dad. What a beautiful tribute you have written to him here. It’s obvious how much you love him. I’m looking forward to meeting him in heaven!

    Praying that you will have the peace which surpasses understanding during this difficult season.

    Love,
    Juice

  12. I am sincerely sorry for your loss, Debby. Until one goes through it, it’s difficult to understand what losing a parent is all about.. Allow yourself to grieve and understand that it may take a while. My mother died in February, and most of the time I’m OK, but I still have moments where I go back into active grief.

    Be very kind to yourself during this time. The picture of the two of you is lovely! Bless you and your family.

    Jane

  13. Debby, I am so sorry that you don’t have your Dad here on earth any longer. Your tribute is beautiful. I bet his funeral (we Presbyterian’s call it “service to the witness of the resurection,” which I love) was full of joy, even though of course everyone was sad that he was gone. Funerals like that are rare. People like your Dad are rare. From what I know of you, you are surely your Father’s Daughter. And I bet that’s the best compliment you could receive. What a blessing.

    Thank you for sharing. I’m glad you were with him in his last days.

  14. Oh, Debby, I’m so sorry to hear this. I know how hard it is to lose a beloved Dad. Your tribute to him in this post is beautiful. It’s a blessing to know with certainty that he is at home, safe in the hands of the Lord. Please know that I’m thinking of you and will keep you in my prayers as you learn to live without your Dad. Love you, T

  15. What a sweet tribute to your father. I’ve been away from blog land for a bit, so I’m a bit late, but I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my dad a few years ago, so I really do feel your loss. Like your father, my dad was a godly man, and such a blessing to all who knew him. I love the picture, very sweet.

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