Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Old Man River

Yesterday was the ninth anniversary of the homegoing of my father and my aunt.

My father suffered from emphysema, and, after a disastrous mistake in the increase of dosage for his medication, he ended up at the hospital with no way to get better.

On the second day of his short stay my sister and I went to see him in his curtained ICU cubby. He was frail, and disoriented and, we discovered, very afraid. But he would never tell us that! He was from the old school. "Never show your fear!" this WW11 veteran had drummed into his head.

As he lay there, he looked at us and quoted, " I'm tired a' livin' and I'm feared a' dyin'". Hmmm.... that sure sounded familiar, but neither my sister nor I could place where we'd heard it. He was no help! His response was, "I'm not telling you! Go out and find out for yourself!"

When our visit was over and we had left the hospital and each other, I thought about what he had said. But also thought about what he had "said".

As soon as I got home I called my pastor and asked him to visit my father. I felt that his lyrical speech was his way of saying that he truly was afraid. And if he was afraid, then so was I. I took my pastor up to see him and then left them alone. I waited right outside the door to the ICU and prayed and peeped through the window and prayed some more. I never did ask either my father or my pastor just what it was that they talked about.

Two days later, with his family all around, he slipped into the Kingdom God. And I was so glad and so grateful that he had taken the chance to talk to my pastor and I had peace about his passing.

That was on a Thursday. The Saturday following I had to set up and take care of matters for a small concert that was being performed at my church's parish house. My good friend Bruce Davies, Scottish singer of traditional and original songs, was making an American tour.

The concert was a diversion for me, a kind of spate from the deep feelings that the passing of a parent can bring. And it was good to see Bruce! His concert ran about two hours and then he sang his final song...."Old Man River" And there in the middle of the song was the line, "I'm tired of livin' and I'm feared of dyin'"

And for me it was a beautiful confirmation that I had gotten it right. I had done what needed doing for my father and he was, and is, safely living eternally in God's gracious love.

How awesome is that?


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Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States
My nane is Judy and I've been a christian for more than 3/4 of my life. I believe in redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that God, the Spirit lives in me and gives me the power to do His will and to live a joyful life. I have a Godly husband, a grown son and daughter. I live on a farm with 3 goats, 2 chickens, 2 horses, a cat, a dog and a python. I am an artist and a singer. I was a full time stay at home mom, the hardest job you'll ever love! I have two handmade shops on Etsy. Leaning on the Promises www.leaningonthepromises.etsy.com (Hand Painted Walking Canes) and Beaver Creek Pottery www.beavercreekpottery.etsy.com and an Etsy shop for selling Vintage and Antiques. Jersey Pine Pickers www.jerseypinepickers.etsy.com I post about my relationship with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, about the things He teaches me, delights me with and how He uses me.