Hi all-I truly don't know where to begin but I'll tell you that dad was moved to a hospice facility on Monday. I flew out of town with Rick on Tues and have some guilt over that but we had postponed arrangements twice and I'm teaching a class at our church conference and Rick is meeting with students. In addition, my husband has been set on the back burner for a year and half while I cared for dad so I felt I needed to come with him to Texas. We are still paying Adriana to be with dad through each day. He mostly sleeps. He is down to under 100 lbs, very skeleton and no longer has strength to walk much or even hold a glass of water for more than a few seconds. I had to make funeral arrangements before leaving town. We'll fly home on Oct 8 and if dad has passed, the military funeral will be on Oct 9. Now all that sounds very uncaring and sterile I'm sure but dad is fully at peace and I know where he's going.
I could write a book (and may someday) on the events of the past week. I'm sure all of you have differing faith perspectives. Some of you will think I'm nuts and that's ok. Since my relatives are waiting right now to take us to breakfast, I have to make a very long story somewhat brief but I will fully document when I return home and can send you a more detailed version.
Dad has had an upper respiratory infection for the past few weeks. He was solidly in bed from Mon-Wed. I have been sleeping in the next room in order to care for him at night. Last night, in San Antonio was the first night I've slept through the night in God knows how long. On Wednesday, he was agitated and restless. I gave him an anti-anxiety med and his cough med. He kept trying to get up and I'd lift him and get him on the portable commode and then he would be back up. For months, I've been tucking him in at night and praying with him and he has even said the Lord's prayer with me, but all very rote. Lani and I have prayed for his faith for many years because we know religion is not faith, it is a personal relationship with the person of Jesus and that can't be understood by many people, dad being one of them. At 2:30am Wed, he was finally in a heavier sleep after me reading Psalms and singing to him. I went to bed til i had to get up for my day at 5:30.
Thurs and Fri were difficult. He was very sick all night and I kept talking to him about life in general, the weather, my faith, the kids, everything. On Sat., we were both exhausted. By then, I was cutting his diaper off him to change him to avoid moving his body any more than I had to because of his agitation. Dad just wanted me to be next to him and holding his hand at all times (or Adriana, his little dolly as he calls her). Around midnight on Sat nigth/Sun morning, dad was laying there, very agitated and said there were two large men in the room and they were there to kill him. I, of course, saw nothing. I told him to tell them to go straight back to hell where they came from in the name of Jesus. He did and then looked wide eyed at me and said 'they are gone!'. I told him that Jesus was alive and well today and has granted us power over Satan and he just proved it to dad. I told him he could easily be forgiven of anything in the past by telling Jesus that he is sorry for his sins and believes in Him and asking Him to be part of his life. Dad said, "Jesus please forgive me. I believe". I asked him if he really believed and he said, I'm not sure what it feels like. I told him the Holy Spirit is the part of God that stays with us throughout our lifetime and the bible says we can call on him at all times. I told him it is even in the bible that He will help us with our unbelief. Dad then, unprompted, kept saying "Holy Spirit, help me with my unbelief". He repeated it 3 times and then said "Forgive me". Keep in mind that all this is slow, with little breath and energy left.
The next moments blew my mind. He rolled back on his back and was aghast. He was wildly waving his arm and pointing to the ceiling. "Look Robyn!" I only saw white ceiling. I asked what he saw and he said, words. I asked the words and he wildly pointed twice. "NEW!" and "LIFE!" I began to cry as I realized Jesus Christ was right there in the room with us giving a message to my father that he had received new life. This all took until 4:30am when he fell asleep fully with a smile. I slept until 6:00 and got ready to leave early for church where we had a powerpoint issue that had to be resolved before church. As I was getting out of the shower, Rick said, ‘Your dad is up’. I asked what he meant by "UP". He said, he walked on his walker to the bathroom but couldn't lift himself off the toilet and called so I went in and lifted him and helped him to his chair. I was shocked.
Miros (our Sunday caregiver) arrived and I had to leave. I was back home from 11:30-2:30. Dad never shut up the whole time. I asked him if he remembered the prior night. He said 'of course' I got faith and Jesus spoke. He said he felt great and was talking about everything on TV. He was watching Animal Planet and talked about how much he loves animals. Then a surfing show came on and he talked about how wonderful surfing was. Oh, look at that, I LOVED surfing in the navy! His nurse came in and he said, 'are you single?' she replied 'yes' and he said, 'why don't we go to Hawaii and get married?'
My dad has always disliked Rick and when the nurse left we talked about it. I told him Rick has been a wonderful husband to me for 41 years, has always worked, is a great father and has let dad live in our home for a year and a half. Rick got home at 2:15 to pick me up for our meeting and dad said, Rick I want to talk to you.' He told Rick he has been an "___hole" his whole life and he has treated Rick unfairly. He said he didn't know why he has acted that way. He asked Rick to forgive him and Rick said of course. Rick said, I heard you met Jesus last night. Dad proceeded to tell him and said he felt so wonderful. Anyone who has known dad for very long, knows he is not a talker and he definitely doesn't share feelings.
He was moved to the Hospice Facility on Monday. Besides the fact that I needed to leave town, I can no longer lift him. My back just doesn't have enough strength anymore and I can't continue to go without sleep.
As I said, many of you may not be believers. You may think this is manufactured. I know it is real. I know Jesus is real-more than ever before and I'm ordained!!! Dad looks physically different. I have a video of him with the baby on Sunday afternoon and I will share it when I get home so you can also see the difference.
Rick is blown away. As a minister, he has seen healings and miracles but both of us had lost hope even though we continued to pray for dad. As we taxied out of Phoenix airport, Rick shared a paragraph from a book he is reading on exorcisms and miracles. The freed person wrote, "I saw two large men in the room, they said they were there to kill me" As the minister prayed for them to be gone in the name of Jesus, they disappeared!" Again, an affirmation of what had truly happened on Saturday night.
I had to share this. Dad is at peace for the first time in years at the age of 100 plus almost two months. Amazing.........Grace.
Update: Dad passed away four days after receiving Christ at exactly 100 yrs, 2 months. My sister and I had prayed for him to receive Christ for over 30 years. God had preserved him through the Pearl Harbor attack (he was a survivor), the Battle of Midway, two heart attacks, getting hit by a car as a pedestrian (the second pedestrian was killed) and getting shot in a bar. I told him frequently that the reason, I believed, was that God was waiting for him to receive Christ.
love and peace to you Robyn