Last year while I was working in Egypt, my Dad announced his retirement. A month later he was diagnosed with ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease) for which there is no viable treatment or cure. Dad was a steadfast believer in the truth of salvation by God’s grace, given to us through Jesus who in an act of pure love took upon himself the punishment for our sins. Over the course of the past 11 months, my Dad remained positive, peaceful, and strong at heart. A lifelong jazz musician, I know it wasn’t easy for him to lose the ability to play his saxophone but I never once heard him complain about his condition or the resulting changes that had to take place in his and my Mom’s life as they walked his last mile together. He never questioned God’s plan for him. With such dignity and strength of heart, he handled his final days as a man filled with hope for the everlasting.
Dad and I openly shared our thoughts about everything, including his coming death. In conversation one night we rightly concluded that as believers we didn’t have to say, “Goodbye” to each other. Instead, our confidence in God’s restoration offers us a more meaningful, “I’ll see you later”.
On the evening of the 25th of September, at his bedside and surrounded by family, my Dad was called away from his earthly tent to go be at home with the Lord.
Mixed with feelings of both sorrow and joy I say to my Dad, I will see you later…