A time to laugh...a time to cry...
A wise man (Solomon) once said... "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die...a time to weep...a time to mourn..."
I've been mourning since August. And every week the grieving changes shape. Sometimes it is filled with joy and laughter. Other times it is cloaked in sadness and loss.
It is hard to lose someone you love, someone who has shaped your life and meant so much to you along the way. To watch a parent age and grow more frail, whose life you hold so dear.
In August my dad was diagnosed with a rapidly progressing form of leukemia. The news came as a bit of a shock to us as there were no obvious symptoms of the disease. He was given two months, but my dad has a strong will to live and has already surpassed the doctor's predictions. We are so grateful for every moment we have left with him.
But there have been moments when that will to live has wavered, and he will make a comment about going to heaven, reminding us that he is very aware of what is coming. And he is at peace with this truth.
My dad is a great man, a man of faith whose spiritual legacy will live on for generations. He is not afraid of dying, only sad at the knowledge that we will be separated for a time. He and my mom have been married for 69 years and that is not a relationship you leave easily.
But I'm grieving today as I think of the future without him here. Throughout my life he has been there for me, a loving, quiet supportive dad who does not really realize how very dear he is to those who love him. At every visit he still makes us laugh, and at every goodbye we wonder if it will be the last on this earth.
I am not sad for him, as I know he is going to be with Jesus, the One he has loved for most of his life, and to heaven where there will be no more suffering.
Yesterday he said to me, "I'll be here today and tomorrow but the next day I'll be gone."
"Where are you going, Dad?" I asked.
"Heaven," he said, as though it was simply a matter of fact.
"When you get there, wait for us," I said. "We'll be there with you someday."
And then the grieving will be over...and it will be a time to laugh...a time to embrace...a time to dance.