I have been away. My apologies. Our father, after a long struggle with his heart, finally passed away last week. He was at home, in my sister's house, as he had made it clear he wanted to be. I arrived on Monday afternoon, and he left the world in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. He was non-responsive the entire time, but we were with him. We kept vigil and there was somebody with him almost continuously. We talked to him, to each other. There were moments that we laughed and moments when we sang. We were told by the angels at Hospice that hearing is the last thing to go, so we tried our best to keep it real. My sister gave him updates from the Texas Rangers baseball game. We each took a turn talking to him one-on-one.
I have written some thoughts about the week. It sounds morbid, and perhaps it is, but there was something beautiful about the experience. I wasn't quite certain what that something was, so I write it down and paint the picture in words to be able to look at it, and contemplate. To be able to remember how it felt – that almost-religious experience of being with him.
I don't anticipate that I'll publish that piece; I'm writing it for myself. The time I've taken with it has helped through the grieving. Earlier this week I emerged from my bedroom – from the house – and blinked as the unfamiliar bright sunshine fell on my face. It was like coming out of adoration during the religious retreat that I was part of a few years ago. Though it felt good to be back in the sunshine and to be back among people, something fundamental inside of me had changed. Even if it was a good change, it would take some time and contemplation to understand.
I will be back in the saddle again this coming week.
Thank you, and bless you all.