Since my last blog I have been thinking about farewells. These thoughts began as we watched my father-in-law lose his battle with Lymphoma. He waged a strong fight but in the end the time came for the family to bid him farewell. What a blessing it was for all his children and his dear wife of sixty-two years to gather around his bedside those last moments and have a chance to speak with him.
As I watched my husband deal with his dad's illness my mind often turned to the days I spent with my own dad prior to his death. After a heart attack he was placed on life support while en route to a hospital that specialized in cardiac care. I spent most of my time for the following twenty-three days there, going in for my allowed visit every four hours. I realize now that I needed that time to be able to "let him go". Dad was never able to speak once in that hospital and there was not opportunity to share as I would have liked. In his last hour I was able to be at his bedside, to hold his hand and whisper to him that it was alright for him to rest. I had the grace to softly hum a few hymns to him as he slipped away following another massive heart attack.
We must all deal with some farewells. Sometimes we have the opportunity to prepare while other times we don't. How important it is to embrace the moments we have to spend with our families and dear friends. Let us do our best to lay aside any ill feelings there might be and love as if we had no tomorrow. In truth, we might not. Many times we believe that others just know how much we love and care for them, while in fact they may not. Take the time to be sure and tell the ones you love, who are dear to your heart just how much they mean to you.
As you travel along this path of life cherish each day with your family and friends. If you have had to bid farewell to a loved one embrace all the happy times you had. Let go of the negative memories as it will cause you unnecessary grief. May the Lord give us wisdom and grace to live our lives with joy, and to share this joy with all we meet.