I’m the middle son, of three boys, and for a long time I never had what I would describe as a buddy-buddy relationship with my father. My younger brother did and in no small part due to having similar interests to my dad. My dad and I loved each other, but I don’t think we ever verbally said so to each other. It was a relationship where it had a “if you get hurt, walk it off” type mentality.
I eventually stopped going to church and moved out when I joined the Army. From 20 years old till 29 years old, I lived a very worldly life while still hypocritically referring to myself as a Christian. I got in a horrible break up with my fiance when I was 30 and it destroyed me. I thank the Lord that it happened because he called me to HIM after that. It’s worth everything. So, as I was “new” to the faith, I decided to move back home for a while in order to save up for house, because saving up for the down payment was hard while paying a high apartment rent.
That very same day that I moved back, I received a letter from the Veteran’s Affairs saying that they reduced my medical disability(from Army) from $2700 to about $700 a month. I don’t believe that was a coincidence. So, I was going back to church, reading, praying and everything was different compared to when I was a kid when I felt forced to go to church. It was a pleasure now.
Before I was a real christian, I wasn’t buddy-buddy with Dad because we didn’t have much in common, if anything. Now, my relationship with my dad felt different. I liked to talk to him about the Word. I enjoyed spending more time with him now… he also is what I would refer to as “my coffee buddy” because he was the only one I knew who had as much interest in coffee as a I did.
One day, I felt led to walk up to my parents, while they were in the room, and said…more or less…
“I just wanted to let you guys know that I love you.”
I think it caught both of them by surprise. My mom said that they loved me to and because I didn’t want anyone to feel awkward, I went to another room. My mom said that my dad asked her, “What’s wrong with that boy?” lol
That’s just the way my dad acted at times and I think he was shell-shocked.
I remember some time after that, I was getting ready for work and I walked past him sleeping in his chair. He looked so cute… like a little kid… that I wanted to kiss him on the top of his head. I resisted though because I thought it might be embarrassing (which I’m not proud of). This is just another sign of how God was dealing with me.
About a year later, my dad, who had epilepsy since he was a very young man passed away unexpectedly. The doctor suspected he had a heart attack in the middle of a seizure.
My brother said that it was the Lord’s grace that my dad passed this way because dad had said before that if he were to “go” that he would want it to be quick like a heart attack. What’s more, in responding to a question about whether he was aware of anything when he was in the middle of a seizure, he said no.
So, he may have passed without feeling any pain or being aware of anything being amiss.
The Lord’s grace is tremendous. I don’t even want to imagine how I would be if Dad passed and I still didn’t know God personally. And wasn’t certain, like I am now, that I will see him again.
The Lord did something with our relationship that would never have occurred without HIM.