I’m not giving measurements here I’m proving a point. The point being. I wasn’t meant to be there!
Be where, you ask?
Be at the bedside of Ned, my dad, the night he died.
At the midnight hour on October 29, my sister and I left the Elizabeth House. Ned was snoring when we left. Our brother, David, was staying in the room with him, while Mom and her friend Norma slept outside the room.
Exhaustion overwhelmed me on the 10 minute drive home. Stepping into my house, I knew I had to get in the bed.
In typical fashion, I plugged my phone up! It stays in my kitchen. I always keep it on vibrate. I detest the ringtone and have trained my ears to hear the moan.
Terry’s phone sleeps beside mine and his irritating ringer is generally always on.
Amy was also home with us that evening and she sleeps with her phone, like most teenagers do!
In other words, a call should be heard. Right?
At 2:30 AM, drowsy Amy comes into our bedroom, crosses in front of the bed, and over to her dad’s side and starts chanting, “Mom, Mom you need to wake up. You have a phone call”. She hands me her phone and the first thing I do is hit the end call button! (That’s how out of it I was.). I hand her the phone back and say call back.
After a couple of rings, my brother answers and says, “Sissy, he’s gone.” He can’t talk and hands the phone to my sister who says, “We’ve been trying to call you. Daddy died at 2:00! We’ve called the funeral home and they’ll be here to get his body in about 30 minutes. Do you want to come see him before they take him?”
I blurted out a quick and emphatic, “No! I said goodbye earlier and he was breathing. I don’t care to come.”
Upon hanging up, I tried laying back down but the exhaustion had subsided into mountains of tears. I knew Terry needed sleep and if I kept crying, he wouldn’t get any. So, I got up!
Tears streamed down my face. It was the ugly cry. I fought back the urge to thrust myself to the ground and scream. (Fully aware that the entire household would get no sleep if I did)
Between sobs, God reminded me of two very important things.
First, at the very beginning of Ned’s 19 month journey, I had asked God for a few very specific things. One that He would show me when to go and when not to go! Two that I would go with the right attitude and heart and never, ever go based on guilt. Three that He would always get me there right on time, every time!
Second He reminded me of the anger and frustration I felt towards my Mom after my biological Daddy died. I saw him the night before his death. I was not allowed to go to his funeral. I remained embittered with rage, directed at Mom, for years because she didn’t allow me to go. She would always say, “I didn’t want you to remember him that way. I wanted your last memory of him to be a live memory.
Just then it dawned on me, God had orchestrated this whole thing, 41 years ago. He knew I didn’t need to see either Dad dead but alive. He knew my last memory of both should bring me joy! Joy that the struggle had ended and “He (Jesus) will swallow up death in victory” Isaiah 25:8
The numbers above represent the number of calls made between 1:00AM and 2:30AM on Sunday October 29, 2017.
My phone was called 18 times. Terry’s phone was called 5! Like afore mentioned, Terry’s annoying ringer is usually on. However, because he had been with me at the Elizabeth House, it was turned off. Amy’s phone, which sleeps on her pillow was called 8 times before it woke her up!
Was I suppose to be there?!! Absolutely, positively NOT!
I trusted God to take me and without fail or falter, He did. Every time and right on time. It was never his intention or plan to have me there when Ned took his last breath. Just as it was never his intention or plan for me to see my daddy lying dead in a casket.
The lesson I learned is that when I ask God and believe that He is good to keep his word, He will not disappoint or fail me. Never!!!!