Thursday, November 20, 2014

"The Morning After"

(Dad would often tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree to highlight homecomings at our homeplace. So, we tied one around the old oak to mark Dad's homegoing.) 

There was a pop song that I heard frequently on the radio when I was in my teen years titled, "There's Got to Be a Morning After." Well, today is exactly that-- "the morning after" my Daddy's homegoing service.

Yesterday, our family's life overflowed with emotions of every kind and embraces from every direction. We were humbled by friends and loved ones who came from both near and far to help us officially remember our Dad's life and to enlarge our Hope of being reunited with him and Jesus one day in Heaven.

However, after the 1 1/2 hour celebration service at the Free Grace Wesleyan Church and the 1/2 hour graveside send-off at Virgie Mae Cemetery, everyone had to, of course, depart and return to their own lives. 

My brother, Billy Joe, was the last of our crowd to leave last evening, but not before the two of us drove after sunset back to Daddy's fresh, flower-covered grave. As we stood hugging each other with flashlights shining, our lingering numbness finally gave way to the raw reality that our Daddy is not coming back to be with us. But we will eventually go to be with him. 

I awoke this morning at 5:30 a.m. I slowly made my way into the living room. Mom soon joined me and now we sit together in the silence. Yes, "There's Got to Be a Morning After" and this is it. 

Sitting here in the dim light, Mom is whispering prayers under her breath. She just looked at me and said, "The last eleven months have been a whirlwind and today 'I just feel out of it'".

My son, Grayson, just entered the room and now Mom has transitioned to testifying. She said, "When you pray 'not my will but Thine be done', you just have to totally trust God with all that takes place." Grayson's reply? "'Not my will but Thine be done' is a dangerous prayer." Then he said to Mom with assurance: "When we have all left, Nana, just remember you are not alone." This morning my immediate family will leave to return for Virginia and I will stay with Mom for a bit longer before I also depart.

I am so overwhelmed with the outpouring of compassion that so many people in our lives have shown to us in Dad's season of cancer and the strong support lasted right up until this week when we sent him on ahead of us to Heaven. 

So, yes, "There's Got to Be a Morning After", and this is it and while there is a tremendous sense of loss in our lives, we mostly feel blessed, hopeful and...

... Grateful  

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