On Eagle's Wings
May 14, 2023 | by The Fellowship
I have only one Father (“who art in Heaven”), but God blessed me with a wonderful dad while I journey here on earth -- for which I am eternally grateful. God answered my prayer for him in his time of need and this is HIStory:
Our loving Father in Heaven orchestrated my life in such a way that I was available to be with both my parents, who were in their 90’s, during their hospice seasons and passing into eternity. My mom went home to be with our Lord on January 11, 2022, in Michigan. I was able to be there for her because I had unexpectedly retired and was married to a man whose residence was less than a mile from where my parents lived. When she passed away, I told my dad that I would like to treat him to a vacation back at my other home in Texas. His reply was, “I do not want just a vacation, I want to move there.” So off we went.
The very night Dad moved into Independent Living at his new senior residence in Katy, a medical condition surfaced that led to an emergency room visit. Not too long later, he had a fall resulting in a fracture – so he switched to Assisted Living. Many other episodes followed which kept him busy going to hospitals, rehabs, and doctors. He was confined to a wheelchair for quite some time. Then he miraculously bounced back, graduated to using his walker, and was getting around like a pro. Clearly, God was not finished with him.
My dad was an artist, specializing in watercolor. But in this final season of life, pencil sketches became his forte. He kept a sketch pad, pencil, and kneaded eraser (that artists use) in his walker and was always at work, creating live portraits of those in his retirement community. Everybody loved him. He was a light for Jesus wherever he went. Even when challenged with hardships, he was filled with the joy of the Lord. This was most evident the last day I saw him.
On Wednesday, May 3rd, I stopped by for a quick visit as he was enjoying his dinner. The following day, I received a call from his residence stating that they found him on the floor around 9 a.m. I was told that he was not himself the evening prior, and that he had gone to bed early. Normally, he was the first to wake up in the morning and be out and around, awaiting breakfast. Not so on May 4th. At 8 a.m. the staff checked on him and he was still resting. A bit later he was checked on again, and this time he was on the floor. I sent out an emergency request to the Prayer Team and family members for God to intervene for my dad.
I rushed to his side as soon as I got the call and found him in the common area, slumped over and drooling. Clearly, he was not himself. He had suffered a stroke which left both his right side and his speech impaired. He is right-handed, so not only could he not speak, but no longer could he produce the art that kept him going. It was devastating to see him in such a condition.
I normally would come by every other day or so to visit but kept reminding him that I was scheduled to be away for an extended amount of time to visit with my husband -- who is still working in Michigan. Each time I left him, he would ask. “When will I see you again?” I assured him it would be soon, but in less than two weeks I was scheduled to leave for Michigan. But how could I leave him in this condition? He had bounced back so many times before. Maybe this was like all those other times, and he would recover and keep going. His appetite still seemed to be good, even though he required help to eat. “Lord, have mercy on my dad, and either heal him or carry him on Your eagle’s wings in this time of need,” was my prayer.
On Friday, May 5th, I visited him for half the day. I left him in his room, watching ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and resting comfortably. As I left, I could see in his eyes the question: “When will I see you again?” Though he could not vocalize it, I said it for him and assured him that even though I had to work the polls the next day, I would be back soon. Just then an attendant came in and was joking with him and making him smile. That was the last smile I saw. Deformed as it was due to his stroke – it was most precious!
I got the call later that night saying after dinner he was found in his bed having departed this life. God heard my prayer for mercy and answered my cry for help. Thank you, Jesus, for my wonderful dad and for bringing him home to be with you at just the right time. You are SO good!
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.