Two years ago at this time, we were celebrating my dad's last days of life. I know, celebrating sounds terrible, but that's how my dad did it! He knew he only had a little time so he made the most of it!
I remember that time like it was yesterday, I had only been in Louisiana for a couple of months getting training at the blind center when I got the phone call. My mom called on a Saturday morning in such deep sorrow; it was then she told me that my dad's cancer was back and that this time there was nothing that could be done. My heart sank and I felt like my whole world had fallen apart! I rushed to find people to help me get a ride to the airport (about an hour away) and to help me book a flight home. My wonderful, dear, sweet friend Pam helped me get all this done in such a quick manner. Well...it was quick by the clocks standars but for me the whole world started moving in slow motion. Although I got a flight only a few hours later, it felt like I was in one of those dreams where your running...
but not moving!
The airports were busy that day, the planes were packed with people and yet I could hear none of it! My body was numb and seemed to be moving on automatic pilot, and I could hear nothing but the sound of my own heart pounding. I finally got to the Salt Lake Airport after what seemed like a lifetime of waiting. When I got to my parent's house, the drive-way was full and the side of the street was lined...with cars...visitors to see my dad. Instead of being happy that so many people loved him, at that moment I was angry, angry that I had missed those few hours with him and that they all go to be there.
I opened the front door to my house and saw my dad sitting on the corner of the couch. Everyone moved out of my way and I ran to him and jumped on his lap with my arms around him, like I was 3 years old again. I hugged him and he hugged me, I couldn't cry and I couldn't speak I just buried my face is his chest wanting it to all go away!
I will never forget what my dad said to me then, "Oh Deja! I'm so, so glad you came!" "You are the only one that believes me when I say that I'm going to make it and I'm going to live". My dad was my best friend and he was right, often we were the only two people in the world that 'got each other'. At that moment, holding him and he holding me, I wanted so much to believe him; never was there another time in my life that I wanted so bad for him to be right! I pleaded in silent conversation with the Lord to let my dad be right just this one time!
My dad was given about six months to live but he passed away only 3 weeks after that afternoon I came running into his arms. He was right though, he was 'going to live' and he did those three weeks, more than many live in their entire life time. The slideshow below consists of several pictures, most of them taken during his last few weeks, hours and minutes of his life. A treasured collection of pictures on what it means to
LIVE, LOVE AND LAUGH!
For my purpose in still needing healing, and for other family members who do as well, I will be creating a blog for Our Angel Dennis shortly. Plus, I imagine some of you get a little tired about hearing how great my dad was...I can't help it!
Each year, when September comes to an end and October begins, I will reflect on those last weeks I got to share with my sweet dad and remember life is meant to be lived in these small hours...