Thursday, October 30, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Leave

Fair warning – this is going to be an emotional, hot mess. I knew the second I saw the prompt, what I would be writing. There are already tears pouring down my face. I’m sorry. I don’t know any other way to do it.

On Fridays a bunch of brave writers gather here to all spend five collective minutes writing on a single prompt. It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week. This blessed, beautiful place where we open our hearts and let words and tears and the inner workings of our lives bleed and flow and dance across the virtual pages. Yes, this community opens wide and invites you in to share. Come and visit and read. You will be blessed.

This week: Leave


It is terrible, awful place when you come to the point in your life when you have to seriously consider your parents’ mortality.

It’s not like this is a surprise. Birth. Life. Death.  It’s pretty well laid out an understood. But don’t we understand it on a completely different level when the birthing, living, and dying becomes the experience and story of someone we know? Someone who is close to our heart? Someone who is in our heart?

My father is in the hospital. Again. This is not a new thing. And perhaps, not even a surprise. He has been with us here on this earth for eighty years, and against so many odds, has remained with us through several strokes and other major illnesses.

Through it all, he has been a stalwart survivor. Beyond belief. Every time I got a call about another stroke; every time I had to get on a plane to fly home, I thought, “This is it. This is going to be the time I have to say goodbye.”

Three thousand miles away with no highway to get there is a rotten place to be when your family needs you. Just a plane. Which means hedging, and guessing, and planning – when to go, how long to hold off. What time is the right time? Let me tell you – there is no time. Not when your heart just wants to be there right this second for all the seconds that are left.

From a heaven-bound view, I am not worried. My father’s faith is my foundation and I know where he is headed. Part of me cheers because there will be no more pain. No more suffering. Only glory. Only life unending in the presence of the Savior.

But oh my heart – that is only part. As much as I can say, “the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord,” and “I know that my Redeemed lives, and at the end he shall stand on the earth,” and that in those passages lives the promise of redemption, resurrection, and reunion, there is part of me that goes all Dylan Thomas saying, “Do not go gentle into that good night; rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

God help me.
I am not ready to say goodbye to my father.
I am not ready for him to leave.


Here, that promise from Job - an exquisite rendering from Handel's Messiah

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  1. What a beautiful post. I know the waiting for your father's home-going is painful, to say the least. I'm sorry. I'm praying for you tonight. May God strengthen your family and give you many more seconds with your father this side of heaven.

    Stopping by from FMF.

  2. Oh, how I feel your pain! My mom had breast cancer for nine years in the States while I was in Cape Town, and your story is my story. In fact, I just finished writing such a similar rendition this week. So very, very sorry that you're having to endure this trial. May His grace be sufficient and His power made perfect in weakness, now and always.

  3. *hugs* dear Rebekah. I can't claim to know what you're going through, since my parents are still young. But I'm sending you lots of prayers.

    Love the bravery and honesty tonight. Your love for each other shines through each word!

  4. Oh my sweet friend... know that I am holding you up and holding you close... holding you out to Him! There really is just nothing more... lean in, even now... even with this! xoxo

  5. My prayers ascend and my love goes out to you, Rebekah, as you face the leaving.

  6. Hugs! I am praying for you Rebekah!

  7. Oh how I wish we were closer so I could just hug you and hold your hand through this since words don't seem to be enough but know that prayers are whispered to the Father who is with you always.

  8. Rebekah, sitting here with tears streaming. I can so relate. Just last night, I said to my husband, "I am not ready to live without my mom." She's 80 as well. We lost my MIL in April. On Tues., we admitted my FIL to a VA nursing home. Alzheimer's has at this point stolen all memory. Next week, my mom faces her own situation with an oncologist. Like you, I do not fear eternity for any of our parents as they are all believers. But they have all been so precious to our family, my heart aches. Praying for you, truly, because this morning I have the same aching in my heart. So grateful that one day, there will be no more leaving as we will have all of eternity together. May you know, that if I could, I would put my arms around you, hug you tight & probably have a good cry together!

  9. This post is beautiful! Praying that God comforts you, your Dad, and your family during this time.

  10. oh you precious thing. praying! Visiting from FMF-

  11. Rebekah, I will keep you, your father, and your family in my prayers.


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