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Rose Petals

Rose Petals: Make Him Whole Again

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Kathleene Runnels is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or
November 22, 2012 | 1,456 views | Post a comment

In this season of holidays and family and reminiscing, I'm of course thinking of my parents, both gone now. Mother passed this last February; Daddy, way back in 1982. This is about Daddy's passing:

It was a Monday night, March, 1982. The layover in Phoenix was endless. All I could do was pray that Daddy wouldn’t die before I got home. Over and over I prayed, “Please let him live so I can see him once more. Don’t let him die before I get home.” For my own sense of hope and peace, I had to say it again and again. Even after we boarded and were in flight; even when we picked up our car at the airport parking lot; even on the short trip, which did not seem short at all, to the hospital downtown, I prayed that prayer without ceasing.

On the Thursday afternoon prior, Franklin and I had stopped by the hospital to visit Daddy, who had just checked back in that day. He had been in and out of the hospital since early January. It was heart failure, and once the doctors had gotten his medicines figured out, he had seemed to rally. But then, about a week before, he started failing again. Unfortunately, what had happened was that when told to start on a different heart med, he had stopped one of his others, rather than combining the two. And that slip-up caused severe damage. But we didn’t realize that this wasn’t just another short hospital visit; another visit to make yet another adjustment. He was weak and needed oxygen, but he was in good spirits. I sat and held his hand....

I called him on Friday afternoon before we left, but as I checked in with Mother from time to time while on this trip, it became evident that Daddy was not going to make it. And here I was, on a blasted ski trip, hundreds of miles away. I should have been home.

When I called on Sunday afternoon, Daddy answered and was hardly audible and said he was heavily sedated. He said Mom was out for a walk. I don’t think he understood much of what I said, because later Mother said that Daddy told her I had called and had just said, “Hello, Daddy.” I had also told him I loved him.

We reached the hospital at 12:40am on Tuesday, March 16. God had let him live till I returned, although he was in deep sleep with irregular, light breathing. Not realizing the meaning of that, I stayed only about 20 minutes, then Mother and I agreed that I would go back in a couple of hours to take over the vigil.

At 2:00 am, I crawled into bed for a quick nap before going back to sit with him, but now I prayed a different prayer. I thanked God for letting me see him again alive, and how I wished to talk to him again, but what I really wanted for him now was to have him whole again. So I lay in bed praying and sobbing that God would hurry and relieve him from his sixty years of physical suffering (his first injury happened when he was a boy) and take him home and make him whole again. And at that instant, Mother called and said he was officially gone, although there was still a pulse. There was God ~~ right there, listening and answering. When I let go, God took him. He went home where there is no more pain. Daddy was whole again.
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