My dad is dying. The end appears really close. I've been with him the last three nights, and he won't eat, get out of bed, or respond beyond an occasional grunt. He sleeps throughout the day, stirring only occasionally for a few moments. For the one evening his eyes were open, it was as if he were gazing blankly into space. He is in the last stages of Alzheimer's disease, where he has lost his ability to speak and now even walk. My brothers are coming in this weekend from California, Tennessee, and Florida to say their good-byes. It is a sad time in the Huie household.
And yet, at the same time we rejoice. We rejoice in the life and legacy of the man I call Dad, the man who enlivened in me a love for God and a love for ministry, the man who was my preaching professor, the man whom I love so dearly.
My last remotely cogent exchange with Dad was two weeks ago, as I read to him the sermon I was going to preach the next day. Dad just sat there silently staring at me with his mouth open. As I finished reading with my typical "Thanks be to God" ending, Dad responded in what seemed like his last moment of clarity. "Thanks be to God," he whispered. He then just seemed to fade back into never-never land.
Indeed "Thanks be to God" that my father will soon be going home. I imagine Mom will be there to greet him, along with my nephew Ryan. May God bless that man.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.
Prayer for Today
O God, into your hands we commend Dad's spirit, as we do all our loved ones who have entered into life triumphant. Amen.