5/10/41 - 12/12/05
Years ago my father read the book, "The Blessing" by John Trent and Gary Smalley. I knew it effected his life, but not until  years ago today did I realize how much.
On this date, December 12, 2005 my father suddenly, unexpectedly died. He was out doing yard work and getting his garage ready to make wooden puzzles for his 3 new grandchildren. His wife called him at 5 o'clock to tell him she would be home shortly. He told her he wanted to quickly finish what he was doing before it got too cold. Less than 10 minutes later when she pulled around the corner to their home she saw him sprawled out on the driveway. She ran to him and tried to rouse him, but he breathed about 3 more times and was gone.
Earlier that summer, Dad had told me that he had a spiritual connection to his wife. Each morning when she was getting ready for work, he said, he slept right through, but when she pulled the door closed he instantly woke. He said it was like his spirit knew she had departed the house.
I believe that his spirit waited to depart his body until his wife was present.
That morning he had called my sister, more than half the nation away. She had recently had a baby and he hadn't yet seen pictures. He spent more than an hour on the phone with her talking and looking at pictures of his newborn grandson online.
The week before his death he was coming home from where he worked in Branson, Missouri and he made a point to stop by each of his aging relatives' homes, including his father, "because you never know when you won't see them again." He had stopped and talked with each one and taken pictures.
Three days before he died, he called me. At the time our family was living in Manila, Philippines. I remember distinctly that we talked, he talked to each of the children and after that he got back on the line with me. He told me he loved me. He told me he was proud of me and the way I was raising my family. And we said goodbye, like the kind of goodbye when you'll talk again next week or tomorrow if you want.
In that conversation my dad gave me "The Blessing". He had no way of knowing what was to come. There were no signs, no illness. But he made sure I knew of his love. And in that he could not have given me a better gift. For the rest of my life I will carry around the blessing he gave me. He could very well have left me wondering. He could very well have left things unsaid. He could have left me with the burden of past hurts. But, he chose, consciously, to bless me. What a precious gift that is to me.
My dad was not the perfect father, far from it. His faults and mistakes far outweighed his good points, and he had accepted that. But in the last years he strove to be better, do better, and love more. And he lived those years making ready for a day he knew would come but didn't know when. At the very end of his life he succeeded. He went out with a blessing and I am sure he received his blessing from Jesus Himself when he heard Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"
Thank you Dad for loving me, and telling me so. I will try to give the same blessing to my children. I miss you and your long, boring, corny jokes. I miss talking to you each week. I love you. Hug Jesus for me, and my babies. Love, Karina