So I will admit that I am quick to criticize when someone is rude or nasty to me. I tend to puff up and say ‘They have no right treating me like that!’ I then have to talk myself down and remind myself you never know what is going on in their life. You never know what is happening that day to make them like that. I think about that today my birthday! A day that is supposed to be full of fun and joy. It is! Don’t get me wrong! I have lots of friends that have wished me a happy birthday. We are going out to dinner later with Cameron’s family and the birthday celebrations will only continue for the next few days. But there’s a little bit of sadness still in my heart…
I remember this day two years ago vividly. My father was in the Hospice House here in Oklahoma City. We had moved him from my parents house to the Hospice House just a few days prior. We already had one moment where we thought it was the end, but he rallied and fought for a few more days. He fought a few days to March 1st. My mom talked to him throughout the day, he wasn’t conscious at this point, telling him to just make it through this day. She didn’t want him to pass on my birthday. We all hung out in the room with him until lunch time. He seemed very stable, so we left to go have lunch at Cameron’s grandma’s for my birthday. We went back to his room and spent the afternoon. He seemed to be doing really well, I mean as well as you can in your final days. My in-laws gave Cameron and me their tickets to go see Camelot that evening. I really struggled with whether to take the tickets and go but we all decided it would be good for me. My dad seemed stable there was no need to not enjoy a little part of my birthday. So we left, I got dressed up and we went out for a date night. I told my mom to call immediately if anything changed. I was ready to walk out of the play if needed. So we went.
We enjoyed the play, I had some wine to drink during the play. It was nice to escape for a few moments. We could tell the play was wrapping up. There was probably about 10 minutes left of the play and then the text came to Cameron’s phone. “Danny has gone to be with the Lord.” No warning, no struggle, just peacefully he passed away.
We ran out of the theatre. Cameron didn’t show me the text till out of the theatre. I nearly collapsed in his arms. I knew this moment was coming, but honestly nothing prepares you for it till it actually happens. We ran to car. We drove to the Hospice House as fast as we could. I was the first of the family there. It was nice. My mom and I got to have a sweet moment just the two of us. We held each other and cried. The tears were a weird mix of emotions that seem so wrong when I describe them. I was obviously sad that he was gone. There wasn’t a miracle healing on this earth but rather a heavenly healing. I also felt relief that it was over. His fight, his pain, his struggle, was finally over. He was in peace, he was whole, and more importantly he was in the presence of the Lord Almighty!
So I share this birthday with my dad, my earthly birthday…his heavenly birthday. The pain gets better, the tears get fewer. There are days that I still hurt and I ache. So I am excited it is my birthday. I am happy and joyful! I also have a little bit of sadness, a little bit of sorrow as I remember what this day was for us two years ago.
Happy Heavenly birthday dad! I miss you so much. I had an ice cream cone in your honor today. I know that soft serve ice cream was one of your favorite things.