Thursday, May 03, 2007

Sadness and Hope

My father has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. As bad as that is, it didn't come as a surprise. He's been losing his memory, and ability to stay focused, for a while. Some days he's more lucid that others. The bottom line is he's going down hill.

Watching my father's health fail reminds me of just how fragile our lives really are. Every week I continue to steel myself for the time when I will finally get the call that he has passed away.

My father has always led an active life. He enjoys the outdoors: hunting, fishing, camping, and so on. He's a retired carpenter, building hundreds of homes for families to live in, for most of his adult life. As he got older, he couldn't keep up with the younger carpenters, and eventually had to retire. I don't think he liked the idea.

Because of his age, he's not able to do many of these things like he used to. He still goes fishing once in a while, but then only when one of his friends takes him with. Mostly he sleeps, reads, or watches old westerns on TV.

It’s sad to me that he can't participate in life more fully, and his ultimate demise cannot be denied. I understand, however, that his death will not be the end. I believe in an afterlife. When my father dies, he won't be burdened any longer by pain, a failing body, and a failing mind. He'll be able to go to the spirit world and participate fully in the activities there. I think they’ll put him to work.

I also believe that, some time after Christ returns to the earth, all who have died will be resurrected, the spirit joined once again to a physical body. This new body will be perfect. It won't be subject to the thousands of problems that time is now ravaging on my father. He'll be whole, once again.

I'm not looking forward to day my father dies. It's going to be hardest on my mother, who isn't getting any younger, either. But I take comfort in knowing that, while his family will miss him terribly for a time, we'll be together again at a future time, whole, healthy, and complete.

How do I know this truth? My Dad taught it to me. Thanks, Dad.

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