I held my father in my arms as he died. I cried because I loved my father. He was always there during my life when I needed him. I was glad that I could be there when he needed me. My father loved his children and it upset him when my youngest brother, Josh, was shot and killed by a drunken man. My father knew that Josh would be his son again because he understood that the Gospel of Jesus Christ gives the hope and promise that our family will be together again after this life. He taught me that God was in control of our lives and that if we lived His commandments that everything would be fine after this life. When coming home to my Brother John’s missionary farewell, my brother Joseph died in a plane crash. We had a farewell on Sunday and a funeral on Monday. My father was sad, but he knew that God had a plan and that we were to be tested on this earth. He still had faith. When my oldest brother as an infant died after birth, my parents had ten more children. When my father became sick those last few years of his life, it was a privilege to help my mother and family members take care of him. On his bad days he was always in pain and a little grumpy, but then he would say, “Thank you for being here.” He loved his family and he was proud of each one of his sons and daughters.
My father had taught me many lessons during my life. He loved learning and reading. He knew facts that most people would never learn. He taught me about giving service to others. I remembered there were always young college students staying at our home because they couldn’t afford tuition. He would help them out. My father taught me about charity. He would go to the grocery store and buy food for anyone that didn’t have any. He would act like Santa Claus bringing bags of food to people on his route home. Dad taught me about the importance of God in our lives. He would tell anyone about his faith in God and how everyone needs to come to Christ. As a result, he converted many people to the gospel of Jesus Christ. My dad taught me about courage. He went behind the Iron Curtain and taught the gospel to anyone who would listen to him. He had no fear of arrest or the possible consequences of talking religion in that country. He thought only of converting souls unto Christ. Dad was always happiest when he was talking to people about the questions of life.
I was lifting him back into bed after he had eaten lunch that day when he died. I will always be grateful that I was present when it happened so my mother didn’t have to be there by herself. I was able to help by comforting her in this time of need. I called the funeral home to come and take my dad. I cried as I thought and realized that I would never again be able to ask his advice. I wouldn’t be able to talk about the news, family, politics, and his life experiences.
Now that he has been dead for a few years, I still remember and love him but he is still in my life. I miss this man; there is emptiness in my life with him gone, but I feel his presence and his love. I still think of him almost every day and ask myself: “What would he teach me today?” Then I remember the greatest lesson that he has ever given me is the gift of faith and the knowledge that I will see him again. Life goes on after this life.
I love my Dad.