Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"I Want to Go Home"

The last time I was at my parent's home my Father was dying. Daddy always had a fear of hospitals and he had made it perfectly clear that he did not want to die anywhere but home. I was so grateful that I could be there to make sure his wish was honored.
The last week of his life he had moments of clarity and moments of confusion. Sometimes he would look at me and say, "I want to go home" and I always said the same thing hoping that the repetition would settle his mind.
"Daddy you are at 102 Holliswood Road. This is where we always have the family picnics. Eddie Parsons walks down the driveway so proud carrying Janice's casserole and we all hold hands and say the blessing before we eat. See? Here is your big old heavy dresser."
Daddy Jay would smile, nod a little yes and drift back to sleep.
After a while he would look at me and say, "I want to go home."
I didn't want him to be afraid or troubled so I would launch into the same song - second verse.
A friend gave me a copy of "Glimpses of His Glory" written by her friend (who is a Hospice nurse) the week I ended up unexpectedly going home. I had thrown it in my suitcase as I left town in a hurry. I read it in stolen moments that week and learned that often for the Christian "Home" becomes heaven before they die and many begin to long to see their family and friends who have gone there before them.
I quit my recitings and began to say "OK Papa."
Next week I'll go back home. It will be the first time in my life that Daddy Jay won't be in the den waiting for me. He won't put down the paper, whistle and call "Hey, Doody Ann!"
Now I understand there is see-saw in this life that first begins to balance, then shift between those we love here and those we love in Heaven.
As each loved one makes that journey I realize what seemed like a scary thing in my youth feels more and more like a pull toward "Home".
I sure do look forward to going to Louisville next week to see my Mother and kids but now I know in my heart there are two meanings to that longing and I want to go home -- too.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Suzanne,

    How well I remember the first time I walked into my parent's den and realized I'd never again see Daddy in his chair reading his morning newspaper. My prayers are with you this week.

    I saw the icon for your blog tonight (saved to my desktop) and logged on, thinking, "I wonder if Suzanne has written anything more since she started that blog?"

    Boy, have you. I read --and loved-- every word. You are so, so...YOU! So funny, so creative, so down-to-earth. If I can't pop by to see you, this is the next best thing.

    Hugs and safe travels,