Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Not Goodbye - See you Later.....


Yesterday I drove to Columbus, all of 85 miles away from Dayton, to pick up daughter, son-in-law and grand daughter. From there, son #2 drove us to Wellington, another 92 miles away. It is there we saw my father-in-law, daughter's grandfather, grand daughter's great grandfather.

My father-in-law is simply 'dad'. I've been blessed to have three fathers - my heavenly Father, my dad and my husband's dad.

And now my dad will soon be leaving us to move to a much better place. He's been in pain for awhile now as a result of a medication he's been on for years that has rendered his bones very brittle. He bent over one day and ended up with multiple fractures in his back.

I didn't see this frail man lying in the hospital bed in the living room. Instead, I saw the man my husband referrred to privately as "the little stallion" - a name his dad's coworkers called him many times. This is the man who worked hard all his life in construction - mostly bridges. My husband once told me his dad was laid off once and one of the kids got sick and he bartered with the doctor: carpentry for medical care. Money was very tight. He vowed he would never be laid off again - and he kept that promise.

Every time we would take a drive and see a bridge in construction, my dear husband would comment "Dad would love to see this bridge". He passed on to his oldest son the skill of working with people. This skill has served my husband well in his current job in Iraq.

The day before we left, I decided it was time to make dad a prayer quilt. There's a wonderful story behind this quilt. I belong to an online quilting club called "Quilters Who Care" ....and indeed, they do. One of the ladies came up with a database - one can sign up to make a 6 1/2" square with a heart (appliqued or paper pieced), heart on cream-on-cream. I immediately signed up. Anyone can offer up the name of one of the ladies who was having a hard time - whether it be a family problem, loss of a friend - or in my case, my husband leaving for Iraq. Within a month of Riley leaving, 6 1/2" square blocks came in - thirteen of them. Twelve of them made it into dad's small prayer quilt.

I posted to the group a thanks to the ladies who sent in a heart ....and the replies were heart warming. Indeed, these are quilters who very much care.

I'll be driving up once a week to see dad and mom...for as long as dad is with us. He's ready to go anytime - and I have the faith he'll be dancing with the angels soon. It won't be goodbye - but see you later, dad....where we can have lots of laughs when we meet again.

I quilt.


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