Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Day My Daddy Died

I opened my email today to receive a very comforting letter from my Solomon. One of the first thoughts I had when my Daddy died last week was about my Solomon. I now know what it is like to lose your father. I had compassion for him when he told me about losing his dad when he was 7 yrs old. But now I personally know the pain of losing my Popo. It really hurts!! Even though we had hospice coming for a little over a year and we knew Daddy was dying, I didn't expect it to hurt this bad. I was praying for the Lord to call him home to put him out of his pain and suffering. I thought his passing would be sad but a blessing and even comforting. But WOW, it really hurts. I feel like someone shot a cannon ball at my house and there is a giant hole in the wall. I feel his absence so strongly. I feel like an orphan...I can never see my daddy again, or ask his advice, or ask him to fix something, or ask him what he wants to eat today! Today, as I was planning our menu I decided to make albondigas soup. Then I burst into tears because this is one of Daddy's absolute favorites!! I met my neighbor in the store today and thanked her for the sympathy card she sent. When she hugged me and told me she was so sorry, I just lost it again! I am almost 50 yrs old and I still just want my DADDY!!!

We have had the blessing of Mommy & Daddy living with us for the past 5 years. Every day we kiss them good morning and goodnight. Every meal is planned with them in mind. Even though they live downstairs, we interact every day and in many decisions. The boys were so blessed to have a special memory with Daddy. The night before he died, they went down to say goodnight. This was the first time Daddy had been unconcious most of the day. When Jeremiah climbed up and said "Goodnight Grampa" and kissed him, Daddy woke up from his unconscious state, looked at him and puckered up his lips to kiss him and mumbled to him. Jimmy was right behind him and then Daddy slipped back into his deep sleep. Jeremiah got so excited saying; "MAMA, did you see that? Grampa woke up and kissed me!"

That night I decided to spend the night with my Daddy. I put a chair next to his hospital bed and laid my head on his shoulder with half of my body in his bed. He was burning with fever and was struggling to breathe. He had pneumonia and his lungs were filling with fluid. I held his hand from 1:00 am until 5:00 a.m when my brother arrived from Florida. I spent the whole time gently rubbing his head and face and talking and singing to him. I am not a singer by any means but I just felt compelled to sing praises and worship songs to help guide him into the arms of Jesus. I was singing "Amazing Grace" and "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus". I put on the Gaither Going Home videos that we bought him for Christmas a few years back and sang along. He told me he always felt so good inside when he watched these videos. They are all gospel songs about going to Heaven. I was telling him all about Heaven as described in the book of Revelation. I was telling him how much I loved him and thanked him for being such a wonderful Dad and Grampa. Even though he was not conscious, he was squeezing my hand and mumbling. When I would let go of his hand to get tissues (I was crying most of the time)he would reach out with his hand for me to hold it again. He would turn his head closer to me when I was singing as if it was comforting to him. I am so grateful that I had this very special and precious time with my Daddy. He was a wonderful father and Grandpa. When my brother arrived, I felt like he should have some quality time with daddy so I said goodbye to my Popo. My brother took the chair and his hand and stayed with him until he passed away 8 hours later.

Daddy departed this earth in the arms of my brother Chuck, my son Jonathan and son in law Randy, with Mommy right there at his feet. He again woke up for a second, looked at each of them, his face looked like he was going to cry and then he sighed as he just quietly left his body. I believe he was saying goodbye... What a blessing to have had him leave us from his loving home and in the arms of his loved ones. This has been a very beautiful yet painful experience. My immediate response when he left was to cry out "THANK YOU JESUS! THANK YOU FOR BLESSING ME WITH MY DADDY, THANK YOU FOR HIS PRECIOUS LIFE, THANK YOU FOR TAKING AWAY HIS PAIN. PLEASE KEEP HIM SAFE WITH YOU. THANK YOU JESUS!!" The room immediately was filled with all of our family and we wept together as we felt Daddy's presence leave the house.

That morning my dear friend Mary had picked the boys up to play at her house. We expected it to be a rough day for Daddy. Sure enough, he passed away at approximately 2:00 pm. Randy went to get the boys so they could say goodbye to Grampa. When they came into his bedroom, I told them Grampa was gone; that he was going to see Jesus and his body was asleep but he was not in it anymore. They all three wanted to climb up on Grampa and kiss him goodbye. It was so precious to watch them stroking Daddy's face, rubbing their fingers through his hair and kissing his face. Josiah was even trying to look into his mouth to see if he was still in there. They stayed with daddy for about 15 minutes, very quiet and just staring at him and rubbing his arms, face and head. They were so serious and we could tell they were just taking it all in. They love their Grampa sooooo much! He was such a joker and always played with them. They loved to climb into his chair, on his lap and watch TV with him, or to climb in his bed and cuddle with him. I thank God that they were blessed to have such a special relationship with their Grampa. It was so precious to have had the experience to be a part of his death as well his life. It was very peaceful.

My entire family and I have been blessed beyond what anyone can imagine! From the day Daddy died and for the next 6 days, our dear friends, our body of Christ started delivering meals three times a day. From drinks, paper goods, meals, desserts, flowers, hugs, kisses and PRAYERS! Our house was full of relatives from NY to FL and the table was constantly full of food. The team of disciples arrived in the a.m. and set up breakfast while we were still asleep. They delivered lunch and dinner and I didn't have to lift a finger. I have never, nor has any of my family from out of state, ever seen such an outpouring of love and support. It was like a revolving door of blessing upon blessing. The day of the Memorial Service, we came home to a full buffet set up in the dining room. It was like a banquet table. My sweet and dear sister/bestfriend Mary stayed the entire time and served us all. When my family came in a saw this, they all burst into tears because DADDY LOVED TO EAT! We all said he would have loved to have been here for this feast in his honor. My dear sweet sister/bestfriend Beth came to me, embraced me and said, "Don't worry, he is eating at the table with Jesus and he is eating a feast so mucn better than this!! We are eating sour grapes compared to what he is eating." This was such a comfort to my heart. I knew that to be true. The heavenly feast can not compare to what we have here on earth. My sweet Beth & Mary have been my dear,dear friends for 14 years now always by my side to encourage me and keep me focused on the Lord. All my sisters in Christ, Beth Herbert, Mary Moore, Theresa Haven, Sue Thorpe, all the sisters from our Homeschool coop, and our church came together as one and the Light of JESUS was radiantly glowing in our home. Many relatives came that are not believers and I am sure they were very aware that there was something very different about this Memorial Service and this 6 day event. Through the entire time, I felt the presence of the LORD, his peace and his comfort and I felt like we were walking on Holy ground. What a blessing, honor, privilege and JOY to be surrounded by the Holy Spirit at work through his disciples. There are truly no words to express the gratitude that Jerry and I feel as well as the entire family. I just can't thank you all enough, I can't adequately express my gratitude . I pray each and every one of you will be blessed tenfold to what you gave us!! You all served the Savior of our souls and HIS LIGHT WAS RADIANT!!!

This is the letter from my precious Solomon:

Hello my sweet Mom,
I so sorry about your father. I am very sad when I heard about you dad
from Christy and Ryan. I don't know why God do this. I lost all my
family when I was child. In that time I upset by the thing God did to
me. My life was full of sorrow. I hadn't a value for my life at all. I
didn't understand God had a plan for me. After several years he
brought you into my life. This is the special gift that I got from
God. You see mom I lost my parents but God give me a family that I
love them dearly. So mom all the thing happened to you may be God have
his own plan. Be strong ok mom. I pray for your father soul God to put
right side of Abraham soul and to live in heaven peacefully.
I met with Christy and Ryan today and they told me everything about
your father. In that time I couldn't control my self. I was very sad
and cried after they left me. They also gave for me a Mamas kiss, hug
and 200 birr. They are generous and beloved. You have many good
Mom, I can't say more things now. I am very sad and cry. I hope that
the above words strength you. I know that how it painful to lost a

I pray for all of you the following in every night

"God please keep my family from sorrow and sadness. Please bless my
family and protect my family from any danger." I love all of you to

Your loving son Solomon Mestas


Robin said...

Oh Eileen....I am sooo very sorry. Losing a beloved parent is heart wretching. But what an amazing testimony to an incredible family that walks daily with the Lord. I wish I had more words of comfort for you, but honestly, after losing my mom almost 4 years ago now, it's really, really hard. Take the time to grieve, embrace it, and most of all, celebrate his life and his legacy!

Betharoo said...

Please pass on to Solomon what a blessing his letter is to us also. I read it aloud this morning to my family at about 7:30. It was so touching... Our family's love to you and yours during this time of transition. Give Betty hugs from us!

Jim and Debbie said...

How beautiful. Thank you for sharing your love for your father and Solomon's love for you.
May He bless you all with His perfect peace,
The Waltons

Anonymous said...

I relived the loss of my handsome and special father-in-law through your latest blog and though I read it with tears in my eyes I too can say I felt something special. It was a bittersweet time to be with the family from our special grand-babies all the way up to Mommy. I enjoyed the laughter, tears and all the special memories and funny stories of Daddy.

Please, please let your wonderful church family and others know how very thankful Chuck, Lauren and I are for their unending show of support. I kept just saying "WOW".

We love you all and Eileen, may your pain and loss lessen with each passing hour. - Cyndee

Melissa A. Mestas said...

Eileen, I know we spoke recently of your Dad's passing, but you brought me back once again to the pain and joy of losing a father just by reading your story. You have such a great relationship with your Dad and yes, it is and will still be painful each time you think of him whether it be today or even 10-15 years from now! A girl will always miss her Dad at any age especially when a strong bond has been built from day one. God Bless you, Eileen, and your family! I love you with all my heart!