I believe it was Mark Twain who once said "The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated."
What happened yesterday made me really appreciate my life and encouraged me not to give up. We all have so much to live for and so much for which to be thankful. Sometimes in the midst of our troubles we often forget that what we do as fathers has an impact that can last not only for a lifetime but for generations to come. Once you read this you can view the video and this will all make sense.
First of all, let me explain that although I live in North Carolina, my job requires that I spend a great deal of time on the West Coast and so I spend a lot of time on airplanes. Anyway, I was not having a good day at work. My sales have been down and I have been struggling to keep focused and really having a difficult time not feeling sorry for myself.
Eileen called me and put Kezzie on the phone. She was crying hysterically. She was yelling that "Papa died!" She was so convinced of this that Keren began screaming bloody murder that her Papa had died on the plane.
"Tell Kezzie you're alive please" Eileen told me..She was doing her best to calm the two girls but they were inconsolable. Ellie, hearing the commotion from her bedroom, came running in with a phone to prove I was still alive and with camera in hand, managed to capture most of it on video.
"Hi Kezzie, Papa is fine.....I did not die, did you have a bad dream? "
She was doing so much screaming that I had a hard time getting through to her. I was laughing and I kept assuring her that I was very much alive. I thought she may have awakened from her nap after dreaming that I had died, but that was not the case at all. What had happened was Eileen was reading a story to the girls in their bedroom as they were getting ready to go down for a nap. As they were wrapping up story time, the boys came in and she told them that Dr. Sevilla's Papa died and he was on an airplane on his way to the Phillipines. Well, that was all Kezzie needed to hear. She heard Papa died on an airplane and she LOST IT. She began yelling and screaming it to Keren who instantaneously joined in the hysteria. It was so funny that the boys were rolling on the floor.
"Papa, you died? on a airplane?" she asked.
"No, Kezzie, I did not go on an airplane. I am in my office, and I didn't die."
Wasn't it amazing that Kezzie and Rennie showed so much emotion? Eileen could not figure out how these little girls concluded in their little heads that their Papa had died, or what dying was for that matter. Jimmy reminded her that they had already experienced death when Grampa died a year ago this month. They miss him and realize he is never coming back. Never underestimate the comprehension of a two-year old.
I never thought that my passing would elicit that kind of reaction. I just never give my death much thought. I think about loved ones dying and how sad it is, but I just don't think about my own death too much. I guess because I know that since I gave my life to Jesus Christ I know where I am going to spend eternity.
But this caused me to remember that everything I do has an impact. I have people counting on me. Little children are looking to me for answers to life's questions. I can't die yet. I have too much left to do. It caused me to look away from myself and to throw those thoughts of self-pity in the trash can. It's not about you, this life. You are here to serve others. You are here to serve God. You are here to point these little children to Jesus and to pass that baton of faith to them so that when they have their own children they can do the same.
When I got home I gave my girls a big hug and kiss. They were really happy to see me. The fact that I did not die was now something to laugh about. And I remembered what precious gifts they are to me.
No, I did not die yesterday. God has that time appointed for me already and He has not shared that with me yet. But I got a glimpse of what my little girls will do when that day comes. And it makes me smile.