Today I’m Sharing a Loss with You

My dad, Arthur Manning

It has been two jam-packed months since I’ve posted a blog, and that hardly seems possible to me. As I told you way back then, Bob and I moved my parents in with us on September 8. And then we had Hurricane Irma blow through. Both of these events generated a lot of work, but we were happy and relieved to have Mom and Dad with us.

We were all making the adjustment just fine, and Mom and Dad were feeling settled, when on October 2 my dad began to decline. Just the week before, Dad, who was 94, told me he was glad they were with us. That was a big deal, because moving wasn’t his idea. But it clearly was God’s timing and his amazing grace and mercy for them to be in our home.

On Thursday, October 19, Dad breathed his last and was ushered into the presence of God – the God he loved and gave his life to over forty years ago. I am confident of where Dad is now, and I am grateful that he has a new body. His old one was clearly worn out. Dad was very hard of hearing and had gone completely blind over a year ago. The last weeks of his life he could no longer walk or even stand. The VITAS Hospice group were our constant companions, and we are forever grateful for their support.

In many ways, I can’t believe he is gone. Wasn’t it just yesterday that he would call out, “Hey, Bon-bon,” when I entered their house. It’s a weird time. I miss him.

Things are calmer now. Family has gone home. The meals, which our dear friends brought to us, have stopped coming. We are finding our footing in the midst of grief. There is a peace that passes understanding that flows through my soul as I slow the pace of my life down and walk through this with my mom, but it is not easy to slow that pace. My natural inclination is to get things done so that they are done and I don’t have to give mental space to the many details. Frankly, that doesn’t always work!

I have to remind myself that “normal” is a fluid concept. I have a new normal that is in the developmental stages. I am not particularly fond of transitions. Change is hard and can be stressful, but it is within those transitions that I am reminded of how much I need Jesus. I have to lean not on my own understanding and wait on God.

Dad had a practice of asking everyone who entered their home if they knew Jesus as their personal savior. I did not know of anyone who was bolder. My dad was not a big man, but he filled a room. He had a big personality. He loved to tell stories and he loved to entertain. He was an accomplished magician and brought joy to a lot of people through his illusions. That man could control a deck of cards.

Knowing that my dad is in Heaven with no more limitations makes me happy. Watching my mom lean into God encourages me. Experiencing grace for things that I never thought I could remotely do, builds my faith.

I guess there really isn’t a lighter side to this post. I just wanted you to know what’s been going on and why I’ve taken some time off. I’m back now and expectant that once again, God will show me the lighter side of things and I will share them with you. Thanks for reading.

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6 Comments

  1. Vanessa

     /  November 20, 2017

    I love your writings. This is a testimony that is written for our learning. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I praise God for using your father in a way that would lighter our burdens. If only we would follow instruction given in HIS Word.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Vanessa. You are such an encourager. When I was at their home talking to someone about an estate sale, I told that man about my dad’s boldness and felt like I should not let anyone who entered their home leave without asking that question. I pray for more boldness.

      Reply
  2. Bonnie, it is a really weird time. I remember waiting for the “hurt” to go away after Mom died. It never really does. The thing that is eventually comforting, is that those big personalities are still there inside of you, making comments, as you go along in life.

    Reply
    • It’s comforting that you understand. It’s hard to describe. Yes, I hear my father’s comments come out of my mouth daily. It is comforting. Thanks.

      Reply
  3. Chris

     /  November 20, 2017

    Love the way you put things. Love the picture too, and of course, love Dad. Dad will always be with us. I can still hear him calling me sometimes.

    Reply

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