My heart and mind are still processing the past week.
My blog has always been a place where I let my vulnerability show as I process all that life gives me. As I write this blog post, I know it will be serving my own heart.
Last Wednesday night, our dad met our sweet Jesus face to face. He is completely healed from pain and suffering!
I will always remember my dad as the life of the party. He had a big personality and was so full of life!
I like to think that my siblings & I get that trait from him!
He was known as the fun one.
A few memories of my dad that stand out from my childhood include:
-Having races outside all the time. He was SO fast and I actually thought I had a chance at outrunning him!
-Playing the card game, “The Old Maid” over & over.
-Riding the four wheeler with him. He was an adrenaline junkie!!
When I became a teenager, he taught me how to play poker!
He was always good at trying to embarrass us too! All in good fun! Lol
Growing up, our friends loved to hang out at our house because he could make anyone laugh!
He claimed our friends as his own children. He never, ever met a stranger!
It was his idea to have big NYE and July 4th parties each year with tons of fireworks + everyone around town who came over!
He loved nascar, especially Dale Earnhardt. He loved the Raiders football team. He also loved to fish & hunt!
Can y’all tell he didn’t like taking photos? Sunglasses in every photo, lol!
And this is where things get messy..
I’ve never enjoyed talking about the “messy.” Mainly because I felt as though, I was still living it, so I would try to block it out as much as possible.
This quote comes to mind a lot:
The older I’ve gotten, the better I’ve become at being more open about the hard things I’ve dealt with in life because I know there is great healing in that.
Over the years, addiction and alcohol crept into our dad’s life. This became a battle for a long road ahead. It made things hard. Really hard.
We have seen the damage that addiction can do.
It caused lots of health concerns, eventually causing his body to succumb to the issues when he passed.
We knew his health was poor due to years of alcohol addiction. In a way, we had prepared for “that phone call” but at the same time, it was not expected and no one is ever prepared for that.
The addiction also caused many strained relationships including ours.
It caused lots of worry and anxiety at times. LOTS of worry and anxiety.
I can only imagine the suffering he went through and how bad his heart was hurting!
We loved our dad from afar despite the circumstances. At the end of each day, he was still our dad. I know he loved us too. He would always find little ways to show us that.
I’m so grateful that God gave my sister, two brothers, and I the opportunity to be with him during his last moments here on earth.
We were called to the hospital last Wednesday morning and spent the entire day with our dad.
Hand in hand, in prayer circled around a hospital room, the Lord called him home that night. We knew he was instantly at peace in that moment.
I can’t say enough about the strength in my sister, 2 brothers, & I. We have been each other’s rock through this.
I have written and prayed more prayers for my dad than any other human over the years. I wanted him to break free from this addiction.
This was actually one of his belongings that my brother sent me a picture of after he passed.
“Happier days are definitely ahead for you. Struggle has ended.”
Earlier this week, I went out to run a quick errand. I texted my siblings because the song, “Walking Free” by Michael Tyler was playing on the radio when I got in my car.
Here is a glimpse at the lyrics:
One more passage:
Our dad is now walking free and I know he’s happy about that! We are finding comfort in that too.
Listen to the full song, here:
My mom made sure our family was in church growing up and I’m so thankful for that! I grew up in the Lord’s house!
I’ve shared my testimony on my blog in the past. You can find that, here:
In my testimony, I shared how I came to know the Lord in high school through my youth program at church. I also mentioned in my testimony that, I did not come from a “picture perfect background.” Addiction was entering our family around that time.
Jesus was and IS my, “safe place.”
The Lord showed me though that nothing else can define us except Him! I found so much peace in the Lord knowing He controlled everything around me.
On Sunday, the day of The Daytona 500, we had a beautiful celebration of life with family!
When we were younger, we use to get together with the Dover family after church on Sunday’s at my MaMaw Ollie’s house!
It was the perfect way to honor our dad’s life and we know it’s exactly what he would have wanted.
What a glorious day it will be when we get to reunite in a place where suffering does not exist.
Addiction is a strong battle and I don’t believe anyone wants that for themselves. Our dad is not fighting it today. He is walking free!
I thank God for the ability to heal and make all things new! ❤️
I also wanted to say thank you so much for the outpouring of love this week! The calls, texts, visits, comments, kind messages, cards, beautiful flowers, offering a helping hand in SO many ways, PRAYERS, etc, etc..
It has really lifted our spirits during a time of grief. We are forever grateful for you!