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Friday, October 25, 2013

Finding Faith

Today, My Daddy has been in heaven for three years.
I miss him every single day.

In “The Sun Will Rise” post, I said I would tell you about an answered prayer I received.
Before I do, I want to say, I don’t normally script, plan, edit or rewrite when I blog.
This post is the exception.
I have been working on this one all week.
Here goes…

Daddy has always had a heart condition.
When he was younger, he led a rough life.
His motto “I’ve been dying since the day I was born.”
In his older years, he did his best to slow down and take better care of himself.
I would like to think, becoming a PaPa had something to do with it.
Truthfully, it was his health.

I watched him struggle with things he had never struggled with before.
Things he could no longer do.
Things he had never feared.
He gave up things he absolutely would not have given up before.

I saw My Daddy change into a man that was not the man who raised me.
This was a blessed change!

He was My Big Boy’s father figure.
I honestly don’t know where either of us would be right now without My Daddy’s support, protection and love.
He has always been there when we needed him.

Daddy was always the first person I called for advice.
He was my biggest fan.
He never judged my mistakes as failure.
He called them “life’s lessons”.

So many times I would say “Daddy, I will never be able to repay you.”
His response, “It will come full circle.”

Along about April 2010, “full circle” began.
Daddy’s health started failing further.
We were spending more time visiting doctors, than we were visiting family and friends.

Daddy and I have always been able to talk without speaking a single word.
It is a gift we both worked to hone for years.
I thank God everyday for that gift and the ability to strengthen it.

August 13, 2010, I received a call. “Your dad has fallen!”
I grabbed my purse, ran out of my office and drove to his house, all within 15 minutes.
My daily drive to work is 25 minutes.
I knew in my gut, this was not going to be a good ride.
I walked in the door.
Drewman was with his PaPa.
The fear in that child’s eyes said it all!

Drewman had spent a lot of time, that summer, with Daddy.
He watched after him, providing me peace of mind, without Daddy knowing.
Drewman was only 14.
PaPa thought he was teaching Drewman things.
He was!
It is a summer we will never forget.
Daddy did his job as being Drewman’s father figure, too.

After assessing My Daddy, I knew I couldn’t make it to the big town hospital in time.
I opted to drive him to our home town hospital, where I knew they would transport him.

My gut was right!
Daddy was transported to Mercy ICU Trauma Unit.

That night, I spent standing next to My Daddy’s bed praying like I had never prayed before.
It was the first time, in my life, to have a sleepless night.

The next day, our family arrived at the hospital.
My sissy convinced me to go to a hotel and rest.

I was awoken, sometime in the night, with a message telling me “Go see your Daddy!”
I left the hotel and arrived at Daddy’s ICU room with him setting up waiting on me.
He seemed to think I had taken too long to get there…
He looked at me, saying “Took you long enough.”
My response, “I was sleeping.”

Daddy and I talked for a few hours.
He was extremely scared and weak.

My Daddy was a cowboy.
He wasn’t one to show or talk of his feelings or fears.

Daddy shared with me how he needed my help.
This was the first time My Daddy had ever asked me for anything.
I was the one that always asked for things.
He always provided whatever I asked.

Cowboys talk in ways that only other cowboys or cowgirls can understand.
I am thankful to have been raised a cowgirl.

Daddy asked me to get on the horse with him and ride double.
With me taking the reins and him just setting in the saddle.
I told Daddy “I don’t like horses.  I’m not sure I can do that.”
I was raised a COWgirl.

Daddy explained HE NEEDED ME TOO!
I told him I would, but needed to know how long I was going to have to ride?
Daddy said, “Till the end.”

When My Daddy spoke those words, I knew My Daddy was dying!

Cowboys are strong, rough, tough and mean on the outside.
On the inside, they are kind, caring, compassionate and loving.
They dig their spurs in deep to make a ride.
They don’t let go of the reins.
They keep their feelings packed away in their saddle bags.

My Daddy spent the better part of the next 3 months in the hospital.
I spent the better part of the next 3 months by his side.

Each time My Daddy would have a procedure or a test done, prior to him going into it,
I would realize I had his boots and spurs on.
I would give them back to him by asking
“Daddy, do you have your boots and spurs on?”
His response was always, “Yes”.
Daddy and I passed those boots and spurs back and forth until the morning he went into his last surgery!

It was a Sunday morning, October 24th.
Daddy was headed into what he and I knew was his last procedure.
Our entire family was there.
As I kissed My Daddy good bye, I asked him if he had his boots and spurs on and if they were strapped tight.
He lied and said “Yes”.
I knew I had them on and we were coming to the end of our ride together.
I looked at Daddy and said “Then you’re ready!”
He looked back, responding “No, you’re ready.”

You see, that first sleepless night in the ICU Trauma Unit,
I prayed for God to grant me more time with My Daddy.
I wasn’t ready to let him go.
My kids weren’t ready.
I prayed for time to prepare.
I prayed for time to prepare my kids.

My Daddy came out of surgery, that day.
That night, I had another sleepless night.
I never once left My Daddy's side.
Daddy never woke up from that surgery.

I had made My Daddy a promise to not leave him on life support for more than 24 hours after that surgery.

The time had come for me to call in our family.

I gathered them all and told them the story of Daddy asking me to ride double.
We were at the end of the ride.

With my family by my side, on October 25, 2010 at 4:36pm, I stepped off the horse and handed God the reins!

Sticking to the motto from which I have raised my boys;
I stayed true to myself
Kept God in my heart
My family by my side
Everything was okay

It was at this point I recognized prayers are answered and I found my faith.

Some of you have heard this story.
Thanks for being there for me, listening and reading.

Daddy’s Rancher Girl

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