There is no change in Dad’s condition. He remains in a vegetative, non-responsive state. From time to time, he runs a fever and his breathing and pulse are labored. They say he is not in pain. We must just wait and pray.
My husband had some thoughts to contribute today to my blog as we journey through what we feel to be the “last hours” of his dad’s life. He writes:
The family was summoned to the hospital at 3:00 AM today. My dad’s heart rate has slowed and his breathing was more difficult. As we soon gathered in the hospital room, I felt God wanted to speak to me. I asked Him for a Scripture.
As I opened my Bible, my eyes fell upon John 16:21, “A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.”
When a woman is in labor to give birth to a natural child, it comes with sorrow and much travail. I felt the Lord was showing me that my dad was in a kind of struggle now too. His body is going through some travail as his physical body releases his spirit unto God. He may also be struggling with knowing he is leaving behind a family who has deeply depended upon him for strength and counsel.
Although I don’t feel he is in pain, he is laboring to put off his deteriorating shell, so that his eternal spirit can come forth unto God. Paul described our “natural” body at death as being “sown” in “corruption,” “dishonor,” “weakness.” But it is prerequisite to a “spiritual body” being “raised” in “incorruption,” “glory,” and “power” (I Cor. 15:42-44).
Believing it to be his “last hour,” we then gathered around dad and told him (in his good ear) that we loved him and released him to go to the special place the Lord had prepared for him (John 14: 1-4). We then let every family member have private time with dad, to release him to his eternal home and say anything that was on their heart.
It was a special time of release for each one of us. The tears flowed as we thanked God and dad for his great life and influence. But we wanted him to know it was OK to now go. He could join his godly parents and grandparents who had gone before. He could join the God-fearing generations he has never met who prayed for him. He could join his twin sister, Elaine, who died when they were only 16 months. All are awaiting him on the other side of the valley of the shadow of death. He is not alone. He is about to cross over, and a welcoming party is expecting him.
The massive stroke he experienced has put him in a deep state of slumber or sleep. My mother was especially touched in her private time with dad. As she told him how much she loved him and released him to go on before her, he let out a loud groan which he had not done before. My mother wept. She felt it was special signal from my dad and God that all is OK.
We don’t know how long this “last hour” will be exactly. A day..a month, or…? We don’t know. Personally, I would love sit in his room and watch the Dallas Cowboy game with him Sunday if he has the strength to last that long. He was sure enjoying the Cowboy’s success this year. Regardless, we are all at peace. God has spoken to our hearts and released us as we have released him.
Thank you for your continued prayers for Dad and my family.