It's been a very long day, but nice, and borderline miraculous! My dad was still tired today, but he had several friends come to visit this morning. He's getting weaker, but when 'company' comes, he just perks up and seems better (I think by sheer will) than he is in reality.
This afternoon my mom and I were sitting in the 'parlor', which I call the kitchen, eating our lunch. A lady came in the front door and looked around like she was lost. I asked her if I could help (there was no one there) and she said no, she was waiting for someone, and went into the family room and sat down. When I finished lunch I headed back outside to the porch. The long front porch has big 'Cracker Barrel' rocking chairs all along it, and it has a tin roof above, and it was raining, and there's not much that's better than a rocking chair on a porch with a tin roof in the rain, now is there?
Anyway! The lady was going outside at the same time, and we both took a seat a few chairs apart, and gradually started talking. She had been 'stood up' by some of her fellow church members - they were coming to visit the patients of the hospice house. Well, she moved down closer to me and we talked about my dad, and when her dad passed away and I told her a bit about how my dad, brother and nephew needed to have some time to make peace. My other nephew had told me they were all three coming, but his track record wasn't so good, so I wasn't sure, especially if my brother would come. We talked a bit about other things and I asked her questions about her church and liked what I heard. We need to find a new church home, and when all this is over, I'm going to visit them.
She asked me if she could put my dad and our family on her church's prayer list, and of course I said YES! I know that the prayers of many of you is the reason I have such peace throughout this journey. So she asked me if she could say a prayer right there, and I said yes. She took both my hands in hers, and prayed the sweetest prayer, and I thanked her and hugged her and we talked another few minutes. Not ten minutes after she'd asked God's blessing on our family, my younger nephew called and said they were all three coming. Praise the Lord! I told my new friend - Grace - and hugged her again and told her that God answers prayer - every day!
Well, she left and I sat there and waited, and waited, and waited, and finally called my nephew and they were less than 10 miles away. I'm tearing up now, so bear with me, please. When they got there, I hugged my brother and younger nephew, but the older one . . . well, let's say there's history between the two of us, and he really doesn't like that I don't like how he treats my parents . . . didn't hug me. We went inside, showed them around the 'house' and on to my dad's room. My dad cried when they came in, and we all started talking about old times - many older than my nephews. - what is it about young people that they don't think that life existed before they did!?! We laughed, shed a few tears, and my dad had a few minutes alone with each one of them.
We all left together, leaving 'Papa' to rest, because he was getting very tired. Once again we all shared hugs, and this time the older nephew reached over and hugged me, and I told him I loved him, and he said he loved me too. How amazing! And they are coming back tomorrow. AND, my dad's two sisters will both be there tomorrow. One lives here in the area, but has another home in Connecticut and has been there a couple of months, and the other lives part of the year in New Hampshire and part in Florida. The one who lives here left this morning coming home and will be back tomorrow afternoon, and the other is flying into Atlanta tomorrow. All his immediate family will be there together for the first time in years.
Then, a little while ago I was in the bedroom with the door closed and happened to hear my cell phone ringing in the office. It was my brother, and he and my nephews had stopped for dinner and he ran into an old, old, friend, who is the son of one of my dad's oldest friends! My dad, this man, his brother and their cousin had grown up together and the 4 of them were mean as snakes! You should hear the stories I've been told! :o) Or maybe not, lol! Anyway, none of them knew about daddy - we've not been close in years, since all of the kids grew up and lost touch, but some of that family may come tomorrow, too. Two of the original '4 musketeers' are gone now, so maybe the other two can talk for a while.
Blessings are abounding, friends!!! God's timing is just right, and He makes no mistakes. He is softening hearts and touching lives, and in great part I attribute that to the prayers of many people - some who are dear friends, others who I've never met, but hope to meet someday either here or in heaven. I cannot tell you how full my heart is right now! You all know who you are, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! It's amazing that in this time, despite knowing I am losing my dad, I am blessed beyond measure. Thank you! Becky