Sunday, July 19, 2015

9:00 Phone Calls

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints" (Psalm 116:15).
"We have sung "Unclouded Day," "Amazing Grace," and "Just a Little Talk with Jesus." We have read Psalm 121, 100, 91, and 46. We’ve prayed, cried, told him we’d be all right, and made sure he knew what a great father and grandfather he was. Last night when we noticed his breathing had slowed, we moved to my dad’s side and had the great privilege of witnessing his departure from this life. He closed his eyes and almost laughed as he slipped into the arms of Jesus.

He died within sight of the Blue Ridge Mountains he had loved all his life.
In our family, my dad was known for his 9:00 phone calls. Maybe they began when I moved out of town decades ago, a single woman, alone. He wanted to make sure I was home safe. To tell me he loved me. As the years went on, he called to hear about our children, our jobs; still just making sure his brood was okay. In the last years as memory eroded, his calls became more scripted. “Is the family well? Aaron enjoying his job? How much more school does Bethany have?” And occasionally, an oft repeated story like how his family used to drive to church every Sunday in a Model T which his dad had to hand crank. It had curtains over the windows instead of glass.

And then when we said good bye. “Love you, dad.”

“Love you, too.”

It’s around 4:30 in the morning as I write this only a few hours after his death. l can’t sleep. I’m thinking about those 9:00 phone calls. It’s been twenty-two days since I received one. He called the night just before he had the stroke.  I won’t be getting a phone call tonight, either.

But I can make one. And I will. I’ll text both of my kids, and see those words come back to me. “Love you, too. “

Friends, tonight, in honor of my dad, will you call or text someone to see if they’re okay and tell them you love them. Maybe someone you haven’t spoken with in a long time. Maybe start a new tradition in your family or with a friend.

Nothing would make my dad prouder.

Dear Dad, enjoy your first day in heaven. Thanks for everything. Love you always, Bev

My dad's obit.

Related: Holy Laughter


Anonymous said...

Beverly, I am so sorry for your loss. I pray God's comfort and peace will surround you and your family. It sounds like you have many sweet and precious memories to always keep him in your heart.

Beverly Varnado said...

For sure, Beth. So very many We are surrounded by God's grace.

Missy Tippens said...

What a wonderful man. I'm so sorry for your loss. Will be praying for you and your family.

Beverly Varnado said...

Thank you, Missy. He was indeed a wonderful man. Especially to us!

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