A different Fathers Day message for you today.

I just found out a couple days ago that my Uncle Dean died last year.  With our multiple methods of communication, somehow this one slipped by.  The last time I saw him was 3 years ago this month and it had been a decade since the time I saw him at my Dad’s funeral in 1998.

Speaking of my Dad who died in May 1998, there were some special circumstances that I want to share with you.

He was a pretty thin guy all of his youth and in the early years of married life.  Then he grew into a size 38 waist which is where he was most of my life.  In his early 60’s he was diagnosed with diabetes and he took all the doctors recommendations including dropping a few pounds.  His dad had been given the same diagnosis and stubbornly ignored the docs and ended up losing both of his legs and dying prematurely.

When are you most likely to die?  Time mag says on our birthday.

My Dad was diagnosed with inoperable cancer at the end of 1997 and only given a few months to live.

Over the next few weeks, he brought up a conversation that we started years before regarding what happens when we die.  I got to show him why I believed in life after death thru my Christian faith that had its roots in the upbringing that he and my Mom provided and then the deeper understanding of how it all works when I was 22.  He pondered that over the next few weeks.

The last week of his life he was in a hospice home.  He was unable to speak but he was able to write a little along with answer yes and no questions.

The Saturday of Mothers day weekend I saw him for the last time.  I had my kids with me and we helped him pray for reassurance that he was going to heaven.  That story was shared at his funeral a week later.

I also helped my Dad do something for his bride, my mom.  I bought a rose and a card and helped him sign it to give my Mom for Mothers Day when she would see him the next day.

Monday, before I got a chance to visit my Dad, I received word that he passed away in the morning.

My Dad’s last unselfish act I believe was hanging on to life an extra day so that he could honor my Mom that Mothers Day in 1998.

The hospice staff said he died peacefully after every one had left his room.

Now, a word to each of you…

No matter what your relationship is with your parents, step-parents, heck any family member… take the time to let them know that you love them.

There is a difference between love and like.  You can love someone and hate some of the stuff they do.  Learn how to love anyway.

Sunday I’ll have a collection of photo’s of fathers to share with you at 9am.