Summer is slipping by at a fast pace – wishing I could go back and enjoy a little more of it with my sweet kiddos, but as the old adage goes, “time and tide waits for no man.”

Many of you already know that my dad passed away July 25th. I am thankful I was able to be there with him, holding his hand when he slipped very peacefully off into eternity. Harder than facing his death was telling my mom, who was still recovering in a nursing home from her car accident — we brought her home the day dad died. But, thankfully, we made it through with God’s help and here we are a couple of short weeks later, making great strides.

I spent a good portion of today at my mom’s house, cleaning out my dad’s closet. Bittersweet memories wrapped up in flannel shirts and “old man” khaki pants. Fishing trips, tall tales, and many a late night camping memories came flooding back as I removed each item and folded it to give to a local missionary. It tickles me to no end that my dad, a man who lived his entire life not wanting to have anything to do with Jesus, accepted Him a week before he died. And now all of his clothes and shoes will find themselves on a truck to Mexico with a missionary who will distribute them to new converts in Christ.

I found myself chuckling as I went through his dresser — hidden amongst the folded pants were brand new and never-used Craftsman drill bit sets and a myriad of other “special” items. Anyone who knew my dad would know he was probably “saving” those – because he rarely bought anything new – he was a lifelong garbage collector. From his days working in Fairbanks as the head of the Sanitation and Waste department all the way down to to his retirement home in Texas – he owned the key to the city dump.

Mom came in and sat on the bed halfway through and all productivity ceased as we began to reminisce about the man he was and how much we are going to miss him. There were a few tears shed…okay, a lot of tears were shed. But it was such a sweet time of bonding with my mom and I think we both needed it.

He had 91 years on this earth – I pray that Jesus comes back before I’m that old…but if not, I pray that I live them to the fullest and greet each day with a smile and a song in my heart, just as he did.

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4 Comments on Bittersweet summer

  1. Dorothy
    August 13, 2010 at 4:55 am (13 years ago)

    Karen, I am so sorry to learn of your loss…but I am so very happy to learn of his salvation in Christ just one short week before his death! What joy and comfort for you and your family!

  2. Kim from Hiraeth
    August 13, 2010 at 6:50 am (13 years ago)

    Me, too, Karen.

    It's hard to lose a parent.

    I remember when my dad died, my mom sent me to his top dresser drawer to get the buttons to his uniform (He was a retired Ohio State Highway Patrol Sarge and was to be buried in his uniform)

    In that drawer were little labeled boxes of baby teeth, envelopes with locks of hair from first haircuts, little things we had given him or made for him when we were little kids.

    I had no idea he kept all those things. I felt I learned something new about my father through that drawer. . .

  3. Emily
    August 13, 2010 at 2:34 pm (13 years ago)


    I'm so sorry to hear that – I can only imagine how difficult this time is for you & your family. I know God is watching over you, and hope that you feel His comforting hand.

  4. The Pennington Point
    August 16, 2010 at 10:25 am (13 years ago)

    I was following this on Facebook. You have been in my prayers since it first began. As you know, only the next week I was going through something similar with my dad. Mine is much younger and is recovering slowly. Thanks for your friendship. You are a blessing! Lisa~

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