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Goodbye, Dad

I buried my father yesterday.

God, I miss him. My dad was/is my hero. My father passed away last Friday, surrounded by his family and friends.

For those that don’t know, my dad has been fighting kidney cancer for the past 5 years, and he fought long and hard, but in the end, God wanted him home.

How and when my dad passed was quite an amazing story.

Thursday night, the 14th, my mom called and said that the nurses were saying he had an hour to two hours left to live. Jessica and I live about an hour and a half away, without traffic. We made it through rush hour traffic in an hour and 15 minutes.
Of course, in typical Mike-style, he was going when he wanted. We were told it was going to be any minute, and so we all stayed at the hospital overnight.

My dad had a stroke this past August, and has been in varying levels of awareness ever since, but this last night, he was thankfully unaware.

My wife and I needed to run some errands on Friday afternoon (we wanted to take a shower and get a few hours of sleep) so we went up to my parents house. We were told that it was unlocked so we could get in. We get there, and everything was locked.

Thank goodness, though. Had we made it inside, we never would have gotten the call to get back.

My brother called me, and told me to hurry back, because it didn’t look good. So we race back, going super fast with our hazards on and driving on the shoulder. We make it into the parking lot and my other brother pulls in behind us. We run into the critical care unit, and about a minute behind us my brother walks in.

My mom bends down and tells my dad that everyone is there. And within 30-60 seconds, my dad left this earth.

At that moment, I felt like I was hit in the face with a baseball bat. I will never forget the feeling of fear, pain and hurt that I felt at that moment, but also joy that my dad was now in a better place.

The Sunday before that, my dad spoke for the last time. My wife and I were visiting him, and I bent down and told my dad I loved him, and with great effort, he told me that he loved me too. And that was the last words he said to me and to anyone ever again.

I am going to miss this amazing man who taught me so much. I am going to miss my role model, my dad, my friend.

Yesterday, I buried my father, but I know I am going to see him again. I was able to speak at my dad’s funeral, and I have included below what I said, and I will leave with that.

_____________

Austin O’Malley once said "An Englishman thinks sitting down, a Frenchman thinks standing, an American thinks pacing, and an Irishman thinks afterwards".
My dad was definitely Irish.

Austin O’Malley also said "The worst misfortune that can happen to an ordinary man is to have an extraordinary father."
 
My dad loved quotes. I think it’s because that with a quote, you can sum up in a short time exactly what needs to be said. That’s what I feel about my father’s life. His time was short, but it was exactly what was needed.
 
My dad packed more into his 52 years than most people could do in double that time. He also did it coming from less than most.
 
My dad was a perfect example of God’s blessings, and God’s grace.
Studies have shown that the way a person views God is usually a reflection of their relationship with their father.
Most famous atheists had little or no relationship with their father.
 
But my view of God? God is gracious, because my dad showed me how to be. God is abundantly giving, because my dad showered us with gifts. God sacrifices, because my dad went without so that I could prosper.
My dad showed me what God’s love is, because my dad loved me so much. I know better who God is because my dad showed me.
 
My dad never dismissed or ignored my brothers or me. Going back to when I was really young, I remember my dad having conversations with me. My father never questioned what I was capable of, only if I was living up to it.
My father pushed me to be my best, and cheered for me through all of my failures and to all of my successes.
 
Mark Twain once said : “Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
My father made everyone feel like they too were great.
My dad was by no means a perfect man, but if I were given an eternity to imagine a better father, he’d be no different than the man who raised me.

10 comments to “Goodbye, Dad”

  1. Cristie
    01

    I just wanted to say that I am so sorry for your loss, I don't know you, but if I did I would give you big hugs!!  I don't normally comment on blogs, but you touched me, your dad touched me and I'm going to call and tell my dad I love him because of you.

  2. Tom
    02

    Nate,

    I'm sorry to hear of this. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  3. s33r
    03

    I'm sorry to hear your father has passed and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I'm sure your dad would have loved your speech at his funeral and I'm sure it made him smile. Take care Nate

  4. corey
    04

    Nate,

    I am so absolutely sorry for your loss. I'm a few weeks away from the 5 year anniversary of losing my mother to Leukemia and the 4 year anniversary of losing my father to a heart attack (both on 2/3). I can empathize with your feeling of loss, the baseball bat to the face, and the hope in seeing them face to face with God as your witness. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours during this time.

  5. Andrew
    05

    I have no idea who you are, I arrived here via a random link, and I realize this story is exactly a month old. I've never experieced a loss like you have. However, I just wanted to let you know that I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  6. G
    06

    Athiests don't claim that there is no God. They simply claim (and rightly so) that there is no definitive proof of the existence of a God. I am not an atheist but I must say that this belief in an omniscient all powerful God is only a pretty recent thing.

  7. Sergio
    07

    With Tears on my eyes i read your post.God bless your father for give all the love that he give to you and God bless you because i am shure you gonna love your son like your father love you.I pray everyday to became a good father and one day i hope my son write sincere and beatifull lines for me like you write today.God bless you and you all family.

  8. Sergio
    08

    With Tears on my eyes i read your post.God bless your father for give all the love that he give to you and God bless you because i am shure you gonna love your son like your father love you.I pray everyday to became a good father and one day i hope my son write sincere and beatifull lines for me like you write today.God bless you and you all family.

  9. Lisa
    09

    That was beautiful and touching. I also have a dad who is my hero. We are very very blessed to have had people like this in our lives. God Bless!

  10. Scott
    10

    You say "Most famous atheists had little or no relationship with their father." That's silly. You will first need to produce a full list of atheists, prove they are atheists, prove they are famous, then prove they had little or no relationship with their fathers. You really need to drop your prejudices; they are based in ignorance.

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