We made it home.

Ah, dear friends, here’s the next part of the story.

I talked yesterday about my mom and praying. What I didn’t know then was that I would watch her on Monday afternoon lean over her husband and pray. As her husband, my dad, was taking his last breaths, she thanked God for his life. For their years together. For his goodness to her.

I’ll be taking the next few days off. We have a funeral on Thursday and a burial on Saturday and I will be looking for words for both of those. And doing a lot of driving.

I also understand the risk of publishing too many thoughts in the middle of grieving. C.S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed is a powerful reflection on the process, but it was written and edited and published as a whole. I think, perhaps, I will follow that model. Even social media chaplains probably should keep some things private for awhile.

I will say this, however. Every time we left Illinois for our various homes in Indiana for the last twenty-six years, Dad would say, “Call us when you get home.” It was one of those things that you know is love but feels like checking on. But I always called. Because I knew that he was following the route in his head, keeping his eye on the clock.

There were lots of things that way with my dad. I chafed a bit at the requests (“check the oil” “did you call your friend” “you are always welcome” “haven’t heard from you and we were just wondering if you are okay”) but I tried to remember it really meant, “I love you.” Because he did.

We made it home tonight. I’m telling you because I can’t call him.

But it’s okay.

He’s home, too.

20 thoughts on “We made it home.

  1. Marcy

    I am very sorry to hear about your father. My prayers and sympathies are with you and your family. I pray that the Lord will bless you and give you peace during this difficult time.
    I appreciate you sharing your posts; they have helped me follow Jesus better.


  2. Martin & Christine

    Jon, Nancy & Jon’s Mom,

    We are sorry to hear about your dad. May God be with you and your family in a very special at this difficult moment.

    With Prayers,
    Martin & Christine


  3. Dick

    You have my most sincere condolences Jon. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this most difficult time.
    May God Bless You and keep you.


  4. Lois

    You made me cry, Jon–I still miss my Dad every day. He almost never used the phone (he did occasionally answer it!), but otherwise I think he shared some traits w/ your Dad. Will be thinking of you often–and thanks for the lovely words. Lois


  5. Maria

    Thank you for talking about Monday afternoon, and the other points about your dad, too. My dad is a lot like that, and it helps me to hear your reminder that it’s just his love, not the hassle it feels like sometimes. I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope the words you’re looking for come quickly, and comfort you. I think about praying more than I pray, but I’ll do both and include you and your family. May God bless you all.


  6. paulmerrill

    So sad for your loss – but glad for your dad’s gain!

    My mom, who left this earth in 2009, did the same thing as your dad – she always liked us to call her when we made it home safely. That’s just one of the many things we miss.

    I pray that God gives you comfort as that list of things you miss will grow.


  7. Becky McCray

    Whether it is expected or not, no matter how it comes, it is so very final. Sending my best wishes and prayers for your whole family.


  8. Phil Gerbyshak

    Blessings to you and your family during this challenging time Jon. Words cannot express my sorrow for your family, though no doubt your father is glad that he finally made it home.


  9. Mimi Meredith

    Even as I was saddened by these words, you again shared and taught in them as beautifully and articulately as ever. Thank you for including us in this small glimpse of your journey. Offering you a heart full of sympathy and prayers on wings.


  10. Lisha Sterling

    My condolences to you and your family. Know that there is love and strength holding you and your family today.

    Speaking of memory and prayer: May your father’s memory be for a blessing.


  11. Jackie Shelley

    Oh, Jon. I’m so sorry. Please accept my good wishes & thoughts for you in this time. Thank you for sharing with us what is a very personal and painful moment for you and your family. I’ll be thinking of you!



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