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Private Sorrow – Part 2 “The Fear”

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Part 2

The Fear

I’d seen them just two months ago. We’d all been there for their 50th Anniversary; my sisters Carlene, Ramona and Nila, and their families. Dad wasn’t doing very well then. But recently it had gotten worse. A lot worse. Mom wasn’t her cheerful self. Her voice sounded awful close to the breaking point on the phone these past several months. Sometimes she’d vented her pain with tears. Then she’d apologize as if she’d done something wrong or shown a weakness of some kind.

Mom always prayed early in the morning. Sometimes when I called I could still hear the sounds of left-over prayer in her voice. Prayer had always come easy for Mom. Now it was even easier.

Daddy the Pastor, Evangelist, Bible Teacher, Conference, Camp Meeting Speaker and Author was revered and honored by most all who knew him. Over fifty years in the ministry spent burning the candle at both ends. Some years, he had preached more sermons than there were days in the year. These were things we remembered about our Dad. But now, that’s what they seemed. Just memories.

They’d lost their home. The generosity of Bro. Fletcher, Bro. Frazier and the precious Fontana, CA. saints had provided them with a house they could stay in, Bro. Bill Buie and the wonderful saints from Hollywood, FL had given them a new car. How grateful I felt that others had been able to do things that I wasn’t able to do for Dad and Mom. I’ve always felt guilty about that.

The generosity of the sweet people I pastor had made itself manifest just three days before. After service Wednesday night, an announcement was made and everyone responded. They gave me an offering to buy a ticket to go see my Dad. I bought it the next day.

Why was I dreading to see my Dad? It was totally a new emotion for me. I felt guilty. I’d never felt a sense of (Could I dare say it?) dread before. I was having a very tough time processing in my emotions all the horror stories of disease and ageing that I’d received from home. How in the world was Mom able to cope? The worst they said I could imagine, was happening.

Bless Mom. My worst fears nagged at me. I could stay ten (10) days. I didn’t want to see the “worst that could happen.” I just wanted to see Daddy.

The travel agent had said, “Mister, we can save you lots of money if you care to book a flight fourteen days in advance.” I responded that I might not have two weeks. I want my Dad to know me, and money can’t buy that.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 9, 2010 at 11:19 am

Posted in Family, Grief, Life

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