I'm a full-time wife and mom of two adorable boys. When I'm not busy trying to keep up with them I enjoy photography, traveling, planning parties and a little bit of reading.

In February of 2008 I was diagnosed with an incurable terminal lung illness, though God promised me a full and complete healing. While we wait for His timing, we're taking it one day at a time, and standing in awe of how God's using all of this for His glory. The tough road we've traveled has given us a new perspective on the fragility of life. Memories are more important to us than ever before. The goal of this blog is to share some of our family life - the ups and downs, the joys and probably some of the pains as well. It's mostly meant as a personal journal of sorts, but you're welcome to share in it. We'd like to take this opportunity to say ...


Monday, May 3, 2010

May 3, 1990

My life changed forever on the evening of May 3, 1990.  I was ten years old.  My father was playing racquetball. He went to return a serve, and collapsed on the floor.  Dead.  It was not a heart attack.  It was not a stroke.  He simply DIED.  They say it was a "cardiac arrest" - his heart just stopped beating and he was dead.  It was instantaneous.  It was painless.  There was no time for him to "contemplate his eternity." There was no time to "make his peace" with loved-ones.  One minute he was living, and the next moment he was face-to-face with his Maker.

Grief, however, is NOT instantaneous.  It's more like this ...

I've had to "deal with" my father's death several times during my life.  ... I had to deal with it that first evening at the hospital, when I came to grips that HE really wasn't in that motionless body anymore.  ... I had to deal with it the next morning, when I was in denial, and sneaked behind my mother's back and had a neighbor drive me to school. ... I had to deal with it a year or so later when a loving teacher took me aside and talked with me about how I needed to make a choice - either continue to use his death as an excuse (not to do well in school, not to participate in extra-curriculars, to just sit by and watch life pass me by) or to use it as a stepping stone and grow from the experience. ... I had to deal with it at family reunions when his presence was sorely missed. ... I had to deal with it when as a teenager my mother and I would disagree and in my anger I was convinced that HE would have let me do such-and-such (in all reality, he wouldn't have, though). ... I had to deal with it at my wedding, when he wasn't there to walk me down the aisle. ... I had to deal with it during my first pregnancy, when he wasn't there to tell me how excited he was - or to say what an adorable grandson he had - and that he was so proud.

I accepted his death years ago.  I have no idea when, it just slowly happened, maybe 10-15 years ago?  I don't know. I've accepted his death.  But I still miss him, and think of him, and periodically wonder if he'd be proud of how I'm turning out.  Of course, I'm glad he's not here to have gone through the pain of a daughter who's diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Today marks 20 years since his death.  And today I remember him.  Today I thank God for giving me a godly father, who wasn't perfect (by a long shot), but who sincerely TRIED.  And because of my father, I have married a godly man, who isn't perfect (by a long shot), but who sincerely tries.  Thank you, God, for my Daddy.


Liz said...

I remember talking about your dad one night while I was living in your mothers home. I was up late for some reason and she came in the TV room where I was sitting. We chatted for a while and at one point she mentioned him. I asked about him and she started talking about their mission work in Africa. I was in college at the time, 2001 I think, and must have asked why she still wore her wedding ring. She told me, "Why, because I am still married dear. Just as you are now married to the man you will someday be joined with." She changed my entire life that night. I was into things that I really should have not been and looked for "love" in all of the places that were ironically the furthest thing from love I could have found. When she told me that though, I realized that I what I was doing with my life was nothing better than cheating on the person God had planned for me. Maybe not quite that harsh, but it was enough to make me think about my actions more. I don't know if she knew that I needed to hear those words or look at life from that perspective, but God sure did and He used her to help me. I never knew your Dad, I wish i had, he sounded like a wonderful man. I do know my father though and how it would feel to loose him. I will pray for you today my friend.

Julia Feitner said...

Thanks, Liz. ... I truly have a wonderful mother! I'm glad that God used her in your life when you needed it.

Rachel said...

Your dad would be amazingly proud of the woman you are and he would be proud of your precious children. I hope someday we can share or that we somehow are sharing our children with our loved ones who are with God. I want my brother to hold them so badly. I understand friend, love you!