Tuesday, December 23, 2008


It has been 20 years ago today that the Lord saw fit to call Dad home. The day started out like any other for him. Or so we thought! Dad always got up around 2:30 am. As far back as I can remember. He made coffee and would sit and read his Bible. Then he would go to the car wash that was owned by my brother. He had retired but had to do something. His job was to check the car wash and make sure everything was in order for the day.
We lived across town. About 3 am we received a call from my brother telling me to get to Mother. Dad had been shot. We rushed and got dressed and could be there in 10 minutes but for some reason we were held up by a train. We got there and my brother was already there. I knew then that Dad was gone. My heart felt like a heavy weight. We made phone calls to the other members of the family. Seems like I was in a dream or I suppose more like a nightmare and I would soon awake and find it was not true. But in reality it was true. As we were with Mother we noticed that he had not made coffee that morning. No coffee? He always made coffee. Mother did not get up that early and she did not hear him leave.
Some how I feel that Dad might have had a preminition that it was his time to go. We got all the plans made on the 24th and on Christmas Day 1988 we said our goodbyes at the cemetery. I still could not cry. Of course this made headlines, front page. We got through that because we were in shock. The suspect was picked up after a chase down the interstate. He took Dad's car and left after he dragged Dad back into the canes by a little creek. The trial would come up and was put off. This went on for almost seven years. Finally in 1995
the man was sentenced.
We don't know the reason why and may never know while we are on this earth but some day in the near future we may ask the reason why or we may not. I can't imagine what heaven is going to be like. I just know that we will see our love ones again.
It took me a long time to be able to give vent to any feeling. I could not cry for weeks. I was hurting inside. Every time I went to town I would not look at the car wash. Finally about six months afterwards~with the Lord's help I went to the canes and walked down by the little creek where Dad was found. While there the Lord gave me peace that I needed and I started healing. It was a slow process because of the circumstances. But one day I realized that when I thought about Dad it was a pleasant memory.
We all deal with grief in different ways and I had to find the way that was best for me. With the Lord's help ~ we got through.
I have a lot of good memories that had been stored in my mind.
Why am I writing this at this particular time? I don't really know except I just felt something tugging inside. Maybe some will be grieving this Christmas. If so, I just want to tell you God's grace is sufficient. I have been ask how I handle Christmas? Well, Dad may not be here physically but he is in our hearts. I have written several things about Dad so I won't go into more right now. But I will tell you that I don't grieve for him. But my heart does grieve for those that have no hope. My heart aches for my children that are not minding God, my heart aches for those that don't know the Savior who was born on this particular day to fulfill His mission on earth and make it possible for us to be forgiven and go to heaven. Someday we will know all the answers~ but until then the memories linger and are precious.


Nina in Portugal said...

I am so sorry about your father. How very tragic. Yet you exhibit the love of Christ through your writing, and for this I am so very thankful. May our gracious Lord continue to bless you. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Karla @ Ramblin' Roads said...

It's 20 years ago, isn't it? Because I haven't been married 23 years, and I know I was married when it happened. In some ways it doesn't seem like he's been gone that long.

We were living in California, and I remember we drove straight through to Louisiana(over 24 hours) to get there just an hour or two before the funeral. It was such a hard Christmas for all of us, but I'm glad I got to be there to say my good-byes.

God is so good to bring healing... and I am so grateful for the hope of Heaven we have!

Karla @ Ramblin' Roads said...

And now I'm the one making the mistake! I *have* been married 23 years! We celebrated our 23rd anniversary about 6 weeks ago! Silly me! In any case, yes, it was 1988 when PawPaw was killed.

Dori said...

Aunt 'Lene,
I opened your blog, saw the picture of Papa and smiled! What joy that man brought to my life and still does in his son, my own kids Papa! My Daddy is so much like his Dad in the way he plays with my children and in his early rising to spend time with the Lord...and a cup of coffee.

Cathy said...

Dear Ailene, that is very sad. I also had a sad experience with my daddy's death. Thank God for His love and grace. And it makes it even harder at Christmas time.

Cathryn said...

Dear Aliene,

What I "heard" above everything else that you wrote about your daddy is his morning ritual of coffee and The Word. Oh Aliene, how very rich you were. My daddy was an abusive alcoholic and the scars run so deep ~ truly never leaving ~ yet affecting everyday life. I am thankful that you had such an awesome daddy. And I reckon that makes it even harder to accept that such a good man was taken down by evil. I'm so sorry for that. And yet thankful that you will see him again. Bless your heart. Cathryn

Ruthie said...

Such a heartfelt message. Thanks for posting that. My Mom went to be with the Lord right after Christmas several years ago - and I always think of her at Christmas (well, of course I think of her other times too) and it's true that we will see our loved ones again in Heaven. What a blessing that hope is.
Have a wonderful Christmas.
Hugs. Ruthie

pse said...

We've been remembering also. Thanks for writing about your dad. He was a most wonderful father-in-law. I loved him dearly.
Pallie Sue

Deborah said...

Oh such a loss for you and your family! But what blessed assurance to know you will one day meet again.
With every post I read, I'm more and more thankful for the privilege of 'meeting' you. I hope you and Silas enjoy a peaceful Christmas!