Today has been "one of those" days. I just miss my dad. This is the week leading up to the anniversary of his going home. This week, six years ago, my family was supposed to make a trip to Chicago for spring break with the Moody's( who I consider my family). Our parents sent us on a scavenger hunt for this surprise for Christmas! We were SO excited to go on this trip. However, my dad was very sick at the time and we didn't want to leave him. So my family didn't make the trip. The Moody's went and brought us back sweet gifts. I went to the beach with a group of family friends. It was all girls, and little Thomas. It was a blast. I remember calling my dad at the hospital to tell him about my days and him calling to check on me. I had a voicemail saved for the longest time that he left me that week. His voice was so frail as he said, "Hey Riles, I hope you're having a good time at the beach. I miss you. Make sure to wear that sun screen so you don't get burnt. I'll see you in a few days. I love you!" (I didn't realized it was saved until a month after he passed I was on a school trip at Dauphin Island and that voicemail came through. Talk about a mess...) I saved that voicemail for forever and I think I still remember what he said because I listened to it so much. Just to hear his voice. There finally came a day when my phone wouldn't save it any longer and I am sad about that. I need to hear his voice right now. Anyways I got home from the beach, the Moody's got back from Chicago, dad was able to get out of the hospital, so we all had dinner. I think we had dinner that Saturday, but it could have been Friday. It was completely a God thing bringing us together one last time. Because early that Sunday morning (about 3:00, I want to say the exact time was 3:09 because for the longest time that time was burned into my head.)my mom woke me and my brother up, Jeppa picked us up and drove us to the hospital, where my dad was. I'm not sure what happened but Mom called the ambulance and I remember her telling us that he was able to mutter out "I love you." We weren't at the hospital long, because I remember leaving there around 5:00(maybe 5:23, again that time was burned in my head). We were able to go back and see him one last time. I wouldn't walk to the bed. I stood along the back wall before leaving the room and marching out the front doors of the ER. That was not happening. It couldn't be real. But it was. I went home with my mom and Butler went to eat with my uncle and his best friend. People were at the house by the time we got there as the sun was coming up. I was sitting on the couch in the living room and two people I specifically remember being down there with me were Mrs. Deborah(my 2nd mom) and Mrs. Biven's. I sure others were but there is a lot I do not remember from the following days. I don't want to remember. We did have a ton of out pouring of love and support. My best friend Holley spent the night with me and a few of them sat with me at the funeral. I couldn't stand. There was a ton, I mean TON of people at visitation and the funeral. It was such a blessing to know that so many people loved my father and loved our family and wanted to be there for us. To this day I am beyond thankful for that.
The night before he was rushed to the hospital, when I was saying my prayers, I prayed to God to please let my dad suffer no more. I wanted him healed. It was after dinner with the Moody's and I think it was honestly at that point when I first realized he wasn't going to be with us forever. I had to accept that because up until this I just knew he was going to be healed. Keep in mind I was 14. I prayed for God to not allow him to suffer anymore if he wasn't going to be healed. I hated seeing him so sick. Of course I wanted him to be healed, I STILL want him HERE and healed, but he IS healed. He hurts no more. He suffers no more. And he is with me EVERY day. As I sit here in the common room on my floor with tears soaking my shirt, he IS with me. This week, along with my birthday week are always the hardest (holidays too). I sometime regret going to the beach that spring break and not being with him every day, because I got home and had one day with him, but I've had to let go of that regret. There's no changing it. I have some of the greatest memories of my daddy that I know I'll never ever forget. I can't wait to tell my future husband and children ALL about him!! I have some of THE BEST friends that always know what to say. Shout out to Ashley Ham because when I am so sad, after I go to God, I go to her. She always knows the perfect thing to say when I'm hurting. I love you Ashley and thank you forever. If you're reading this and knew my dad I would love to hear a story you remember about him. So comment it on here or message me or whatever. I love hearing other peoples memories of him! Somehow, through the tears I can still manage to smile, If I did not have Jesus in my heart I couldn't be smiling. He has a plan for this life. I'm really out of words tonight. I'm sure I'll have something else to share later this week. I want you to know that no matter what you're going through, it would always be worse, but it will ALWAYS get better. Trust, believe, have faith, and pray. Thanks for letting me share what was on my heart :)
Psalm 34:18 "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."