One year ago today my wife and I got up in the morning to find my father dead in his bed. He had lived a good, long life--almost 89 trips around the sun, most of them with his wife and boys nearby. For the past few years he had lived with my wife and boys as Alzheimer's tore through his mind and body. We were blessed that he never forgot who we were--even after he, quite literally, forgot how to swallow. One of the few blessings of that awful disease is that in his final months he forgot some of the pain of losing my mother, who died in 1999 after 57 trips around the sun as his wife.
In the past year the earth has traveled 581 million miles around the sun. That's 939 million kilometers. It's a distance I've traveled many times before, but never without my daddy.
Assurances that'll I'll see him in heaven one day, or reminders that our Heavenly Father is still going strong, simply don't do much for the pain. But praise God, indeed, that this world of rising and falling, of finding and losing, of learning and forgetting, and spinning around and around and around and around, is very surely not the whole story.