Home > Uncategorized > Revelation 21: 4-5

Revelation 21: 4-5

4 “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning, or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 5 “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new.”

My daddy died on Aug. 25, 2010. That’s almost five months ago. I was in the room with him when he passed away, and I can still hear his faint breathing as I placed my forehead on his cheek when he breathed his last, as if it were five minutes ago.

I miss him terribly. Not many days have gone by since that time early that hot summer morning in August that I don’t think of my dad. As the days and weeks and months have passed, yes, the pain has dulled. I don’t sit around and weep uncontrollably anymore, as I did for a period in early December when I thought I was just going nuts because I couldn’t stop crying. It wasn’t because I was going crazy. It was because I simply wanted my daddy back.

2010 was an extremely difficult time emotionally for me, and my family. I cannot adequately — or quickly — put into words the feelings and despair I’ve felt over the past 12 months. The year began in early February when my uncle passed away suddenly from a heart attack. Uncle Joe was the oldest of five boys, with my father being No. 4 in that group. He was the picture of health in his mid-70s, by far the healthiest of all the Weaver boys while also being the oldest. We visited him regularly over the last few years in Pasadena, and he would show us around Houston and make us have a good time whether we felt like it or not. He also kept up with my dad, calling him on a weekly basis over the last several years as Daddy battled kidney disease brought on by diabetes. It was a total shock when I got the call that Uncle Joe had died.

I got the call in my kitchen the first Friday in February. I remember sitting down at the kitchen table. Crying. I immediately drove to my parents’ house because I knew Daddy would be heartbroken. My father burst into tears as I gave him a big hug — his oldest brother was gone. I could tell over the next few days, the experience did something to my father. Losing his close brother so suddenly, while Daddy was so sick himself…things changed a bit. He was never quite the same after that.

Later in February we discovered that my wife was battling a different type of sickness — depression. My wife Jeannie would appear to be the exact opposite of the word “depressed,” always seeming to have a smile or a kind word and never meeting an enemy. But depression goes after everyone, and it hit my wife hard last spring. There have been some dark days over the last few months for all of us but she bravely fights it every day and gets a little better with each passing day. God is going to get all the glory for that experience. But it has been a daily battle in different ways for all of us.

In early June, my mom was bringing my dad home from a dialysis treatment on a Thursday — for the past several years since his kidneys completely failed Daddy had to go for several hours, three times a week, and have all his blood filtered out of his body through the dialysis procedure. If you’ve never known anyone who has endured this, it’s both a blessing and a curse. Blessing, because it keeps loved ones alive and extends their life. Curse, because it’s also slowly sucking the life out of them in a very painful way that, unfortunately, none of us really wanted to admit.

While helping Dad get out of the car and into the house, Mom fell awkwardly and broke both arms and a kneecap. The injuries from the fall put her in the hospital and ultimately on the rehab floor of the nursing home for several weeks. It also took away my Dad’s principal caregiver, as my Mom had faithfully nursed him through his various ailments and pains for nearly 20 years after being diagnosed with diabetes and being homebound for the last several years.

While Mom was still recovering, Dad got up from his chair one day and lost his balance. He fell in the living room, all alone, and landed on his arm. The bone shattered in his upper arm, a terrible break. He managed to call and get help and ended up in the hospital himself. Doctors needed to put a pin in the arm but could not get my Dad through surgery because of his weakened condition and failed kidneys. So they put it in a splint and simply tried to help him manage the pain.

After a few days in the hospital, Mom — who came home not nearly at 100 percent but needing to be with Dad — made the decision she and Dad had always avoided. He needed round-the-clock care, and it wasn’t going to be at home because she was just unable to do it anymore, particularly with her still trying to heal herself. We decided we would put Dad in the nursing home and let him rehab himself. That was late July.

Dad spent the next few weeks in tremendous pain. He was under so much pain medication due to the severely broken arm that we were lucky to catch him alert at any time. While suffering through all the pain he was still having to take dialysis treatment, which were torture. Sitting up in an uncomfortable chair for six or seven hours at a time, hooked to a machine meant to mimic your kidneys, with a shattered bone in your left arm — the pain was excruciating. At some point during the whole process, my Daddy — who had fought the pain, disease and loneliness that comes with a debilitating illness for over 10 years because he wanted to live as long as he could for his wife, his kids and his grandchildren — decided he’d had enough. He began begging Mom to let him go, he wanted to go to Jesus. He began seeing Jesus in his room, at the dialysis center, in his bed next to him. We thought it was the medicine.

My Daddy simply wanted to go home. On Saturday, Aug. 21, my Mom took him to the dialysis center one more time. She’d been asked to come and sit with him during the treatment because it had become too tough for the nurses to keep him in the chair due to the pain. The entire morning, Dad called out to Jesus and begged Mom to let him go. It was an excruciating decision for my mother. On Sunday myself and my two sisters told Mom we would support any decision she made regarding Daddy’s care. But we also were done with seeing him suffer. He’d fought his good fight.

Mom said she would pray and make a decision soon. I left work on Monday, Aug. 23, and just though I would swing by Mom’s and see how she was doing. I got to the house and found her weeping all alone. She had called hospice and put Dad under their care. Within hours the beautiful caregivers at local hospice were taking care of my Dad and he was sleeping peacefully for the first time in weeks. And Mom had gone to dialysis and told them Dad wouldn’t be back. It was a tough, tough day for my mother.

It was an emotional 36 hours or so from that point. We had no idea how long it would take, but knew it could come sooner rather than later. Dad was just too weak, and by Tuesday morning his lungs were already filling with fluid that was supposed to be lifted regularly with dialysis. Hospice, however, ensured he did not suffer. I remember going by Dad’s room at lunch on Tuesday and he was seemingly asleep, but he could still communicate. Those are moments I will always cherish. By Tuesday evening, however, his breathing was becoming more labored and he was, as it turned out, forever asleep because he wouldn’t wake up again.

Mom asked me and my brother-in-law Rance to stay the night on Tuesday. She sensed she needed to rest and also that Dad would make it through the night. In any event we knew she was five minutes away. A few minutes after she left, I opened up my laptop and began writing my father’s obituary as he slept beside me. It was without a doubt the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do to this point in my life.

I slept in a chair by my Dad’s bedside, three feet from him, on Tuesday, Aug. 24. I can’t count the number of times I woke up — his rhythmic breathing, while labored, was steady and strong throughout the night. The faintest little blip in that rhythm woke me up.

We awoke the next morning to Dad’s same breathing. Mom came back and we had breakfast at Dad’s bedside, with a few visitors comforting us. Everyone left except Mom, me and my cousin Julie. I was reading the paper, Mom was doing some paperwork and Julie was working on some home-health stuff when I casually glanced at my Dad. His eyes had opened and were rolling back in his head. His breathing changed. It all happened, literally, in a matter of seconds. I reached for Mom and said something, almost in terror. Mom instantly was by Dad’s bedside. I do not ever remember seeing her move faster.

I sprinted down the hallway to the nurse’s station, which was probably 30 feet or so away from the room. By the time I got back, Dad’s breathing had almost stopped. From the time I noticed his eyes until I got back to his side, it could not have been more than 30 seconds. Dad continued to breathe very slowly for a couple of minutes, and then…it just stopped. He closed his eyes and went back to sleep. We were left to grieve, a process that continues to this day. But I will never forget that day, that moment in time — when I was inches from my father as he slipped into eternity.

I could almost literally hear the angels singing myself.

I have tried to make sense of a lot of things in my life over the past year. Uncle Joe, Jeannie’s fight with depression, and ultimately the loss of a man whose name I’ve carried since I was born and will carry until the day I die. When we can’t make sense of such things — at least for me, anyway — I get angry. I want answers. I want them now, and I want to move on with life.

But God doesn’t give answers on this side of heaven, in most cases. He doesn’t have to. He just simply promises us that he will one day take away all the grief, all the crying, all the pain. It will be a new day when we live with him in eternity. The relationships we make with loved ones here on earth — my relationship with my Dad — was one of the experiences God allows us to have on this earth to help shape us. I am my Daddy’s only son, and I am proud of that. I will always be his son.

But he is gone from this life now. That’s God making everything new, again. I do believe we will celebrate with those loved ones again one day, but life must go on. We must try to make everything new with God’s help, while remembering our love for those who have gone before. 

I love verse 4. It simply tells me this — I can’t stop the tears. Only God can wipe away all tears. There’s something comforting about that in my soul.

I pray God continues making everything new in my life, each and every day.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Marcus Curry
    January 19, 2011 at 6:08 am

    All I can say is thanks for sharing, I needed to read this.

  2. Lauren Musick
    January 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Beautiful, Dave. I know he loved you guys very much to have fought as long as he did. Your dad is a part of that “great cloud of witnesses” cheering you on in your race now:) With Jesus right by his side:)

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