5-8-2013 to 5-8-2014

Easter 20135-8-13 – 5-8-14

I would have thought this time last year that it would have been easier by now, but I still cannot get used to the fact that my dad is not sitting up there in his recliner waiting for me to bring him a cup of coffee, or to get him shaved for church. As I write this now it is Wednesday evening May 7. Last year he went to church and taught on May 1 and I shaved him, combed his hair and made sure he was all groomed and smelled good. He loved the Pierre Cardin cologne that I had bought him and tended to want it used, generously! Since there is nothing I can add to what has already been said I thought I would just re-post the article that I wrote and then posted on the 6-month anniversary and now on the 1-year anniversary. Maybe now I will quit marking the days and simply settle into the reality that heaven is richer for my loss. Thanks to all of you who loved him and have sent beautiful messages and words of encouragement, you will honestly never know how it warms my heart and how much I love you for it. Mother is doing as well as can be expected for her condition and I do not take her out publicly because if she was in her right mind she would be embarrassed that she doesn’t look like she used to, that she can no longer walk upright on those spike heels she always loved and that her hair, always blonde, is now a beautiful shade of silver. I think she would rather be remembered standing by my dad’s side and smiling. Thank you and I open my heart to you now…

Psalm 39:4-6 “Tell me, what’s going on, God? How long do I have to live? Give me the bad news! You’ve kept me on pretty short rations; my life is string too short to be saved. Oh! We’re all puffs of air. Oh! We’re all shadows in a campfire. Oh! We’re just spit in the wind. We make our pile, and then we leave it.  Have you ever thought that you would know when your time to leave? I have written more than once about the lady who saw Jesus standing in her room, she said He was calling names and that He would get to hers about 11AM on Friday, she said this during our visit to her home on Thursday, it happened just as she had said it would and she departed her earthly body at 11AM next day! I tell you this because my dad asked me to recount that to him last week. I reminded him of the details and then asked him why he had asked, “Because I heard God say ‘Thursday,’” he answered. It sent a chill up my spine; it was not something I wanted to hear. That was on Tuesday April 30 and I knew that Thursday was just one day away. He was not well on Wednesday, his legs had swollen and that was not typical for him, his legs were more like a racehorse than a lamppost. He had become very down on himself for not being able to walk, to do things that he had always been able to do but God gave me a scripture for him, Psalm 147:10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man, when I gave that to him I think it made him feel a little better! Sorry, I digressed, the swollen legs indicated to me that it could be his heart and I was frightened. At 5PM on Wednesday May 1, my sister and I took hands and asked God for “just one more week”, he gave that to us because daddy went into his Bible study and taught with clarity and power, we were happy and thankful for that. Thursday dawned and he was very weak, there were several times that we thought he was actually going to die. He prayed for himself and said “Jesus, you’re not going to let me die today are you?” Then he began to prophesy and spoke these words, “I am not going to take you today, there is something for you to do, and I will take you another glorious day!” Needless to say my sister and I were very happy to hear those words! He rallied and told me he was hungry, I fed him! He ate a Chick Fil A sandwich, then a piece of pizza and finally a Tamale that his grandson had brought him the night before. We slept peaceful that night. On Saturday he began to fade again and his body had not made any urine in almost twelve hours although he had been drinking a lot of water. By 5:45 in the evening we made the hard decision to take him to the hospital, upon being asked if he realized that he needed help he said that he did know that and if we didn’t “they might call the police”, guessing by that he knew he was going to die and didn’t want us to be blamed for not getting help for him. To make a long story a little shorter on Monday night we called the family in as the doctor told us he was going. He told us that his father was standing in the room dressed in a black suit. I asked if my grandfather had come to take him and he answered, “Yes”, “Do you want to go?”, “No”. But as we stood there he began to see things, there were people afar off on a city street but they were too far away for him to recognize. I was standing there and he said, “I saw my soul, it came out and I saw it!” I asked him, stupidly, “What did it look like?” He looked a little incredulous and answered “Like ME, it looked like ME it IS me!” He continued, “It’s so simple, so simple, you just go out and come back and you never feel a thing! If people only knew how simple it was!” As we all stood around and prayed and softly sang he became weaker but opened his eyes and knew it was time for everyone to go home, he asked where my brother-in-law was, he wanted me to take mother home to rest. By Wednesday the doctor was telling us to consider hospice care, which I knew was not something he would want and neither did I. She thought he might have six months but didn’t believe he would make it that long. They sent the hospice people to see me and I signed all the papers hoping to take him home even if he had to have the hospice care and walked back into the room.  He was speaking softly and walked closer, “Membrane, membrane, there’s only a membrane separating us from them.” I said “Daddy what does it look like?” I was going to continue and ask if it looked like Saran Wrap when he spoke again, “Like thin plastic.” I spoke quickly, “Daddy we aren’t going to let yours get torn for a long time!” He rolled his eyes to find my face and said “Ohhh but it’s already done.” That was about the last thing he said that we could really understand. There was no one there at that point except my siblings my mother and my brother’s wife. We were talking quietly and as if someone signaled to us we all three got up and walked to the bed where my sister placed both of her hands on daddy’s head, I went and had my hands on his feet and my brother was standing at his right hand. As we stood there I began to softly sing “It Is Well With My Soul” my sister and brother joined in, his breathing became more shallow, he yawned and my sister called out “DADDY”, he opened his eyes wide and looked at her, when he closed them his head dropped and he slipped into eternity as we stood with our hands on him and prayed. I will tell you one thing I didn’t mention earlier, while he was speaking of seeing those people far away he began talking about the trees, “Catastophe, tornados with winds of 300MPH”  he could see and how he saw them blowing hard, then he said “They are going to attack rural areas.”  We thought it meant it was about an atomic blast, surely no tornado would be that strong! It was cryptic we didn’t ask questions we just waited, hanging on every word. I always believed that we have a cloud of witnesses around us, I always knew that the spirit of the departed could come to comfort you, that your soul could come and go and until the “silver cord” is broken you will not die but seeing it up close and personal gives you a whole new faith in what happens in the after life. He had died on the “glorious” occasion of the 51st anniversary of the day we first walked into 2800 Piedmont Road, 5-8-1962 to 5-8-2013, and he was able to pastor his own congregation, one that he would never have to walk away from, although some have walked away from him. Some have not understood why we kept his death private, it is because it’s the way he asked us to do it. He knew there was a concert coming up that the young people had worked on a long time, he knew that Mother’s Day was this week end and he didn’t want anyone to be sad. You have to know he was sharp until he took his final breath. Some have become angry with me and for the life of me I can’t understand why they would catch me freshly grieving my father’s death, suddenly very sick with pneumonia from the lack of care to myself, and decide to basically kick me when I was down. My brother, sister and I followed his wishes to not have a formal funeral, to not have anyone preach over him or view him “in a box”, I respected that and have asked my children to do the same for me if I die before the Lord comes back to receive us into the heavens, so I owe no apologies for I know I have done what I was asked to do, I know that my dad is sitting in heaven with family and friends that are already there but mostly know that he is happy to be with Jesus, his friend. Never doubt that eternity exists and we will all be a part of it and it won’t be long! Be blessed!

 

12 Replies to “5-8-2013 to 5-8-2014”

  1. I have read this several times now & it still amazes me. We live our life as a Christian with the goal of going to be with Jesus in Heaven when our day comes. Yet when it comes, most of the time the one dying is ready & those of us left behind do not want to turn loose & let them go. I didn’t want to turn loose of either one of my parents or my wife even though I knew without any doubt where they were going. I feel it is because the relationship we share is so strong & means so much to us we don’t want to be alone. I am having a hard time trying to explain what I am trying to say. It really bothered me when my wife was dying, (I know I told you of this before) and yet when I agreed to give her to the Lord everything about the whole thing changed in a blink of the eye. I cried, I mourned, & I missed her like crazy but I never questioned God as to why, I accepted it as His will, trusted Him & went on. Was I some kind of super Christian? No, I was just like anyone else. For what ever reason I just simply accepted it & trusted Him & went on my way. We all grieve in different ways because of the value of the relationship & love involved. Mother was in so much pain it was easier to say goodbye & let her go. With Dad, he & I had just really started being Father & Son & I didn’t want to turn that loose. I waited so long for that to happen & I was still feeding on it. I wasn’t full yet & needed more. So saying goodbye to Dad was harder. I judge nobody for how they handle the loss of family or friends. While I know how I felt I* can make no comment on others because I am not them. I understand your loss & the pain you have felt but only in the terms it applies to me. Do you understand what I am trying to say? God bless. Lou has been gone 33 years, Mom 14 & Dad 10 & I still miss them. Not a week goes bye that I don’t catch myself thinking about calling one of them to just say Hello & see how they are doing. Take care & know He cares about you in a very special way. I care as your Friend.

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  2. Remembering your Dad and the Wednesday night services with tears in my eyes this morning. It breaks my heart to read this, but I am so Blessed to have met him and have got to spend time with him if but for just a little while. You will always miss him and that hole in your heart that he always filled will never really heal. You will just learn to move forward without him. My Daddy has been gone for 13 years and it is without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. My thoughts and prayers are with you today as you remember the HAPPY times that you shared with him. Much love to you. Val.

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  3. I”m blessed and happy to have been with Senior Bishop Harry Mushegan for the 52 years now . His total submission to Jesus was unbelievle to witness it made me want to be a better person and strive to do what God wanted from me. Those of us who loved him still miss him also. Love to you and yours always.

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  4. Thank you Harolene. You have made the process of dying very clear. You know I walk thru the valley of the shadow of death. I am not afraid and I look forward to that day. I have so many waiting there for me. I am very happy. My family and friends have made me feel love as I never felt it before. I am so very blessed. Cancer is awful but having time to be prepared is a huge.blessing.

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    1. You are right, having time to prepare is a gift but there is nothing to fear. I love you and I pray for you❤️

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  5. Thank you, Harolene, for writing this commentary. We were very saddened when the Bishop passed and didn’t understand why you and your family chose not to have a public service. Perhaps, we just didn’t know him as well as we thought. He was always a servant of The Lord and was obedient to do His work.
    It was our good pleasure to have had him speak into our lives. It was in your church that we received the call to establish Covenant Life Church and follow God’s call and mandate. It was your Dad who spoke direction and wisdom to us when God told him things for us. He was the establishing witness when we thought we were losing our church property and building. He said it would not happen; he truly was a prophet and spoke only what God spoke. I am certain when he entered the Kingdom, Father God said, “Well done, My good and faithful servant!”
    May God bless you for all you did for your Father and for all you’re doing for your Mother. I believe you, too, will hear God’s approving, “Well done, My Child!”
    Thank you again for taking the time to share your heart. You are appreciated.
    Ann Moore
    Covenant Life Church
    Summerville, SC

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    1. Thank you Ann, my dad considered you and Pastor Mike his children in The Lord for sure. Your church stands alive as part of his legacy! 😄❤️

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