For the last few nights and early mornings, the moon has been especially beautiful- round, full and bright. For me a full moon conjures up many different images:
- Being at school as our kids excitedly moved through the hallways, as we (the teachers) passed each other shaking our heads murmuring “Must be a full moon!”
- Sitting on the porch at the beach looking out over the ocean, watching the moon rise, big and beautiful- never being able to quite fully capture its’ beauty with my camera.
- Watching the sunrise on a cold February morning as my college buddies and I sit huddled together waiting for the sunrise, as the moon slowly fades from our vision.
However, what I ALWAYS think about when I see a full moon is the night my daddy died. As I walked out early yesterday morning to take Freddie for a walk, the moon was gorgeous. As I stopped to stare at the wonder of God’s beauty, images of the night Daddy died flooded my mind. Today, February 15th, would have been his 78th birthday. He passed away in 2006 after complications from prostate cancer. The Hospice nurses told us his death would be soon. My mom, my sister, my brother and I thought about whether we wanted to be there when he slipped from this world into the next. My sister and my mom knew they wanted to be there and my brother knew that was something he could not handle. However; I was the one unsure of whether I could handle being there or not. Afraid to be there when it happened; yet afraid I would regret not being there. Thankfully, the decision was made for me. I was in the hall when my mom yelled for me to come into the room. I rushed to Daddy’s bedside as Daddy died peacefully, surrounded by my mom, my sister and me. God knew this was where I needed to be and I have always felt so thankful I was there at that time.
As we walked out of the hospital on that chilly March night, I looked up in the sky and saw the most beautiful full moon. A feeling of peace came over me. Seeing this moon made me realize that things would be all right- now daddy was free of pain and living in God’s eternal kingdom.
I think of daddy daily and so often wish I could tell him many things. There are so many things that immediately bring thoughts of him to my mind: eagles, lighthouses, Lake Lure, Carolina Beach, birds, dolphins, Furman University and of course the full moon. As I have been working with and writing about my work with people who are faced with food and housing insecurity, so many people have said, “Your daddy would be so proud of you!” That is the greatest praise I could hear. I choose to believe that God does let our loved ones know of the good things we do, things that would bring them delight.
Among my prayers today: God, please pass along to my dad, “Daddy, thank you for instilling in me a love for helping others. Happy Heavenly Birthday. I love you! “