Tuesday, 16 January 2007

A post from the past

I wrote this quite a while ago and wanted to repost it as I am pretty proud of it.
Angels Among Us

The date was Thursday, May 20th, 2004, at 2:45 in the afternoon. I know
there were angels among us. It had been almost 5 years since his diagnosis. My
Dad lay dying in the hospital, with my Mom, my sister, my Aunt Julia and I all
with him, holding his hand. The sun was streaming through the window and
although it was the saddest moment of my life, there was a calm and peaceful
feeling that is difficult to describe.

The radio was softly playing Shania Twain’s “It Only Hurts When I
Breathe”. Dad’s breaths got slower and shallower and we knew the end was
imminent. As he took his last breath, Shania sang her last verse. A strong wind
suddenly blew through the window and papers flew around the room. As he exhaled
for the last time, the wind stopped and there was complete silence, save for the
gentle sound of “That’s What Friends Are For” playing on the radio. We prayed
and cried. It was over. The long, painful battle with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia
was over. Dad was in the arms of his maker, no longer suffering. I know there
were angels among us.

As we collected our things and said our last good-byes, Josh Groban sang
“You Raise Me Up” on the radio. This song had become our family’s theme over the
past couple of days. When Dad was admitted to Emergency, he lapsed into a coma.
As he smiled at us for the last time before losing consciousness, the song was
playing over the speakers. I know there were angels among us.

Over the next few days, we planned the most beautiful tribute to Dad. There
were so many people at the Church. As the casket was brought in, Josh Groban’s
“To Where You Are” played. My brother-in-law sang the song that had now become
our theme song, “You Raise Me Up” so beautifully that I knew there were angels
among us.

Dad’s battle was a long and hard one. He endured chemotherapy treatments
that were so strong they should have killed him. He suffered through lumbar
punches, hickman lines, poking, prodding, medications, infections, nerve damage,
humiliation and mental anguish that none of us could ever comprehend. Knowing
every day that he had a ticking bomb inside his blood that could explode any day
must have been pure hell. He was too young to die…57 years old. And still, he
never wavered. He was brave and strong and never complained. He never felt sorry
for himself. He accepted his fate and when we asked him about it, he would
always say, “Life deals the cards, we merely play the hand.” Throughout his long
struggle, I knew there were angels among us.

My father’s battle and subsequent death were not in vain. He has touched so
many people and changed so many lives that would otherwise not be touched. He
has opened hearts and opened minds. He has helped people change the way they
look at life. We all look at life very differently. We cherish each day. We tell
each other how much we care. We choose our battles and let things that are
unimportant go. My father was the proverbial sacrificial lamb that let us know
that there are angels among us.

When I think back and realize how many signs there were, I know there were
angels among us. They give us strength through hard times and guide us through
the most difficult paths in life. When my Dad died, my eyes were opened to see
things I never saw before. If we only open our hearts and minds, we will see the
little clues thatwe are not alone. I know there are angels among us. The songs
that play during the times of trial and turbulence are signs…some will say that
it is coincidence. I don’t. Open your heart to the angels among you. I know my
Dad is one of the angels now, watching over my family every day, helping us with
our daily struggles. Thank you Daddy for your love and guidance. I know you are
here with me…wearing the biggest and most beautiful wings and soaring through
the clouds in absolute perfection. I know that there are angels among us.
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