I've been thinking about the people in my life who have passed and gone to Heaven.
The anniversary of my Dad's death is coming up in December. It will be 23 years December third that my Dad left this world and started his life in Heaven. I was only nine years old when my Daddy passed away. I was there, he was at home, he was so very sick. He had lung cancer. The tumor in his lung was inoperable, it was too close to his heart. I remember the night he passed like it was yesterday.
I am being so open and honest here, please bear with me as I wander through the memories...
It was a school night and my Mom had said that I could stay up a little late to work on some extra-credit work for school. I finished what I was doing and was getting ready to go to bed (this was maybe 10 or 10:30pm) I went into Mom and Dad's bedroom, this was where my Dad spent most of his time because he was so tired from the treatments he was getting. I said goodnight to both of them. Daddy was sitting in his old comfy chair. I told him goodnight again and said, "See you in the morning". To which he replied,"Yes, I hope so". That was my last conversation with my Daddy. I never hugged him, gave him a kiss or anything. I took for granted that he would still be there the next day. Now, I was 9, so being a child I never gave his last words to me a second thought, at least not at that exact moment. So I went to bed and went to sleep.
I was awakened about an hour or so later by the heavy footsteps of a firefighter coming up the stairs. I couldn't comprehend what was going on. I didn't move, I was scared. I didn't realize what was happening until I heard the fireman tell my Mom "I'm sorry Ma'am, we can't bring him back". My world came crashing down. Why was this happening? Why did Daddy leave us? I still did not move, I just lay there, hoping that I was just dreaming. I remember closing my eyes and I think I dozed back to sleep. I then remember my brother coming into my bedroom (Mom had called him as he just lived around the corner from us) and he picked me up and carried me downstairs. I already knew that Daddy had passed, I heard the fireman but I still had to ask my brother what was going on. He whispered to me, "Dad is gone. He is gone, Stasha". I started crying instantly. I cried for hours. I was the only one who cried that night, everyone else was in shock I think. After that I don't really remember much, I think I blocked alot of it out because the pain was almost too much to handle.
So here I sit at the age of 32 and I still cry when I recall that night. I look at Daddy's last words to me and I realize, he knew his time was coming. I don't think he knew the exact time but I think he knew it was close. I just wish that I would have realized it then and hugged him and kissed him and spent as much time with him as I could have. But you can't change the past and you can't go back in time.
There is nothing in this world that will ever be able to fill the void in my heart. Every missed birthday, every missed holiday. It makes me sad to know that Kaylee will never know him (she knows who he is though, I've made sure of it. From the time she was a little baby I have shown her pictures of him and she knows that he is her Pappaw Duncan). Even though I know that he knows her (ask me, I'll tell ya).
These things make me sad. But the one thing that makes me happy is knowing that even though he hasn't been here physically he has been here in spirit.
I also know that when my time comes, Daddy will be there to greet me when I step into Heaven.