My girls called him Paw Lloyd although he wasn’t really their Papaw. My niece called him Papaw because that’s what he was to her. My brother-n-law, Dean, called him Daddy. He worked hard to raise his kids, he gave them a good home and a good start in life. Dean never really left home. When he and my sister were married they set up housekeeping in the basement of the home that Dean had always called home, his Daddy’s home. That’s where Dean and my sister have lived for 26+ years.
When Lloyd got older and as his health began to fail a role reversal took place. Lloyd suffered from COPD and struggled for every breath. He used oxygen that he could not be without for even short periods of time. Dean and Glenda became the caregivers. They were the ones to treat the sickness and feed the hungry. Meals were provided, medical attention given, just down right love and attention that an aging parent needs was always readily given by both Dean and Glenda. Every morning before taking off for the day Dean would head up the stairs to check on his dad, take him breakfast, and make sure he had taken his morning medicine with a gentle reminder that lunch would be delivered and to take his midday meds. Every night concluded with Dean taking his Daddy dinner and visiting for a while to keep his Daddy from being lonely. Just a few minutes of attention and chat was all Lloyd wanted. He loved to talk … to anyone … regardless of the topic … Lloyd wanted to talk. Sometimes serious … Sometimes funny … but always conversation. If for some reason Dean was gone for a few days he always made arrangements for someone to check on his Daddy and he would call him several times throughout the day to make sure he had everything he needed and was doing OK.
In following his regular routine Dean woke up yesterday morning, showered, got dressed, had breakfast and headed upstairs to take breakfast to his Daddy and check in before leaving for Church. That would be the last time Dean followed this routine. He found his Daddy laying in the bathroom floor, still and quiet, no longer struggling to breath, no longer suffering from a disease that had destroyed any resemblance of a normal life. Lloyd had gotten up sometime during the night or early morning to go to the bathroom and the Lord saw fit to call out his name …
I ‘d like to think that Lloyd is walking the streets of gold today and that he is no longer suffering but I find with heavy heart that while Lloyd was a good man and a great father I’m not sure where he was in his walk with God. I feel burdened by this and while I know there is nothing anyone can do and no amount of prayer can save a soul that may have died in sin … I’m struggling because I just can’t be sure that Lloyd is with the Lord now. I think back at all of the times I’ve had when I could have witnessed to Lloyd and just asked him where he stood with God … but I took those times for granted … as a result I’ll never know … I’ll never know where Lloyd and God stood. I pray he was in the right place with God … but until my death … I’ll never know.
Edited to add:
Yesterday in a peaceful funeral we said goodbye to Lloyd. During the service the minister, Reverend Dendy, shared with us many of the things he and Lloyd had shared over the years. They grew up together, went to school together, worked together, and were in general just good friends. Reverend Dendy shared with us the last visit he had with Lloyd. This visit was just days before Lloyd passed away. During that visit he had the opportunity to ask Lloyd where he stood with God and if he was certain where he would spend eternity. Lloyd confirmed that he was ready to meet the Lord and knew he would spend eternity in Heaven. I noticed briefly that several people in attendance at the service quickly looked in question at each other when Reverend Dendy made this statement. To their wondering look, which he also noticed, he made one statement … he said “For those of you who may not believe that Lloyd was ready to meet the Lord, let me assure you he was because one thing I’ve learned is that a dying man don’t lie and when Lloyd said he was ready to go he was also sure he was ready to meet the Lord”
I feel at ease now … Lloyd is rejoicing on the streets of Heaven today. He’s been reunited with his mother, his daddy, and his brothers that went on before him. He is at peace and best of all … he’s not suffering anymore.
If you’re not sure where you stand with God please don’t waste another day wondering … take care of settling your affairs with God and be on that path to Heaven.