One month ago today, my sweet Daddy went to live in heaven. Of course he timed it with the full moon, because sure enough he was out on Saturday night. Sister Bee called me and said have you seen Papa’s Moon? I ran outside. It was so beautiful.
As I reflect on the two weeks leading up to his journey, it all played out the way it was supposed to. He was surrounded by countless friends who came to say their goodbyes. All our family was here, even baby Bryan, my 30-something nephew in the Navy, was able to be with him until Daddy’s last breath. Daddy even got to have his last “lodge” meeting a few days before he closed his eyes into deep slumber.
Always the prankster, one of his friends, I think his name is Big John, put a plastic bug in Daddy’s bed. It about scared the bajesus out of me — thinking what kind of establishment is this that has giant bugs in patient beds, until I realized what it was. So, even in death, Daddy made things funny for us.
Two lasting images I have, are my precious mother giving Daddy his last kiss goodbye. Devoted to each other. You didn’t say Ray without saying Earnie too. Forrest Gump would say “they were like peas and carrots.”
The other classic image is Daddy and his cell phone. His phone was his lifeline to the outside world. Somehow, we don’t know how, while he was in ICU, he managed to get a nurse to let him use her cell phone. We had told him no phones were allowed in patient rooms — a white lie, but we thought it was a good one. Anyway, he called Earnie late one night to talk to her. Like a mother of a teenager I got on the extension and told Ray under no uncertain terms to hang up. He was not allowed to be calling Earnie, they both needed their rest. Daddy has no memory of that night.
So, as his days on earth came to an end, we placed that old cell phone in his hand. We laughed we should pen a country song titled…”waitin’ on a call from Jesus”. It was a lovely site — his phone, the cross on his chest and his talking watch on his wrist. Jesus did call Ray…and they’ve been together ever since. I look forward to hearing Daddy’s “reeport” at the next full moon.