It's past one o'clock in the morning. I'm at my parent's house, sitting in my father's room. Gospel music is playing through his television which has the volume turned down. My wife is here as is my sister and mother -- they're all sleeping, worn-out. We are on an around the clock vigil for my 81 year-old father who is nearing the end of his life's journey on this earth. He has been on home care for the past couple of months and last week was put on hospice care.
There is a certain finality to "hospice" which emotionally hit home with me today as the nurse, quite matter-of-factly, apprised us that Dad would most likely pass tonight. That news affected all of us and turned today (actually yesterday, now) into an extremely taxing day for the entire family. A day of tears and laughter, singing and praying, worship and worry, memories and mysteries, faith and family -- a day unlike any other that I have experienced. I am just thankful for the grace of God, by which I stand.
So here I am, last man standing. Well, sitting, actually. Doing whatever is needed to help make Dad more comfortable. Praying constantly for him, talking to him and just basically loving on this great man who has "fought a good fight, and finished his course."
The closing of this chapter is near, as is the beginning of a new one... a glorified, eternal one. Heaven awaits.