Friday, September 18, 2015

My Dad

This is a whiplash week.  That's the only way I can describe it.  Freedom came Tuesday.  Heartbreak (again) broke down the door on Wednesday morning.  My Dad, my wonderful father, got called home late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning.  We aren't sure exactly what the cause of death was, but we know one thing: The Lord made it so peaceful.  There was no fight, no tremor, no trauma.  It is literally like the Lord said, "David, it's time."

And he said, "Ok!"

That's the way it should be.  When the Lord calls, there should be no regrets about saying goodbye.  There should be no looking back like Lot's wife.  There should be no trying to hold up your finger to just take a second to tell the ones you love you will see them later.  We should live that way now and my Dad did that pretty well.

The living deal with the emptiness.  The living deal with being left behind and the gaping hole that is created by absence.  I'm not angry with God.  I know how He works and I know it was time for my Dad to go.  I DIDN'T WANT HIM TO, and I wouldn't have picked this kind of exit, or at this time, but my God knows better.  He could have taken him 15 years ago when he had an aneurysm but the Good Lord gave him more time to teach us how to live and be and have faith.  I just wish I could have said goodbye.  Or had the chance to love on him a little more.

Today, I wrote his obituary.  Something I never thought in my wildest I would ever do.  I guess that legitimizes my standing in the family as a writer.  I texted 2 friends after I wrote it that I felt like I was going to throw up.  I've gotten that feeling a few times in the last 54 hours.

Thank you to all who've called, texted, emailed, cooked and delivered food, asked after us and been with us in our as-yet-unprocessed-grief.

I've been here (sort-of) before, so I can ask for prayers.  Pray for our strength next Wednesday.  I pray for my Mom past the busyness of next Wednesday.  There is so much still to do, to handle, to process. It takes so long to move on.  We have to figure out a "new normal" again.  Yet, this time without the patriarch.  He was kind, generous, faithful and gracious.  He taught my brother and I to be that way too.  We are who we are because of who our Dad was.  And our children carry on that legacy, just as they will tell stories of him to their children.

We have 1,000 generations of blessing coming.

As I've said several times this week as his body has passed, Bye Dad.  I love you.  I will miss you terribly.  You were such a good Dad.  I'll see you soon.

(Here's the obituary I wrote which will be in the Chronicle and various church publications soon.) 
On Wednesday, September 16, 2015, David Warren Wakefield, treasured husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully in his sleep.  He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Carole, his son Craig, daughter and son-in-law Amy and David Vogel and his beloved 5 granddaughters: Madison, 16, Ryan, 12, Natalie, 11, Sophia, 9 and Ella Grace, 2.  

David was a man of great integrity, wisdom, generosity and humor.  He made an impact on all who met him, with his ideas, jokes and profound intelligence.  He graduated from Georgia Tech University in 1967.  He entered the Navy as a Lieutenant and served as a Naval Aviator from 1967-1971. 

He ran several successful companies; all in the Power Generation and Process Industry and his knowledge of this business cannot be duplicated.  His reputation for fair-mindedness and gracious conduct is felt by all who worked with and for him.  While business was his focus, family was his life.  He loved his wife, his children and was enormously proud of all of his granddaughters.  He saw the blessing and gift they were to his life and, just like with his children, he was a committed presence in their lives.

He was also a man of deep faith, especially in his time as a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist.  He always wore a gold Number One pin on his collar.  When he was asked about it, he simply said, “It reminds me to keep the Lord first.”  He taught so many the meaning of a well-lived life, how to have fun here and now and the importance of living in light of eternity.  He will be greatly missed and loving remembered.

A Memorial service is being held on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 at 10 am at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Luke’s United Methodist Church (Building Fund in the memo, under “giving.”) or PKD Foundation,


Janice and James said...

My precious Amy, you spilled your heart! Wonderful job.....Jesus never fails!

April Ferguson said...

Hi, Amy, I am a friend of your brother's from our swimming days at CLHS. My heart hurts for the emptiness you all feel. As I told Craig, be open to the signs that your father's spirit is still with you and keeping watch. At first, you may think some things are coincidence...or I did when my father passed. As time went on, I realized it was him guiding me look at certain things that defined our relationship while he was here on Earth...and that soft voice in your head that still guides and loves...that's his spirit. I am sorry that his passing came not even 24 hours of such great news for your Sophia. God does work, though, and I'm sure your dad delights in her victory, too. Hugs to the whole family!!! ~April

Divalicous said...

Amy, my deepest sympathies go to you and entire your family. Your tribute to your father was beautifully written. May our Heavenly Father comfort you today, tomorrow and during the days and months ahead. - Kim Campbell