Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ambushed

I think I started writing this blog entry back in March.

It had a different angle then, but today is the day I need to finish it.

I need to finish it because it’s been sitting unfinished for too long, because I need something to do right now and because, in some ways, I’ve circled back around to this spot.

First, the blog as it began…

Ambushed!

It happened very quickly and quite unexpectedly.

I was getting ready for an interview with an artist, just going over some very simple “ice-breaker” questions that could be used in a “speed round”. Sometimes when I’m writing the questions I’ll imagine the artist’s response or think about how I might answer that same question. Usually I’m just trying to see if the question works in the flow of a speed round or if it’s a question that lends itself to digging deeper and would be better suited in another part of the interview. This time I came upon the question, “What is your fondest childhood memory?” I thought for a second about how I might respond.

That’s when it happened.

Ambushed … by my own emotions.

I’m not a typically emotive person. It’s not that I’m cold or that I’m not in touch with my feelings. I’m just what some would call a “Steady Eddy”. I don’t usually swing from highs to lows, I’m just … steady. If I were a climate I’d best be described as “temperate”. Yet here I was flooded with long forgotten feelings and a profound sadness.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I burst into tears or found myself sobbing. In fact, I didn’t shed a tear. I was just sad.

So what was the source of the ambush? Where had these feelings been hiding, waiting for their chance to strike?

Oddly enough, they were lurking in my fondest childhood memories.

It started innocently enough. I was remembering Sunday dinners after church at my grandparents’ house. My paternal grandparents lived right across the street from us and my dad’s would all gather at their house on Sunday afternoon. My dad’s three brothers and his sister, all their spouses and children were there for a glorious feast. Every week it was the same. Roast beef, potato salad (with sweet pickles, not dill … and no onion), lima beans and snap beans fresh from my grandpa’s garden and homemade ice cream. My grandmother made the ice cream. She didn’t use an ice cream maker. She created a vanilla cream, some would say almost custard , and poured it into empty metal ice trays with the squares removed. Then she placed it in the freezer until it was ready.

That’s where the original blog entry stopped.

I’ve meant to get back to it several times, but the busyness of life has gotten in the way.

This is the problem with me and blogs. It’s why I have had this blog for a few years and have all of, what, two entries up to now? There just always seems to be something else to do.

Until today.

Today I was ambushed again and all of the busyness came to a screeching halt.

This time the source of the ambush was two little words. Ten characters if you typed them on a page or used them as an update on your twitter site.

Nine letters and a space. Nothing really, when taken alone.

World altering when put together.

Daddy died.

Those were the words of the second phone call from my mom this morning.

The first call had been to let me know he’d had a massive heart attack and was on a ventilator.
The doctors worked feverishly, but to no avail.

So now I sit here pondering many of those same childhood memories.

There’s plenty of stuff I could be doing. It all seemed pretty pressing and important a few hours ago.

Now, not so much.

We’re finishing a radio dramatization of A Christmas Carol. We’ve already aired 2 segments but there’s still a lot of work to do before the production is finished.

I’m supposed to be leaving with a group of 23 to star in a Christmas production in South East Asia three days from now. I don’t see that happening.

Right now the only thing keeping me from just sitting and staring is capturing these thoughts on my laptop.

The twitter messages, emails, texts and facebook posts are coming in pretty steadily. I appreciate all the prayers and well wishes, but responses will have to wait a while. I just can’t right now.

Someday I’ll sit and record a few more of the memories from childhood. I’ll pick up where I left off when I started this blog.

Today, though, I’ll just treasure the memories instead.

It was a great childhood.

Thanks Dad.

46 comments:

bookworm0709 said...

Praying for you and your family today especially. I lost my mom very suddenly nearly 14 years ago. Hearing the news of your dad's unexpected passing this morning is bringing all those emotions back to the surface. Cherish every single memory you have of your dad. Use them to give you strength to face the coming days. Above all, lean HARD on God. He will get you through. Love and Prayers.

scruffman said...

Your words speak volumes my friend. My thoughts are with you and your family. May we all slow down, take a moment, and remember those good times that pass so very quickly.

Keith

Anonymous said...

Along with the rest, I am praying for you and your family. The holidays are difficult for me as well, having lost both parents in December 13 years apart. Just remember God will not give you more than you can handle and there are many, many people you can turn to who can help you this. Use them!

Mara said...

Praying for you and your family. I lost both my dad and father inlaw unexpectedly. While the news was very difficult to hear, I was comforted by the fact that two men I loved and admired now walk with God. My faith got me through those hard times, as I know yours will as well. God bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Dave...just stop and cherrish those moments. It's time to just remember and feel your Father's love ...both now in Heaven. I feel your pain, I remember it all too well even though it was 20 years ago. Mom called at 11:35pm and said Daddy was having a heart attack. She called the ambulance and my new husband and I drove 15 minutes (seemed like an eternity) to get to Daddy. We drove two cars, I had to leave for work at 4am. I was just going to get Daddy settled at the hospital, go on to work and come back to continue his care. This couldn't be it...NOT yet! When I arrived at the house I was hit with flashing lights from the ambulance...I walked into the house almost in slow motion. Only to see some co-workers from the hospital where I worked shaking their heads and working hard to no avail. I knew he was gone, but I just didn't believe it. But God is good...it was Daddy's time to go home. Heaven is so much sweeter now. I love you and Emilie so much! May God shower you with peace and comfort. We are all sending our love and PRAYERS to you and your entire family. God bless you Dave. Thank you for all you do sharing your talents. Your Daddy raised a very good man...He is very proud of you Dave, very proud! Sent with Love - Dianna Walston

Peggy Edwards said...

So sorry for your tremendous loss.

Joetta said...

praying for you and your family..thanks for sharing your thoughts - I've been missing my Dad and father-in-law during this Christmas time...it's so true that we need to cherish each moment...praying for God's peace and wisdom. My girls and I have been so blessed by Sarasota Christmas at your church and by your stories on the morning show..

Anonymous said...

So very sorry for your family's loss today. I've been exactly where you are... from a massive heart attach, to gone. My dad was 53 yrs old. My heart aches you and your family. Know that this was no surprise to God. He is there right in the middle of your sadness waiting to comfort you. Blessings... love... prayers coming your way.
Debi

jthielen2 said...

Thanks For Sharing This.
God Bless You and Your Family.

Gzusphreek said...

You helped me through the loss of my dad when I got the same call at 5 a.m. on Dec 14, 2008. My dad was 50. The JOY FM was there to comfort me that Sunday morning, when I didn't feel like going to church and dealing with the people who are my support in troubled times, I knew I could get encouragement and strength from my radio family without all the pity and uncomfortable hugs. I found joy when it occurred to me that my daddy was extended a personal invitation to Jesus' birthday party. I pray you find that same joy and comfort this morning as you recall many fond memories from your childhood. John 16:22 - "So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.".

~Sasha

Jon said...

Praying for you, Dave. My grandma was suddenly taken by an unexpected heart attack just a few weeks ago. I know the pain of unexpectedly losing a grandparent and pain of unexpectedly losing a parent are two different pains, but either way, there are some of us out here who relate to you. I lost my mom to cancer when I was 16, before I was a Christian, and it was the hardest thing I ever went through. I became a Christian less than a year later. There is still pain, but it is so much easier going through it with my Father. I pray you find peace as well in this situation. God bless you, my brother in Christ

adaddysgirl said...

I to received a phone call with three words your Dad is gone about five years ago. I remember my breathing seemed to stop like the
air was taken away from me. You see I was a daddy's girl he was my world. You remain in shock before it really sinks in. I am so glad you have captured your memories on paper, lap top or a blog. I sat on my kitchen floor for what seemed three days writing a letter to my Dad of what it was like to be his little girl and I read it to him and everyone who attended the memorial service. Writing down all the memories reminded me of the many years we had together. This letter is still a comfort to this day. In praying for you and your family God reminded me that he has a purpose for behind all our problems. Romans 8:28 says And we know that in All things God works for the good of those who love Him. I think all the good is your wonderful life with your Dad and the amazing future you will have when you see him in heaven. We Love you Dave. love your family in Christ

Anonymous said...

my dad meant the world to me - no matter how prepared we are, it is one of the most difficult things to deal with. remember all the good times knowing you will be together again one day, my prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

Dave, you and JOY FM have changed my life in ways I don't even yet understand. Know that your friends and family are here for you. I am praying that you and your family find peace in God and joy & laughter in the memories of your Dad that you all will go through; some alone and many together. I lost my Mom 3 1/2 years ago and know what you must be going through. Love in Christ - DLR

Naynay74 said...

That was Beautiful Dave..My husband just lost his dad a few months back and it wasnt easy for him.His father was an amazing preacher and a wonderful father and grandfather.Even tho we know they went home to be with the Lord,we are still human and our flesh becomes weak and we MISS them and we are so very SAD and we Cry and everything else.Its a normal part of life.Praise God for saving us and helping us through those times.To comfort us and Strengthen us when we need it the most.He still struggles with it some days and its never an easy thing.I left you a verse on the joyfm fbpage but i just want you to know it will get easier and its nothing that we plan as far as how to cope and how long we will feel the way we feel just know you are not alone.You have familys all over here for you and yours and praying for you and yours.Let not your heart be troubled my Brother..God will surely see you through this time.

Julia said...

Dear Dave,
I am so sorry for your devastating loss. A dad is such an important part of our lives... and we feel such loss when he leaves. I thank God that you had a dad that had a positive impact on your life.

Sylvia said...

My prayers are with you and your family. Just yesterday a thought came across me as I was heading home from work. This year our family decided note to exchange gifts but a thought came to my mind to send a gift of memories. I plan to write each of my siblings & mother a letter talking about a special childhood memory with them and what it meant to me. The thought brought a warm feeling over me as if I knew this was what God wanted me to do. So when you have time write those memories so that they can be treasured by your family as well. Blessings, Sylvia

Terry Kirkman said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you, truly.

Anonymous said...

Dave, so sorry for the loss of your dad. Praying for your family at this time. It is funny how another' s loss triggers our own memories. My grandpa Harold has been gone for 22 years but today the news Carmen and Bill shared about your loss made me return to that day in December. I find comfort in knowing I will see him again. May comfort encircle your family during this as God wraps his arms around your dad.
LeAnne of Spring Hill

Anonymous said...

Just know you and Emily and your boys are loved by your listening audience. You touch us with your wit and wisdom every weekday, Dave. Today, we are touched by your life and the loss of your father and the sadness you are in.I'll be praying for your entire family. I lost my Dad in 2008. Your Mom will really need you right now. Love and Prayers, Linda King

Louis K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louis K said...

Praying for you and your family. We know that we are more than conquerors, who cannot be separated by any thing, neither death nor life, from God's love.

Bless you brother...

Louis

Judy Colson said...

Dave, I'm so sorry for your loss.
You and your family are in my prayers, also the whole JoyFm staff. I know first hand what it is like to loose parents at a holiday. My dad died Christmas day of 1980. My mom died Jan. 2 2000. It's to hard to take unless you put your faith in God, the one who made us. I know you are strong in your faith, just cling to that and hold on to your family and friends for support. You will make it through. Hold on to the wonderful memories and share them to keep them alive. God Bless you and all your family. Love and Prayers, and Hugs, lots of Hugs....

Judy

Naynay74 said...

Matthew 5:4"BLESSED are they that MOURN;for THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED"

Liz said...

God bless you and your family Dave and thanks so much for sharing something so personal with your listeners. Never forget those beautiful memories because sometimes it's the only thing that will get you through times like this. I offer condolences to you and your family and pray that you will take comfort in knowing that you will be with your dad again one day and until then he will be smiling down on you from heaven.

Gary H said...

Dave, Its never easy losing someone you love; my dad was ailing for a number of years and was fighting dementia because of a stroke. We Lost him this past September, I was the one who delivered the first phone calls saying that Dad was gone. I have since looked back on my own childhood with fond memories of growing up; I even posted a memorial of pictures on my facebook page. My wife lost her father only 9 months earlier from a long illness. They have passed the test and kept the faith and now have obtained heaven's reward. They are home with the Father and not suffering anymore. Our prayers are with you. His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

Anonymous said...

We are praying for you and your family during this time. Having lost my own father (almost 20 years ago), I understand and empathize with you. I don't have to tell you that God is good and loves you. He WILL get you through this.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dave,
With a blink of an eye, your life has been changed...or ambushed. Reading this speaks volume of how you are. Taking the time, now of all times, to finish your blog. It has reached out to so many people...and has touched "their memories of their sudden moments." Making us relate to your tender moment. God is with you and your family. Hugging you as you go through all of this. Just as he is hugging everyone and comforting all of us who have gotten that phone call. As I have too. We are all praying for you and your family during this time.
God Bless you,
MK

Anonymous said...

i'm praying for you and your family. thanks for all you do and to the message of the joy fm

Anonymous said...

Sometimes there are no words...just God's Love....

DKemker said...

Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. My Dad went on to heaven earlier this year, such a mix of emotions. May the Peace that passes all understanding comfort you.

TC said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Dave. You and your family are in my prayers.

Julie said...

Praying for you and your family during this very difficult time.

Anonymous said...

Dave, I am very sorry for your loss; you, Bill and Carmen take me to work every day and Michelle brings me home. I am so thankful for the Joy FM and all of you. The Joy FM was the pillar of strength for my family in 2009 when we lost my grandfather, Ray. He went in for surgery in the beginning of August 2009 and the surgery went great but then about a week after while he was recovering in ICU, something went drastically wrong, something no one can explain. He spent the next nine weeks in a coma fighting for his life in ICU and finally lost his fight and went home to be with our heavenly father on October 14, 2009. He is greatly missed by all of us; but we found some comfort in one of his favorite scriptures (Psalm 116:15 - Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.) My prayers are with you and your family during this time of sorrow and grief. God Bless and may all of us, as you eluded to in your post, find a way of slowing things down and taking the time to be with loved ones for time is one thing that no matter how much money you have, you can not buy any additional of. Your brother in Christ - Ryan Hayden

Kathy said...

The healing will happen. Until then we will carry you.

lemondelight said...

I can relate my Brother in Christ. I lost my dad August 1st of this year. I too felt ambushed.

Anonymous said...

Dave you are in our thoughts and prayers. It is especially hard when we lose someone during the holidays. You can be certain your dad will be feasting with Jesus this Christmas and you WILL see him again!

Deborah said...

I feel as if I personally know the JOY FM personalities and I know MANY listeners do! Our hearts are aching for you! My own family can empathize with you as we had our unexpected phone call in July. My mom was widowed a second time. 26 years of marriage to my (super) dad til he passed away from cancer, 21 years to my stepfather, a very loved man by us all. My husband lost his mother, a WONDERFUL mother in law, in early November. We mourn for us and our heartaches, wanting them back again even if just for a moment to make sure they know how much we love them. But we know they've moved on to their forever home in heaven and there is no better place to be than with our Creator and Mighty God! Allow him to be your Counselor and Comforter thru this as well as all your supporters in life! We love you, Dave!

Anonymous said...

Dear Dave,
Words cannot express my wife's, and my own sympathies for your Dad's passing...but perhaps not for the usual reasons...Sallie and I are in our 50's, and, though we raised all 3 of our kids in the Nazarene church,as adults, they have all resisted God's calling on their lives; we trust God's promises that He will give them every oppurtunity for salvation, and more, so we live our lives, with His guidance, and pray for our children.
Meanwhile, seven weeks ago, our oldest, Mark ,28, passed away from an OD of a drug that has become an epidemic, here in Pasco County. We turned to The Lord for answers and comfort, and the comfort provided thru His Holy Spirit has been an amazing testimony to His love, for us, and for Mark; two weeks before his passing, Mark prayed through the sinner's prayer, in a dentist's chair, at a benevolent Christian's dental office; I was there; I saw it change my Mark in a big way, but he didn't have enough time to overcome his substance problems, before The Lord called him Home.
Dave, I know i'm 'preaching to the choir', but know that you and your family have not yet seen the total depth of God's grace in this time of mourning; know further that my church(Sheperd's Heart Ministries@www.shmonline.com)in Dunedin, Fla. where I,to, am a musician, will keep you and your family in prayer. Our 'main' service is on Friday nights, where we celebrate Jesus, and honor the Hebrew Sabbeth with what we call 'Tikvah Israel('Tikvah' is Hebrew for 'hope'...'hope of Israel')...
Blessings to you all at The Joy fm. Sincerely, Neil&Sallie

Anonymous said...

Jan 9, 1997, I got that same phone call.
So many times I have picked up the phone to tell Daddy--only he wasn't there.
My 19 year old son doesn't remember his Grandpa. What a shame. My 23, 26, and 29 year old sons have fond, yet distant, memories.
This man walked and talked with his "Maker", as he called Jesus, daily.
This man could talk with the famous, and be comfortably at home with the homeless. My Daddy had a gift that not too many people get to experience. His stately mannerism was, at just the right moment, humble and subservient.
Daddy was a gifted singer. When he sang and recited "Child of the King", there wasn't a dry eye in the building.
Yes, Daddy was a Child of the King, as am I. Humbly, I am also the child of the King of my childhood.
Your Father's home-going has stirred memories, brought sadness, and nostalgia. I like to think that your Daddy and my Daddy are hanging out beside the River of Life, swapping gardening tales, and praising God as brothers. On earth, they would never have met. In Heaven, they are united, waiting for their children to "Come on home--it's Supper Time."
Gail LeBlanc, Ocala
leblancgh@gmail.com

Phil said...

Dave,
I to lost my dad August 17, 2010, he was my best friend and my lunch buddy. Unlike your situation, I was able talk to my dad about his salvation and his wishes at the end of life. Those were moments that I will always cherish.

I just went back to church for the first time after his death. I had sent the "Overcome" song by the new life church to the praise team director over facebook. They sang it this past Sunday.

I/we shall overcome those lost to us, and take refuge in knowing that we will all meet again.

mirekusa25 said...

I lost my father August 29th. Not that I didn't understand how hard it must be to lose a parent but losing mine was just..devastating. It changes everything, and yet nothing really changes. Life as usual but not really. The overwhelming loss and void it creates within you is sometimes just suffocating. Yet, we know they are with Jesus, my father and yours. And, we are comforted by that fact and also in knowing that we will see them again we God calls us home. As my mother say's, it's difficult when you have your foundation ripped from you and you realize that you quickly becoming the "wise" and older generation. My prayers and affinity for your lost are there for you and your family. Thank you for doing what you do. I listen to you everyday while I work at home. I appreciate you.

Michael said...

I'm going to go HUG my Dad! God bless all that you hold dear!

DaD said...

My dad/father live on forever in my everyday conscience. He and mom's portrait or on my bureau in the bedroom. Dad was a man of tools, to put it simply, and so most of all his tools are in my shed. When I've misplaced my own wire cutters or my own hammer, or center punch or whetstone I'll reach for his. Then mutter to myself "See dad I couldn't have fixed that without your help once again. Thanks." Even the techniques I use and approach I have to solving a mechanical problem and on down to the insight into materials and processes was a result of my willingness to spend time with Dad and listening to what he had to say in his shop.

This carries over easily to spiritual matters as in "Are we willing to spend time with God and listen to what He is saying to us and have we slowed down enough to thank Him?"

My dad was a aircraft engine machinist in the Navy. A diesel mechanic in the oil fields of southern Illinois then spent 25 years as mechanical designer for Reynolds Aluminum before retiring.

Zach Haynes said...

So very sorry for your family's loss today. I've been exactly where you are... from a massive heart attach, to gone. My dad was 53 yrs old. My heart aches you and your family. Know that this was no surprise to God. He is there right in the middle of your sadness waiting to comfort you. Blessings... love... prayers coming your way. Debi

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