stories about my father

E-mail My Father Sent to an NYU Colleague

Below you'll find an e-mail someone forwarded to me. It was composed by my father and addressed to an NYU colleague. The woman worked with my dad at the university and he was trying to offer some form of consolation. As difficult a task this is, my father had a tremendous gift at encouraging people, even when there seemed to be nothing to say. Ironically, this e-mail was sent January 2, 2003, almost 5 months earlier (to the date) when he was admitted into the hospital.

As I read this, I "hear" many things. Sometimes it's hard to re-read this for obvious reasons. But as hard as this is for me, I envision my father talking to me directly, encouraging me to move forward and also, seek my heavenly Father. (Note: Out of respect, I have purposely changed the identity of the names below. But everything is exactly as it was written.)

Hi Jan,

I just returned from Christmas break and was sorry to receive Susan’s message about your dad passing-on. I was aware of the fact that before Christmas, you were quite busy trying to find the best place to provide care for your dad; and I felt sad to hear about your loss.

I would like to share with you that in 2001, I lost my dad rather suddenly. I found it so difficult to comprehend that he just isn’t here any longer; however, as the weeks and months pass, I seem to reflect on the blessings that resulted from his life to a lot of people and especially to family members. I also remember that in his last few days on earth how he struggled to survive; and how I prayed asking the Lord to heal him; or, to please take him to heaven because the suffering was unbearable to my dad and to our family. I believe it was more difficult for my dad to see his children grieve for him during that time when he was struggling to stay alive; and I believe that the Lord was faithful. My dad is at peace now; however the process of God healing the loss & hurts in our hearts continues.

I believe that we each need as much time as necessary to mourn the loss of our loved ones; and I pray that during this time that you will be comforted by family, friends and fond memories of family times past; and I pray that The Lord send to you the “Comforter”, The Holy Spirit to fill your heart with God’s Love to sustain you during this time. In Psalm 55:22, we are encouraged to “Cast your cares on The Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.”

Best Regards, - Joe