I booked a flight last night to Nebraska.

Normally I would drive, but this time it seems more prudent to fly so that I have as much time as possible with my dad.

As I was looking at flights, I called my mom to check which flights would work best for her schedule.  She was pretty flexible.  She was wondering if there was any special reason for my flying down.  Just want to come down and see dad.  Then I got an ear full of the latest developments;

Dad can’t move his feet;

it takes 2 nurses to lift my dad and sometimes they need to use a lift machine.

My brother is struggling to move him.

He doesn’t ask about coming home.

It seems like my dad’s physical body continuing the slow process of wearing down.  I am thankful for friends who have encouraged me to go sooner rather than later.  I am so thankful for their wisdom.  I also do not know what to expect when I see my dad.  I have tried to remain upbeat as I talk about my dad, but have not been successful, as one of my friends pointed out when he said, “I hear the worry, concern and anxiety in this (trip) for you.”    I knew that we would hit this time sometime this year, since the average life expectancy of a person with dad’s diagnosis is 6 years from onset to death.  My dad started having issues 5.5 years ago.  No matter whether it was expected or not, it is not easy.  My dad has always had been a big part of my life.

My goal now is not so much helping him to maintain what movement he had to helping him enjoy his last days, however long they might be.  I am putting together some things for him to read and to listen to.  He spends a good part of his day sleeping, so trying to not overwhelm him.  I am looking for a small CD player that I can leave with him.  He has the Bible on CD already.  I will take some music CD’s down with me.

Pray that these last days will be comfortable and that he will see the LORD’s hand in these last days.  If it would be in God’s plan, I would like to know where my dad’s heart is with respect to his eternal destiny.  I have indications that he knows and believes in God, but not sure if it is a saving faith.  Pray that God would be kind and gracious to give us some time to talk.  Generally I don’t get time alone with him, so pray that I  might have some time alone to talk with him.

Lord willing I will be taking the kids down 2 weeks after this trip.  Gary and Garrett will only be able to stay for one night as Garrett will be playing in a regional BB tournament.  But the rest of us will be there for a few days.  Pray that the kids will be able to lift his spirits and that they will have a sweet time with him as well.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV)

Please pray that I can be the aroma of Christ and encourage my dad.