THE LOVE WE SHARED KEEPS TOUCHING OTHERS
It was Saturday, August 27th, 2005. That day I was celebrating my 29th birthday. Usually my mother would call at the break of dawn to wish me well, but that day I slept in late. The phone finally rang but it was not the call I was expecting. It was my sister Kim. She resides in Canada. For a split second I was happy. The thought of her remembering my birthday made my day. To my surprise, her voice just wasn’t the same. I asked her what was the matter. She told me her mother in-law had passed away that Thursday and today was the funeral. She then went on to say, “Daddy is really sick. No one knows what’s wrong, except he has a high temperature and he is really weak.”
She had just spoken to Mom and they were trying to decide where to take him. My parents live in Trinidad. That’s in the Caribbean. The emergency system there is really not for emergencies. I told my sister I was going to call Mommy to find out what’s really going on. That’s when Kim said something that really disturbed me. She said “Please prayer for him.” She went on to say she was worried because death comes in twos. I immediately told her I do not believe in that superstition. With that I hung up and dialed what used to be my old home number.
The phone rang twice and then my mother answered. She was concerned for her husband of 35 years. I asked her for an update. She stated that daddy had an abscess in his butt - he had a high temperature and he was very weak because he had not eaten the past three days. Then in the background I heard him ask who was on the phone. She called out my name, and then passed the phone over to him.
When Dad came on the phone, we were both silent. Then with no warning he started to cry. I tried comforting him, but for some reason the right words could not come out of my mouth. I wanted to tell him I loved him and everything would be okay. The words ‘I love you, Dad,’ could not come out. I have never heard my father say those words to me or any one else for that matter. I say it to my husband and my kids but I could not find it in me to say it to him. He knew I loved him and I knew he felt the same. It was understood . . . but never said out loud.
I asked him why he waited until he was so sick before saying something to Mom. Then I said with a stern voice, yet still crying, “Daddy - you will get through this, and when you do you will have to change your life -- stop smoking, start praying -- altogether change you life.” I said all I could, then he murmured to me, “Okay.
When my mother came on the phone she wanted to know what I told him that would make him cry like that. I gave her the short version of what happened, and then she said my sister Keisha had arrived to take him to a private hospital. We said goodbye, and I was told as soon as they checked in, they would give me a call with an update.
When I hung up the phone, I could not stop crying. I was mad that my sister mentioned that death comes in twos. I wanted to be there for my dad. It was too much to bear so I did the best thing I know how and that was to pray. I told my husband what was going on and he too dropped on his knees.
So far my birthday had started out a little rough, but it got better. My family presented me with my presents and they told me how much they loved me. That brought a smile back to my face. I started to cook a big lunch because I was on my way to celebrate my birthday with fellow choir members at a friend’s house.
About three hours later, while I was in the kitchen, the phone rang. It was my other sister Amoy. She was on her way to the hospital to see Daddy but took the time to call and gave me the number to my sister Keisha’s cell, so I could call right away. She told me they were going to do the surgery to drain the abscess and the family wanted me to talk to him before he went in. I called the cell and sure enough Keisha answered; then within a second I was on with Dad again. I asked him how he was doing and he whimpered, “Not well.” I told him not to worry. I assured him that after the surgery he would feel a lot better and that I was praying for him.
Then we were back to that moment again. I got the urge to say, ‘I love you dad,’ but could not. I was silent for a few seconds - then I gathered my thoughts and said I would call him when I got back home from my birthday party. Keisha took the phone and felt really bad for not remembering; so did my mom. But that was the least of our thoughts, even for me.
We had a nice time at the party. While I was there I couldn’t help thinking about how my day started. No one else knew what happened that day except a handful of people I spoke to.
I could not wait to get home to call my mom to get an update. When we walked in the house, I made sure the kids were ready for bed before I called, because I did not want to be disturbed. Before I knew it, the phone rang. It was Kim. The first thing she said to me was not to worry. Of course that’s exactly what I did. She started out by saying, “He will be okay.”
I was not in the mood for games. I blurted out: “Just tell me what’s going on!” Then she started spilling out everything. “The doctors did not operate. Daddy had a heart attack.”
I almost passed out. She told me not to cry - just pray. I told her I wanted to call Keisha and find out what the real story was.
I dialed the number as fast as I could. After one ring she picked up. As soon as she heard my voice she started to sniffle as if holding back tears. I told her what I heard and wanted details. She said, “Daddy did not know he was having a heart attack. It was a really small one. It was only detected by the monitor. The reason for not operating was due to the fact he was too weak - because of not eating for days and the abscess was so infected they could not put him under anesthetic until he was stronger.” She went on to say that she had good news. I was thinking … anything after today must be good news. Earlier that night she told her husband Darryl to go into the room and pray for daddy. He agreed and they both stood by his bedside and prayed for him.
After the “Amen,” Darryl left the room and she decided to stay and chat for a while. She asked him why did he do this to himself. Why didn’t he call her if he was feeling ill, or someone else, for that matter. He told her he was used to breaking out in boils about his skin and he thought this one was just another. The reason for not eating was a result of being in too much pain to go to the bathroom. He came to the conclusion that if he did not eat he would not pass stool and that would eliminate him having more pain than he could handle. Then he told her he had not slept for four days. She asked him “Why? Were you in so much pain you could not sleep?”
That’s when he said the unthinkable. He said, “When I close my eyes … I see these ugly looking things at the foot of my bed.”
Keisha was startled. She asked, “What do you mean, ugly looking things? Do you mean demons?!” He shook his head in confirmation.
Keisha stood up … full of rage … dropped to her knees and started to pray, rebuking the demons away. She said while she was praying, he was calling out to her in a frantic voice, but she did not stop. She kept on going. Within a few moments he stopped calling out to her and in a calm tone he told her they were leaving the bedside. She continued for a few more seconds.
Then she told him if he ever saw them again, repeat these words “I rebuke you in the NAME OF JESUS!” He shook his head in agreement. Without further delay the Holy Spirit took over and He prompted Keisha to ask Dad, “Do you love Jesus?”
Without hesitation he said, “Yes. I love Him very much.”
I think that was the first time anyone of us had ever heard Dad say he loved anyone. Then like clockwork she asked him if he ever said the sinner’s prayer. He said he had -- a long time ago when he was a little boy. He told her he lived with a lady who would take care of him and she took him to church. He never kept up with it. Funny, I always thought my dad grew up with his mother. I guess for some time he was under the care of someone else.
At that very moment he said he wanted to say it again. “He was very anxious,” Keisha said.
The Holy Spirit gave her the words to say and Daddy repeated word for word. When they were finished, he told her he was really sleepy … and see to it no one came by to visit him. He did not want to be disturbed. In no time at all he was snoring. Sound asleep. After all - he had to catch up on four days of lost sleep.
When all was said, I felt a warm, comforting feeling. I felt as if I had won the lottery. In a way it was. The grand prize was eternal life for my father. Even though he was still really sick, and we had no idea what was wrong, we knew no matter what … the eventual outcome would be okay.
I will never forget that day for the rest of my life. The day I was born, August 27th, my father was spiritually born again.
That night I prayed and praised God for what his son Jesus did for my dad. I had a restful sleep knowing he was going to be okay.
The next day was Sunday. What a day for rejoicing and praise. I was walking around as if I was on air. We got up and got dressed for church as usual. Before I left the house I called my dad and told him I was on my way to church and that I was happy with the decision he made last evening. I told him I would pray for him and I would call him when I got back. He sounded better; a little stronger than before.
When we got in church, the pastor’s wife, Ruthie, greeted me. She immediately asked how my dad was doing. I said, “Great!” I briefly told her he was still very sick but he had given his life to Christ last night. She was overjoyed.
I joined the rest of the choir on stage and not long after we started to sing. The song we sang was “God is still doing great things.”
I could not get the words to come out of my mouth. I was so emotional - I was crying - yet I wanted to burst out laughing. It was a feeling I cannot explain. I had no other choice but to share my dad’s testimony to my church. When the song was finished, I walked over to Ruthie and told her I had a confession. She corrected me, and said, “You mean testimony.” That was the enemy trying to confuse me. She then waved at her husband, who then gave me the mike.
My dad’s testimony rained throughout the entire church. People were crying, then laughing, then praising God. God is still doing great things.
After the service, a lot of people came up to me and thanked me for sharing. They said that after hearing the testimony, their hope had been renewed for their dads and relatives. I was glad I was able to share. I could not keep that inside.
We then drove over to my aunt and uncle’s for Sunday lunch. Not long after we ate, the phone rang and it was my sister Keisha. We spoke for a short while then Dad came on. He sounded weaker than before. I gave the phone to aunty, so she could say hi. I saw the look on her face change. I asked, “What happened?” She said, “He started crying again.” She gave me the phone and Keisha came back to say, “Keep praying. The surgery is tomorrow.”
That night, when we got home, I prayed for a good night’s rest for my family and healing for my dad.
The next morning, I was getting dressed for work. I made a quick call to my dad, asking him what time was the surgery. He said he was not sure. I told him, “I will call you tonight when I get back.”
Later that day my husband called my office and told me he got a call from Trinidad. The surgery went well and Dad was resting. I couldn’t wait to get home to call.
As soon as I got there I called for a little more detail. Mom answered and sounded a lot better than the last time I spoke to her. She said my sister Kim was coming in from Canada that Wednesday. Dad was doing a lot better. “The pain is almost gone.” He was under a lot of antibiotics and painkillers. That accounted for him having no more pain, but at least he was comfortable. Mom said she told the doctors to do a full body exam and let us know what’s the cause of his condition. My father hated being in the hospital and now that he was there she wanted to take full advantage of the situation.
The doctors told her that by Wednesday the 31st, they would be able to run some tests and know for sure what was going on in his body.
The next few days were almost routine. I called every morning before I went to work, and the moment I walked back in the house, I needed my progress report.
That Wednesday night my family and I were on our way to vacation. We would be gone for a total of six days. I called my dad like I would always do and spoke to him about my day and asked him about his. I told him I would not be able to call him until I got back. I told him what my plans were and without even giving it another thought I said, “I love you.”
He replied “Me too.” I thought to myself . . . This is good enough. I felt so relieved to know I said it. I felt like a burden was lifted off of me. I went on my vacation feeling happy, satisfied, relieved, loved and comforted.
We had a great time. Even though we were having the time of our lives, I was more anxious to get home to get an update on my father. I had a great time sharing my dad’s testimony with the relatives we were with.
September 6th, we were awakened by a call on my husband’s cell phone. The signal was very poor so he went outside the building to continue his call. I got up right away with the thought of going home to call my dad. I got the kids up and served their breakfast, then went back to my room to have a little peace and quiet while I ate.
All that time went by and my husband was nowhere to be found. I did not really look for him because I was busy with the kids, but something in me knew something was not right.
As soon as he walked in the door of our room, I asked him who called. He told me it was my Uncle Joe. I was surprised but yet not. He asked me if I had a nice time here and asked if I was okay. I answered his questions but wanted answers for mine. “Why did he call?”
My husband took a deep breath and said, “He called about your dad. It is critical.” I looked at him with a confused look on my face. The first thought came to mind was how could he be critical? When I spoke to him last he was doing better.
Then the bomb dropped. “Your dad died this morning.”
I felt my heart jump out of my body and fall flat on the ground and break into a million pieces. A tidal wave of tears rushed to my eyes. The next thing I felt was pure confusion. I forgot where I was - who I was with - lost all sense of mental control. Those words rang through my head like a broken record. I had to get out!
At some point I forgot to breathe. I felt the walls closing in on me. I had to get out. I got loose from my husband’s grip and took off running. I ran outside to the pool. I needed the fresh air. Someone told me they were sorry and gave me a hug on my way out, but I felt nothing.
I walked around the pool trying to get clarity on the whole situation. I couldn’t. I just could not imagine my life without my dad. This was impossible. I sat down for a second and felt my husband’s arm around me. I needed answers - I needed details. I wanted to know exactly how it happened and why. I asked my husband to tell me what happened. He did not have any answers. He called my Uncle Joe. Joe said, “Mom was looking for him in the bedroom but he was not there. She then checked the bathroom and found him on the floor.”
I needed the truth but could not handle the truth. People all around were telling me he was with Jesus. But I wanted him here with me.
The phone rang again. It was a friend from church. The chief, he gave me words of comfort. He said the right things, but nothing made a difference. Here I was … crying my eyes out - my children were crying, wanting to know what was wrong - my husband trying to be strong for me, comforting me, holding me and doing the best he could.
The next call I got was from my mother. The first thing she said to me was not to worry. I was sick and tired of people telling me not to worry. I wanted the truth.
She took a deep breath and told me the story. The Friday after I left on my vacation, the doctors came in the room with the results of the tests. They told my mother, “Your husband is sicker than you think. When he fully recovers from the operation, he will have to start taking dialysis. His kidneys are 100% not working, and the abscess was a result of the infection in his blood.”
She said, “Your father wanted to return home on Friday but he was instructed to stay. A lot of relatives came to visit him in the hospital and some called from overseas. By Monday he was begging to come home. He convinced everyone if he was released from the hospital he would be more rested and eat more food. He stated he hated hospital food and wanted my home cooking. The doctors sent him home as he requested. He was taken to Keisha’s house. She lived one block from the hospital. He was happy to be away from the hospital. However, Monday night he was sitting on the porch and he was daydreaming, and then came back to reality.”
Mom continued, “He had the same look his mother had the day she passed and went to be with the Lord. That night, he went to bed and lay across sideways, not allowing any room for her to sleep. I told him to roll over and make room for me. He told me I did not have to sleep with him. He insisted he was okay.”
“The next morning when I got up early to check on him and make a cup of tea, when I got to the bedroom, he was not on the bed. I then walked towards the bathroom and there he was lying on the floor. I hugged him and he was still warm. I called out for help. When the ambulance came they announced he was dead.”
That’s how it happened. I wanted the truth and got it. After hearing what happened and having that mental picture played over and over in my mind -- I felt that feeling of joy starting to bubble up inside of me once again. My sadness over-powered that joy.
That’s when it happened. I felt someone hug me . . . but there was no one around. Then as clear as bell, I heard these words, “He is with Me”.
The joy that was bubbling started to boil over. I felt this warm feeling inside of me. I was crying, but deep down inside I knew he was okay.
My next move was to try to find a way to go back to Trinidad. I was not prepared for this; we did not have enough resources to travel. I refused to go without my husband. Dad had died that Tuesday and the funeral was to be on Friday, September 9th. I told Mom I would try to come. That’s when her voice changed and she sounded like a mother again.
She said the family had a meeting and decided it was best that I did not come to the funeral. She also mentioned my father told her if anything ever happened to him, “Tell Seeloy not to come.” She said it was his wishes. He knew the prices for the ticket would be too much to handle, and he wanted my family and I to visit at a happier time. She insisted I save the money and use it for a happier time.
I was upset the family had made this decision for me, but it’s the last thing I could do and respect his wishes. That day we made the decision not to go. It was killing me inside but I had to obey.
The family updated me in everything that took place in preparation for the funeral. I was told to email a letter so my Uncle Boyo would read it on my behalf at the funeral. It took me almost one hour to write that letter. Finally I got to the end.
The next day I got a call from my sister, saying they got the letter and it was beautiful. There were hundreds of people at the house every night from the day he died until the funeral. Mom said everyone was really nice to her and she had a lot of help. The Lord was blessing my family. Strangers came up to my sisters and told them how much my father meant to them and how much he was there for them when they needed him. We were so proud hearing these things.
Friday, September 9th -- the day of the funeral was here. I just wanted to be alone. Every day got a little better but not fast enough. Around 12:00 p.m. my mother called and said the body had arrived at the house. I asked her what was he wearing. She described him with compassion and love. “He wore a pair of black pants, a white shirt with a black bow tie and his favorite red hat.” She said, “He looks 30 years younger.”
Amoy came on the phone and said, “He looks like he is on a beach somewhere.” That was comforting.
Then Mom said to me, “The family decided . . . that you should read the letter yourself.”
I was confused. I did not know what was going on, but I went along with it. My brother came on the phone and said I would get a call around 2:30 and I was to be ready to read the letter. I agreed, then hung up.
The time dragged on that day. Two hours felt like ten. When the hour drew near, I locked myself in the room and waited for the call. Sure enough - the call came in on time. Someone was singing and my brother told me to wait until he was finished. When the music stopped I heard the pastor say, “We have a letter from Seeloy from the United States.” That was my cue. I poured my heart out. This is what I wrote:
Even though you are gone, I have such great memories of moments we shared together. These are a few of my favorites.
I remember waking up before sunrise and coming out to the living room and watching you drink your morning coffee while standing at the front door. You would look back at me and give me your cup … with just enough for a mouthful. Even though I did not like the taste of coffee, I drank it because you gave it to me. That was you telling me you loved me.
After dinner time you would give me your plate to take to the kitchen and you would leave just a mouthful of chicken for me. That was you telling me you loved me.
When I told you I was getting married and you were so happy you could not stop smiling. That was you telling me you loved me.
On my wedding day, when we were on our way to the church, you were crying your eyes out. Although you made me cry and mess up my make up on my big day, I knew then how much you loved me.
Daddy -- I never heard you say the words “I love you” … but deep in my heart … I knew you did.
When I would sit and scratch your head for an hour … that was me telling you I love you.
When I would bring home Chinese food for you after work . . . that was me telling you I love you.
When I slipped you a twenty every now and again . . . that was me telling you I love you.
Even though we could not say it to each other. There is no mistake about it. You loved me and I loved you.
When I got that call from Trinidad saying you were really ill. I called you right away to tell you I loved you, but I couldn’t. I told you I missed you but could not say the words. “I love you.”
Later that night when Keisha called and said you gave your life to Christ and that you love Jesus. I felt this overwhelming joy take over my heart. I knew at that moment no matter what the outcome, I will see you again. Whether it is here on earth, or later in Heaven.
On August 31st, 2005 at 7:46 pm. I called you and we spoke for awhile. I told you I was going out of town on vacation and that I would call back on the 6th, when I returned. After a few laughs, my last words to you were . . . “I love you.”
Daddy -- I love you . . . I love you . . . I love you . . . I love you . . .
I am sorry I did not say it enough, but when I see you again, it will be playing in your head like a broken record that could never be turned off.
The news of you passing broke my heart into a million pieces. Everyone tried comforting me but nothing anyone said to me made a difference.
Then the Holy Sprit came in and comforted me. He gave me a big hug and whispered in my ear that you are with Jesus. He said, “The pain you were feeling here on earth is no more,” and then he left me with these words: “I LOVE YOU.”
This is not goodbye, but see you later….
With lots and lots of love!…
Your daughter . . . Seeloy Dubois.
When I got to the end of the letter, I called out to all my siblings - all seven of them. I told them, “I love you, and I will see you soon!”
I then felt compelled in my heart to address the fathers in the church. I told them, “If you have never said -- never told your family you love them . . . now is the time.” I had the opportunity and I grabbed it, but I had no idea that was going to be the first and the last time I would say it.
When I hung up the phone I felt great. I remembered the wonderful memories I had with my dad. I remember telling him I loved him. All those memories comforted me.
That night I had a good night’s sleep. I think this was the beginning of my closure. The following day I was awakened by a call from my mother. She told me what a wonderful funeral it was. Everything went perfect. I spoke to my sisters and we were laughing about funny things that happened the night before the funeral.
We stayed with relatives until that Sunday. It was good coming home to my own house. I have a few pictures of my dad in the house and my test was looking at him without crying. I passed the test. I looked at the picture; the tears filled up in my eyes but did not flow out.
I called my mom’s house that night, just to check in and see how she was doing. Keisha answered. She was surprised to hear from me. She had great news. She said that morning Mom was getting dressed for church, she invited Amoy and Roger to attend church with her. These are two of my older siblings. She said the service was beautiful. Then the pastor gave an altar call. “Both Amoy and Roger gave their lives to Christ. They want to see Daddy again. They believe he is with Christ and they want to be reunited with him again!”
I was so happy. It was such great news. I called my aunt and uncle to share.
The next day was my first day out to work since my dad’s passing. Everyone was really nice and sympathetic. I got flowers and cards; I had a lot of calls from my church family with concerns. Everyone wanted to help in someway, but I knew we would be okay.
Later that week my mom held a prayer service at the house. It is tradition in my country to host one nine nights after the death. She had a pastor come over and preach the gospel. When he was done he gave an altar call. My brother Mark raised his hand. He too wants to see Daddy again. He gave his life to Jesus Christ.
I come from a family of ten – eight children and both parents. Before my father died, everyone was living their own life - doing their own thing. Since my father’s death, three of my siblings decided to make a change. They chose eternal life.
God is good. There were other people giving their lives to Him also. The Lord just opened doors so people can come to Him. He is so awesome.
That Sunday I had the opportunity to share with my church family the wonderful things the Lord had done. Again it was a blessing for a lot of people. Even after my dad’s death the Lord was using him to touch others.
Please share this with others God puts on your heart to share it with, and let the love I had for my Daddy … and his love for me … and God’s love for both of us and my precious family, keep touching others. It must not stop.
My email is: email@example.com
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God like Seeloy is? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from the Holy Spirit that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for yours sins, or He didn't (and He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to cover your sins? We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To be at peace with God; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity like Seeloy's father wisely chose to do; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, dear one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life.
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