Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Happy Death

At 6:37 p.m. June 13, 2013, on the Feast Day of my good friend St. Anthony of Padua, my dear Daddy, Richard B. Foster III, passed from this planet to the rest of eternity.

By his side at that moment: Mom, his devoted wife of 64 years, Joanne, Ken, Colleen, Aunt Gloria, and me. Becca had left earlier for work.

Since I arrived at 1:15 from Kansas City, I had been releasing him and reminding him of what a good provider, husband and father he was and that God would take good care of Mommy. And I continually reminded him of how much I love him. 

Of course, for days before this, Joanne and Mom and his grandchildren had been professing the same.

In his last hour I told him that Rick had also released him to leave. And I told him that Rick was sorry he could not get to Myrtle Beach sooner but that he wanted me to tell Dad thank you for being a great father and that he loved him very much.

And in that last hour we spontaneously sang many praise choruses like "Father I Adore You" and "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus There's Something about that Name" and we joined in reciting the 23rd Psalm and The Lord's Prayer.  And we even played "It's a Wonderful World" (by one of Dads favorite artists Tony Bennett because we couldn't find the Louis Armstrong version quickly enough).  And each of us paused to weep from time to time.

And then Mom wrapped her arms around him and asked forgiveness for any times she had hurt him and she told him she forgave him for any times he had hurt her. And she and I looked at each other and both agreed that at that moment he said, inside of himself, "I forgive you. Please forgive me."

Three minutes after my parents' mystical conversation, he took his last, peaceful breath into a happy death.

My father, rest in peace. 

To share your thoughts or comments, click on the '(numeral) comments' link below and next to "posted by Cheryl Ann Wills.' I would love to hear from you!


musicaljeanius said...

Thank you, Cheryl, so much for sharing that personal account of a private family moment. As you know, your Dad made so many friends in his life and I'm proud to have been among them! He was an inspiration and just plain funny and fun! He will be forever missed, but Heaven is much richer because he is there with his Lord and Savior, Jesus.

Cheryl Wills said...

I'm thinking it's Jeanie who posted above? thank you so much for your kindnesses to our family. and your friendship!