I did not expect Valentine’s Day in 2010, to hold permanent significance in my life. However, a single event lasting only a few seconds still touches my heart.
In the afternoon, my brother called me from Daddy’s Hospice room.
I realized Daddy was weak as a result of battling a terminal illness for many years, yet counted on hearing about his improved condition.
“Daddy’s awake. Would you like to talk to him?”
Grasping for the breath, Daddy attempted to speak a few words. I responded, however my brother answered to let me know Daddy was no longer on the phone.
As he started to hang up, I shouted, “Wait, I have something else to tell him!”
“He’s too tired to talk,” he replied in a solemn tone. “We can try later.”
I understood the reason for the “wait until later” response. But my intense feeling indicated to talk now.
I lived several hours away, and planned on visiting him later in the week. Injuries from a car accident a week and a half earlier prevented me from traveling to see Daddy before then.
Hoping to obtain transportation to North Carolina within a few days, I looked forward to sitting by his side with my mother and brothers.
In the meantime, at least I could talk to him.
My thoughts remained positive even after hearing his struggle to speak.
Four days earlier Daddy rested at home. His quick decline came as a surprise.
My hopeful, “He will pull through and be okay,” faded into silent tears as a result of the move to Hospice.
I heard my brother tell Daddy I wanted to talk to him. The significance of a second chance meant a lot to me. Later I would realize why.
“I love you,” I told him, hoping he understood.
Silence answered on the other end.
My father slept the rest of the day, preventing additional communication with him.
The next morning around 10:00, I received a phone call from my brother. Daddy passed away.
“I love you,” were the last three words I spoke to my father.
What a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift from God.
Not only did God give me the words. He gave me the urgency to speak once more to my father.
God knew the next day my father would be in Heaven.
John 15:9-11 [Jesus speaking:] “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” (NRSV)
Nancy Frantel lives in Virginia, and is a published author of three history books, public speaker and researcher. Prior to becoming a writer she worked in corporate management. A “life interruption” injury in 2010 limited her ability to work as a writer. In 2017, she attended several Christian writing conferences, and felt led to start over in a different genre. Her goal is to write inspirational and encouraging stories based on her experiences, lessons learned by trusting God, and individuals He provides along the way