"The most important of life's battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chambers of the soul."

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Last Breath He Breathed Out

Let every thing that have breath praise the LORD, Praise ye the LORD.
Psalm 150:6

Dad was wanting to go home so bad. He was tired, so tired. It had been a long hard struggle that month for him. His breathing had become so labored. The oxygen he received was at ever increasing levels. He felt himself smothering, yet worked to communicate to us.

Every breath we have comes from God and it returns to Him who gave it. The breath of life is a gift like no other. We take for granite everyday. Only faced with our end do we realize that. But even with every breath a challenge, he still praised God with each one. Amazing to me. Not blaming God for his condition or wishing for a sudden healing, but enjoying every small moment. This is how we should live. Yet, we all get caught up in the problems of the here and now.

The last few days he kept wondering was it daylight or night outside. Mainly if the sun was setting or rising. This puzzled me and as I pondered on this for awhile the time came when his condition worsened. He was sent to the comfort room. In the room he was mildly sedated. For he was coughing up pieces of his lungs. He was finally resting. The last two hours I fell asleep watching every breath he took. It was steady now with no struggle.

My sister was the only one awake those last two hours. We had all fallen asleep around him. She held his hand and cried. Kay looked at her father as he took each breath in and out. As his chest rose and receded with each inhale and exhale. She looked up from where she had been laying her head on the bed crying. She had felt some presence bring it to her attention to look. She saw him take one deep breath in like you would before you would go under water to swim. Then after what was left of his lungs was filled he let it go with one long breath. No fighting just a peaceful release. More like a sigh of relief thanking God it is done. And with the last breath he was released from the prison of that frail body.

The sun that had been setting when he was brought to the comfort room was now rising in the sky. It's rays of light filled the room. She awoken us to the news that he was gone. As we wept so despairingly and held each other I noticed something. The light outside his room. His room was at the end of the hall you see. As my eyes were filled with the light as the sun rose that Sunday morning, it was the time of day for him to be getting up to prepare to go to church. For now the church he now dwelled in was the Holy Temple with our eternal God. We all watched this event. All I could say was,"This is a good day. For he no longer hurts or suffer. He won't be needing this to breath anymore ." I took the oxygen mask that had frozen to his face and removed it. I threw it in the garbage with a sense that the breath he was breathing now must be so good. Like your first breath as a baby when the air fills your lungs for the first time. No longer would he have to depend on man for his breath. For God would return that same breath that he breathed out of his body back into a resurrected body. That will be like pure light.

And so I press on. Not sure where this road is carrying me. But I pray I never take my breath of life for granite. That very same breath which had left was the same one I had felt rushed into my little ones at the moment of their births. At birth and death we all have a first and a last. What matters is what do we do inbetween those breaths. I am not quite sure when my last will come but may I, Lord Jesus, breath my last with your name on my lips. As I wait to exhale my last breath.
Lance Gargus
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