In some ways, the death of my father came slowly. I eased into it by spending time with cousins while my mother visited my father at his hospital bedside. He was a stroke victim and for three days, never spoke or awoke. Although my mom said he squeezed her hand at some point in response to a comment, he was mute.
I felt something was missing. Wrong. Just not right. And I was only four.
Even at the funeral, seeing my dad laid out in his casket didn't alarm me. It must have brought to mind the story of Sleeping Beauty, which I'm sure he read to me, because I asked my mother a question. If I gave my father a kiss, would he come back to life?
She, being a straightforward no-nonsense woman, answered the only way she could. Honestly. "No, honey, he won't. He's in heaven now with Jesus. Your daddy won't be coming back."
You'd think I would have broken down in tears. But, I didn't. I'm not sure why, because he was my guiding star, and I, the apple of his eye. Was it that I felt his presence at all times anyway? I think it was.
I remember a few years later, as I awoke from a deep sleep, watching him move towards me from the shadows of my bedroom, his hands outstretched. Caught between dreams and reality, I wasn't fearful. In fact, I was ready.
In seconds, his fingers were tickling my tummy, just as he often did in the past. And I was giggling. Joyfully. But soon, he melted into the darkness, leaving me alone again.
How gracious God was to allow me to experience a precious time with my dad. I didn't question, debate or reason. No, I was content. And for years, well, actually, even now, I basked in the memories of my artistic, loving, and patient Dad. And someday, I expect to see him healthy and whole. And together, we can explore eternity in Heaven, and perhaps paint the stars. For this will be no fairy tale existence.
"When you have hope, you have everything." - The Heart Changer
We all need hope, don't we?
Miriam, my main character, has been wrenched from her home in a time of war. Will she ever see her family again? In despair, she reaches out to The Heart Changer with childlike faith, and slowly, as He woos her, Miriam finds hope and purpose despite her tragedy.
I trust I give hope to my young readers in The Heart Changer which debuts April 26th! If you can't wait until then, you can pre-order at AMAZON.
And, if you live in the Chicago area, you are invited to my BOOK SIGNING on Sunday, April 28th from 2pm to 2pm at TeaLula in Park Ridge. There will be a reading, book trailer reveal, and a giveaway every half hour. Hope to see you there!
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Where do you find hope? Or, deeper yet, where do you need hope most? Let me know below . . .
My MG Biblical fiction "The Heart Changer" debuted in 2019 with Ambassador International.