Then one day a call came. The kind of call a daughter can never plan for. From the other end of the line Daddy said, “I’ve got multiple myeloma, baby”

 

My knees buckled; this time there was no one to catch me. “Daddy, no.”

 

As he always has, Daddy reassured me that everything would be all right. In a week or so — just before Christmas, he said — he’d have the port (a surgically inserted device for administering chemo and drawing blood) put in and then, after the holidays, chemo would begin. “I’m going to beat this thing,” he said.

 

I went back home for Christmas. My parents, long ago divorced, had agreed to have dinner together as a family for the first time in close to twenty years. On Christmas Day I stood in what was still my mother’s home and watched for Daddy’s car to come down the street, just as I had many years earlier. When it finally rounded the corner, I ran through the house and out the side door, reaching him just as he stepped out of the dark blue Lincoln. This time, as my arms went around him, the hardness of the port pressed against my temple.

 

“Careful, baby,” Daddy said, but he squeezed tight, reassuring me with his hug.

 

Please God, I prayed. Don’t let my Daddy die. Not yet. Not yet.

 

The Way It Is

Daddy lived. He survived chemo and stem-cell replacement therapy (where his own stem cells were used). It’s been nearly four years since I felt the port against my head, half a lifetime since I felt the gun against my forearm. And though it appears we may be once again battling the “beast;” I will forever know the peace of his arms around me.

 

When the time comes for me to let Daddy go to the arms of our heavenly Father, I’ll draw comfort in what has always been there and is left behind. The sweet arms of the Holy Spirit, drawing me closer to the throne.

 

The Way It Will Be
As God would have it, the last touch between Daddy and me was a hug goodbye.

 

No, not goodbye.

 

"See you later."

 

And this time, he will be waiting for me to come home.


For more information about Eva Marie Everson, you may contact her via her website at www.EvaMarieEverson.com. This story originally appeared in The Embrace of a Father, compiled by Wayne Holmes and published by Bethany House Publishers, Copyright © 2006.  For more information about the book, go to: www.WayneHolmes.com