In 2000, my step-dad was diagnosed with cancer and we knew our time with him would be cut short. As time passed, we relaxed a bit – the chemo was working, he was surviving. Months turned into years. We spent New Years, 2003 at my house, just me and him awake, welcoming in another year. Tomorrow he would be embarking on a new drug therapy, one he initially refused, but had agreed to because he couldn’t bear our disappointment and sadness if he didn’t.
With the Christmas tree lights twinkling, we talked. We reminisced about our lives, regrets, forgiveness, the future. Papa Jerry had been raised in church, but wasn’t a regular attender. In that quiet, peaceful setting that is forever etched in my memory – he confirmed his faith and deep spiritual commitment. Not that he didn’t live it, but he had never talked about it. At least to me. He shared the bittersweet joy of feeling hope, battling overwhelming weariness and trusting the Lord.
16 days later, he was in Heaven.
One of his favorite poems/songs is on my mind. He loved Cristy Lane music.
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you.”