1997 was a very hard year for me. I was 30 years old and came back home to take care of my dad. He had been ill for a number of years and I had been his primary care giver.

My dad was 72 and had several mini strokes over the course of a few years and diabetes, dementia and heart disease. He was in World War II and was wounded in the war and received a purple heart. He was hard working, honest and very reliable.

It made me feel good to be able to help him recover from the mini strokes and I even took a class to learn about diabetes to help him get better but this time was different. He was now diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and could not receive any type of treatment due to his already deteriorating health condition.

This was earth shattering for me. Even my spirituality was in question as I questioned God "why would you take my dad now"?.
I told God "I am not ready for this", "I cannot handle this".
But still .... I put these thoughts into the back of my mind to give him the best care possible.

One night I went to his room to give him his nightly medicine as he sat on the edge of his bed. As I was leaving the room he said to me "Rosie, will I still be here in the morning?".

This question caught me off guard and I immediately gave a response "Of course you will be, dad". He asked me if I was sure and I said yes.

Leaving his room my mind began to wander and I thought to myself, I honestly don't know wether he will be here in the morning.

There were several times I went to his room to give him his medicine or tell him dinner was ready and I worried I may find him passed away as he was in the last stages of the cancer.
So I thought to myself "Did I lie to him"? Should I have told him I don't know?

I went to the study and just sat there kind of in a daze and started praying. I asked God, did I say the right thing? How will I feel if he passes during the night? That one question opened up a whole line of questions.

After praying and crying and thinking, I remembered that we all have a spirit in us and that when the body dies, the spirit does not and that when you have genuine love for someone, even after they pass away their spirit remains with you, a part of them will always be here as long as you keep their memory and love alive.

So...I realized and came to the understanding that I did answer the question correctly and everything had suddenly fallen into place in my heart. I realized, I was not going to completely lose my dad, that part of him would always be with me. I felt more at peace spiritualy.

My dad passed away just 2 months later at home and as he laid there in no more pain, the stress cleaned away from his face and in peace, I said to him as I held his hand..."Yes, dad, you will be here in the morning--and every morning after."

Blessings, Rose

Author's Bio: 

I am 42 and from Ohio. I run an online free self help group called H.E.A.L (Helping Each other with Anxious Lives).