Today, July 9th 2014 at 3:27 my world crumbled… my heart split into tiny pieces… pieces that will never mend back together…. My papa, my father, my strength… passed from this earth to his everlasting home in Heaven…
It is hard to breathe…. I keep blinking back the tears praying to God that this is all just the worst nightmare imaginable. That my papa can’t really be gone….
He was doing so good, he was breathing on his own, starting to talk a little… saying so MANY times how he loves me how he needs us…. He did a great job with therapy today and even sat up in a chair for an hour to strengthen his lungs. He was doing so good he was being moved to intermediate ICU. The Nurses were taking out his pick-line and he (the nurses assume) had a massive heart attack. At least nine doctors and nurses tried to revive him for nearly Twenty minutes before they asked us into the room….
For two and a half hours my mom, Jon and I prayed for God to bring him back to life, that God still has plans for him. I climbed into bed with him and cradled myself into his still…lifeless chest… a chest that was always the biggest comfort to me every day of my life.
He taught me about love, about compassion, about respect. But most of all he taught me about the love of a Heavenly Father, because he was the best earthly father ever. There was never a time in my life where I EVER doubted his love for me.
He loved us all with everything he was, but his first love IS God and our Savior Jesus Christ. And as he always told us he is a Fido of God, that when he goes to Heaven he would sit at the foot of God waiting for a stroke from his Master. And that he would stretch out to receive every inch of that touch.
I keep thinking through the tears that I will wake up from this horrible nightmare… that I will open my eyes and he will be right here with opened arms so I can hug him… Two weeks ago yesterday was the last time I really hugged him, until cradling into his arms on that hospital bed….
I don’t know how I will live without him… not hearing his voice, or looking into his eyes, or feeling those arms around me…. Never to hear ‘I love you too’ ever again…. I can barely breathe….
It will never be okay again, not without my papa….
My mom got a call saying that my papa is a candidate for donating his eyes to help multiple people see again…. It is a hard choice but I know that if his eyes can bring vision to others, to shine God’s light through this gift to someone else. I know he would want it…. That in hope they can see a glimpse of Jesus the way my papa always has.
I will never be okay again… not without my father, not without my papa. The man who taught me so much about love and life. The man that loves God and his Savior so much that no matter what he always answered the call on his life…. (his assignment still isn’t over…my papa still has so much he has to do….)
God… please….bring him back…. Breathe life into him… the way Jesus raised Lazarus…. Raise my papa from the morgue.
In 1988 God promised my papa that ‘I showed you a piece of the Glory in the beginning, and now I am going to allow you to go through a period of testing, but the glory on the back end is more than you can ever imagine.’
We’ve tried to make sense of it, of why God called my papa right now… that he has soo much that hasn’t been done yet. Plans and companies that God gave him the vision for. His calling that wasn’t reached the way he always desired for the Glory of God.
Then tonight my mom walked over to me in the living room with tears in her eyes and said that my papa is meeting his first born child for the first time, a baby he had ripped from him at the age of nineteen when his girlfriend’s father forced her to get an abortion. And he is also meeting Jeremiah, my brother that was stillborn before I was born.
As I am writing this it has dawned on me perhaps part of the promise God gave my dad in 1988. The glory at the beginning wasn’t what he thought it was back in 1988, but it was the past five years of doing the Media Ministry with mom, Jon and I. There was nothing else that made him as proud as sharing Christ with the three people he loves most.
But the Glory on the back end is being welcomed into the gates of Heaven by his two children that have been waiting for him for 41 years and 24 years. That in this life he did life with Jon and I, serving God and showing people God’s love. But now he is at the feet of his Savior with Jeremiah and his other child, worshiping and praising and singing and dancing because of the unimaginable Glory. As on earth when I was six months old in my dad’s right arm and Jon at three years old in dad’s left arm, he lifted us to God. Love overwhelmed him. And God told him. ‘The way you love these two as a father is the way I, God, love my children. I just have three billion more children to love.’
Now, in Heaven he is lifting his other two kids to God, one on his right, one on his left. The love of a father overflowing him. Not just his love for his Firstborn and his love for Jeremiah Christopher Gandy.
But his love for us all.
His love for Jonathan Christian Gandy. His love for Jeffery Craig Gandy. His love for Jennifer Gandy-Gunsta. His love for Jason Gandy. His love for Christina Creek. His love for Lew Burnell. His love for Robert Burnell. His love for Brad Burnell. His love for Jennifer Burnell.
Above all else, his love for me, his joy, joy girl. His buff angel, the one being he always said my hugs were healing to him. (If that was sooo true… why couldn’t I heal him with my hugs? Why couldn’t my ‘healing hugs’ cure his Idiocy Pulmonary Cystic Fibrosis to begin with?)
He loved my babies, Peace, Star, Esther even the new Knight. But none he love(s) as much as Gideon. For the past five years Gideon brought him so much love, comfort, joy. The past two days I brought a picture of Gideon with me to the hospital and told him ‘Gideon loves you so much, and misses you.’ He smiled really big and replied. ‘I love that dog. I miss him.’ I have never seen anyone loved by a dog as much as Gideon loves his grandpa… (I wish there was a way I could explain everything to Gideon for him to understand…)
Joel Craig Gandy is a man greatly loved, not just by me but by everyone that knew him. He Is a man of faith, a man that puts God above everything else, and family trails right behind.
I’m proud and blessed beyond words to have had a father as amazing, loving and involved as my daddy. He often said that he failed us because he didn’t make lots of money and couldn’t provide in more areas. I would shake my head, often hug him and smile. Money never could have made us rich, what we had made us rich. Love. Doing life together, in nearly everything we did. Having him as a father has made me the riches girl in the world. (though right now I feel like the most broken girl in the world….)
I love you papa, from my first breath to my very last breath I will love you, I will cherish you and I will always continue to make you proud. I don’t know how I will get through this… cause today was the worst day of my life, and forever will be. July 9th 2014 3:27pm, will always be the day I forgot how to breath, the day my heart, once so full, ripped into pieces….
I LOVE YOU PAPA, I LOVE YOU PAPA, I LOVE YOU PAPA, I LOVE YOU PAPA, I LOVE YOU PAPA, I LOVE YOU PAPA, I LOVE YOU PAPA!
Soak in the presence of our Lord Papa.