Dear praying friends,
There is a part of me that would have liked to keep this news to ourselves for a little while. Chris’ journey toward home has been very public, which has been a blessing to us through your intercession and words of love and encouragement. Yet, at this moment, while his loss is so fresh, I had hoped to savor his last moments with us and his passing all to ourselves, but such is not the case.
So with great sadness and with a joy that we can barely contain, we announce that our husband/father Chris has gone home to be with the Lord. He slept peacefully last night, though his breathing was shallow and very rapid. This morning when the hospice nurse came to check him over, she commented specifically how low his blood pressure had gotten and that with the mottling around his knees and ankles, and grayer skin tone and coldness in his face, he didn’t have much time left with us.
I had been sitting with Chris earlier this morning telling him about Megan and her wedding dress and how kind God was to let all us girls be together when she found it. I told him I had so hoped he could see her in her dress before he went Home, and as I was talking two little tears trickled down his cheeks. I know he would have loved to see her! I know, too, he so wanted to be able to communicate with us at the end. It broke my heart to see his sadness. I imagine, though, too, that his tears were mingled with joy for Megan’s future with her fiance.
After Anna (the hospice nurse) took Chris’ vitals a second time, his blood pressure having dropped some more, she recommended that I get our kids down to see and talk to their dad.
I called them all from wherever they all were around the house, and when the last child came, Bethany announced, “Hey, Dad, we’re all here. We love you!” Chris took one more breath and was gone.
I know to try and describe our sadness–the longing and aching in our hearts right now–would be impossible, so I won’t try. I will share a picture the Lord gave within minutes after Chris’ departure.
I saw him with his old western boots and jeans on (like he used to wear at Grove City College when he would run over to see me at my dorm–he was a senior and I was a freshman when we met there), running at top speed in Heaven. I pictured a huge smile (the one I love best) on his face and fellow saints yelling out greetings of welcome to him, some even asking him to stop and visit with them, and heard his reply, “I’ve got to run for the Lord up here. I’m making up for lost time down on Earth. I’m praising God and have to use my legs to do it. Stop me in about 100 years, and we’ll sit down and have a nice long visit!”
No longer cloaked in frail humanity,
His spirit soars to gain celestial joys
Unimpeded by death’s dark night
And free from the weight of sin’s alloys.
My beloved sings! The object of his song
Is the One who bled and died for him,
No sweeter name did e’er he speak
Or treasure in his inner man.
Thank you for both grieving AND rejoicing with us, and for your continued prayers for us these next weeks and months!
Looking forward to that day, when we too, shall see our beloved Jesus face to face,
Tracy, for Chris (one last time) and the whole Klickaclan