This is the second anniversary of the death of a person very close to my heart. The day after he passed, I wrote Alexa an email about Pastor D. This is the email I wrote to her. I removed his name for privacy.
Hi my beautiful baby girl,
Last night, was a very hard day for our family. Pastor D passed away, after a lengthy 10 month battle with cancer. Pastor D has been the only Pastor that I really have known. Since I moved to this city, Gram used to take Auntie Tara and I overnight Saturday, and bring us to church on Sunday. This happened between the age of 9 and 14 – which was over 15-20 years ago – This is when I first met Pastor D.
He had such an infectious smile… the best smile, and it brightened your day. You always and I mean always, heard his catch phrase “Praise the Lord”, because he was a man that was grateful for everything that God has done, and he saw God’s work in EVERYTHING.
We used to have youth groups, and I would look forward to everyone of them. I can remember once we made homemade pizza…and I remember he was showing us this magic trick that I thought it was pretty cool. And when I finally figured it out, he would let me be the one that did the trick and he would be the one that guessed. And everyone was all amazed trying to figure it out.
We would do Christmas concerts every year. And, would always make sure my sister and I had a part. He always encouraged us to go up in front of everyone, and be the best we could be. He would take time out of his busy schedule, to meet with the youth group to practice with us, so we would get it just right. He also would have me go in front of the church and read the scripture before the sermon. Because of this, I learnt at an early age, thought I was shy, I loved to public speak. This is something, that if he never asked me to do that, I don’t know if I would have ever realized I had potential to be a good public speaker, with practice.
I always, and I mean always, felt so welcome coming into Pastor and Mrs D’s home. Whether it was for their daughter’s birthday party, youth group, or whatever the case was. And he was always asking me how I was. Always so interested. Always so loving.
When I became an adult, Pastor D was always so interested in our lives. Always kept in touch. He married Auntie Tara and Uncle Luc, something that I hoped someday he would do to me when I met my special someone. To me, there was no one else in the planet that I would want to marry me, except for Pastor D. When I found out I was pregnant with you, and your father and I decided that we wanted to be married before you arrived, I will never forget the phone call I made to Pastor D. I called to tell him that I wanted to be married quickly, and I was pregnant before I was married. I was terrified of what he would say. I did not want him to say no, and I was so scared that he would. Pastor D NEVER EVER judged me for a moment. The only question he asked me was if we were marrying for love or because I was pregnant. I told him it was 100% love. He then said that he would be honored to marry us.
He met with us every Tuesday at 7pm to do a marriage course. He carried us through the journey, and I am so grateful for that course. Daddy and I learned so much about our relationship from that course. And, yes it’s only been 1 year and 7 months of marriage, but we still reflect back to the course, and the things he discussed with us.
The day he married us, was such an amazing day. He read the full love is patient love is kind. 1 Corinthians 13:4-13, which was your father’s request. He reminded us to look at each other, not at him when he said the vows, because we weren’t marrying him haha. And, I have a picture of when Auntie Tara and Blake were signing the marriage certificate, that he said to us “Guess what. You’re married”. I cherish that picture from the moment I saw it. (This is the picture shown above)
When you arrived, he came to the hospital to visit. I did not get to see him because I was trying so hard pumping for you. But Daddy brought you to see him, and went out to the waiting room for a visit.
In end of February, early march, I knew that your Granda was coming from Ireland for a visit. I wanted to surprise your dad with this, and I wanted to have you baptised while he was here. Now, I was struggling to figure out if I wanted you to be baptised or dedicated, because I did not understand what each one meant. Pastor D met with Daddy and I at Tim Hortons to discuss the meaning. Now, it is no secret that we do not go to church every Sunday. He explained to me that being a Christian is NOT about going to church every Sunday. Of course, he would like everyone to be there, however just because you go, does not make you a Christian. What matters, is that you are a good person. Treat others with respect non judgemental, helpful to other, ect…. all the core values and beliefs that Daddy and I carry with us, and if we did our job right, have instilled onto you. He also explained by baptism, it meant that we made that promise to bring you up in a Christian fashion. You were still free to make your own choice about religion, but we made that promise to you.
He baptised you end of March 2013. The following weekend, he announced to the church that he had cancer. He NEVER let on anything was wrong. He was selfless to make sure you were baptised. He never said he couldn’t do it. He never said he was too tired. He had a smile on his face and had a celebration as Daddy, Auntie Tara, Uncle Luc and I made the covenant that we would raise you in a Christian way. Selfless.
In December, we pretty much knew that the fight was over, and doctors were just making him comfortable… we went to the mall to get a picture done with Santa… and you were not happy about getting this picture. After the picture, we then went to the hospital to visit Pastor D. All the way to the room, you were not happy… like at all. Now, it has been said that children are more perceptive that adults about things. I thought for sure that you would not be happy sitting in your stroller, not moving, while we had a quick visit. When we entered the room, you stopped fussing. You sat quietly while you played with a few toys – Happy and content. You could feel the amazing energy that he gave off – The comfort and love. We stayed for about 15 minutes, because he was tired and needed to rest… and when we left the room… to be frank Alexa, you were extremely mad. You screamed, yelled and were not happy the whole way back to the Van – I felt as if you did not want to leave him.
Alexa, I am so sorry you never got a chance to really get to know him. He was an amazing man. He changed my life for the better, and I am so very, very happy… Very blessed, that he has been a part of my life. And I am so very happy you did get to meet him. I understand God has a Plan for everyone, and he called Pastor D home for a reason… I just wish I understood the plan. I know I am not meant to right now. But, my heart aches. I have smiled and cried while I wrote this to you. He was a wonderful Man. He will be missed greatly. And I am so very, very grateful for everything I learned from him.
I love you so much, Mommy. xoxox