Last Words

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver.”

Proverbs 25:11

April 12 is a day I can’t forget as a number of events have taken place on that day that have shaped my life. First there was my daughters best friend growing up birthday. Danielle was in many ways the fourth child in the Osthimer home as we loved her as our own. Sad for us and her family, she died seventeen years ago yesterday at the age of just seventeen. Not a year goes by that we don’t celebrate her life and remember her. Then seven years ago on April 12, I performed the wedding for our college pastor and his wife, David and Candice. They are a wonderful couple with two adorable children who I am so very thankful for. Those are the good things. Then, on April 12, 2014 my dad passed away. I had spent the morning with him at the hospital trying to calm him down. He had been highly agitated so my mom called me early in the morning to come by before the wedding and see if I could talk to my dad and calm him down.

As I sat with my dad, his arms restrained to prevent him from pulling out his IV’s I was holding his hand. As he held my hand he rubbed the back of may hand with his thumb like he would have been doing to calm himself had his hands been free and he was able to reach his own. Call it a nervous habit or whatever I do the same thing. I’ll never forget how on our wedding day as I stood holding hands with my wife saying our vows she kept telling me to stop rubbing the back of her hand with my thumb. I guess its just something we do in the Osthimer family to calm ourselves. Since my dad couldn’t reach his own hand he was using mine to help calm himself down. As I sat with my dad he kept saying, “Home” as he looked at me. I kept telling him it would be just a few more days as he needed to get stronger before going home and I could tell from his tone that he disagreed as he would repeat the words, “Home” over and over.

I sat there as long as I could and then told my dad I had to go to the wedding and would be back as soon as it was over. I prayed for him and then kissed him on his forehead and then he laid back and closed his eyes and never opened them again. Sometime between that moment and the wedding my dad stepped through the doors of eternity and began celebrating his first birthday in heaven. A glorious day for him and the saddest day of mine. Looking back over the events that day I believe my dad was telling me he was ready to go home, not from the hospital to his house on River Oaks Drive but from the hospital to his heavenly home. My dad was tired of hospital’s and all the probing and all they must do in caring for you. He was ready for his new heavenly body and his heavenly home. He talked about it all the time and I believe now he was telling me it was time and he was heading home.

April 12 is not my favorite day of the year by far so I brake it into sections. There is the part I gladly celebrate which are Danielle’s birthday and David and Candice’s wedding anniversary. My dads passing is far from the icing on the cake so as not to dampen the celebration of more pleasant events my family and I exchange text messages or social media posts remembering our dad and missing him together. I am so thankful for my dad and his impact on my life. My heart rejoices today knowing his wish was granted, and that he is home with the Lord. I’m so thankful my dad made peace with God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ so that today He is basking in the peace of God in the glory of His presence and that one day I will see him again. I am thankful for his last words to me, actually a single word repeated over and over again, “Home”. I am happy today knowing he is at home with the Lord, with my mom, with Danielle and all those who have loved His name, the name of Jesus.

Last words are important and seven years later I can still hear my father saying to me, “Home”. I am just as thankful today my last words to my own father were, “I love you.” We can’t control a lot of things in this life but one thing we can all do today is choose our words carefully, never knowing what words will be the last we get to say and the last others will hear. I hope the memory of your loved ones last days on earth bring back good thoughts, memories where what needed to be said was. Maybe thats the lesson of today for us all? Always live like today could be your last for one day it will be. Say what you need to say to the people around you. Appreciate them and love them with your words. Give them something good to hold onto too, something sweet to play over and over again in their head after you are gone. I know for me the conversation between my dad and I has helped soften the blow his passing dealt to me and my family that day. Words, choose them carefully. 

“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

Matthew 12:34


Michael Osthimer





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