Reassuring Comfort

“Reassuring Comfort,” Tambuli, Aug.–Sept. 1985, 41

Reassuring Comfort

I was only 14 years old, and I didn’t think it seemed fair that I should have to give up my father when I was so young.

My family sat in father’s hospital room in a hospital in Boise, Idaho, and waited anxiously. The doctors hadn’t yet diagnosed father’s sickness, but we all knew he was terribly ill. After father had been sick for a month, mother called my brother Rich home from Brigham Young University to give father a blessing. We had done everything medically possible to help father, and this was our only hope.

We were all gathered together, and I had my own prayer in my heart. I had been on my knees more in that last month than I ever had in my entire life. I hadn’t slept much and didn’t feel physically well. My nerves were worn, and I was always restless. Although I did not know the nature of father’s illness, I had this horrible feeling that he was going to die.

After a few minutes, Rich laid his hands on father’s head and began the blessing. We were all hoping that Rich would promise a restoration of father’s health; however, Rich never once promised father that he would recover. He did tell father that peace would be with him and his family and that we would be comforted.

I left the room with tears in my eyes. My brother Keith drove me home. I went to my bedroom to be by myself and think. While sitting there I felt something good come over me, and I knew that I would be okay. I still felt that father wouldn’t live, but I felt a reassurance that I hadn’t experienced before.

Within the next week the doctors discovered that father’s illness was bone cancer. I again felt nervous and afraid. The months that followed were like a horrible nightmare. I cried myself to sleep at nights and wondered if the pain from the whole ordeal would ever go away.

Six months after the blessing, father died in his hospital bed. I was at home when he died, and my brother Steve called from the hospital to tell me of his passing. I went to my room and began to cry. I didn’t know how to feel. I only felt empty.

As I lay on my bed thinking of what my future would be like without my father, I began to feel cheated. I was only 14 years old at the time, and I didn’t think it seemed fair that I should have to give up my father when I was so young. I felt a deep sense of loss.

Then a peaceful, calm feeling came over me. It was similar to the feeling I had experienced the day of father’s blessing months before. This peacefulness was accompanied by a sense of relief. I felt father’s spirit, and I knew his love was still with me and always would be. I realized that night that although my father could be taken away physically, his spirit and love would never be taken from me. I knew that my father wasn’t gone forever. His inspiration and guidance would continue to be with me throughout my life.

Now, five years later, I realize even more the love that both my Heavenly Father and my earthly father have for me. I have often felt my earthly father near. I have felt the reassuring comfort of his spirit many times and know he has not left me alone.