Last Loving Words

A year ago today, I drove up the steep grade from Ridgway, Colorado to Hastings Mesa, where, ensconced in a log cabin, I was working on a book. On that particular day, I pulled off the side of the road to prolong a cell phone conversation with my dad.

The moment was brought back to me recently by the casual observation of a friend: “You can tell the people with AT&T mobile service – they’re the ones who pull off Highway 62 just before the grade, knowing they’re about to lose reception.”

There had been other conversations with Dad on that grade – better to reach him there than on the mesa where cellular service was weak – but most of the time I would simply warn him we were about to lose contact and I’d catch him later.

For reasons unknown, I pulled over that day to extend the phone call.

As usual, my dad expressed joy at the mere hearing of my voice, provided counsel on matters of concern to me, reminded me of the gracious hand of Christ on my life, and parted with assurances of a dad’s undying love and prayers.

As I pointed the car back up the grade, I smiled at the blessing of being able to talk to a dad like that.

It was the last time I would hear Dad’s voice.

That night, or perhaps early the next morning, his heart gave way and he crossed over the threshold into heaven.

Only recently, with the observation of my friend about cellular service, did I realize the full extent of the gift I had been given.

It was a grace of God that prompted me to pull over and to listen my dad’s last loving words.

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