Green Scottish pines sway outside the window of my hotel room in Jupiter, Florida. The needles are almost a foot long, rich in brilliant green and dull brown colors, with little cones sticking out at the ends of the fuzzy branches. A dark, gloomy sky looms overhead.
I left here last Sunday morning after a successful four-day online art event (PleinAir Live) with word that I needed to get to Florida because my father was entering the next and last phase of his life. I dreaded the trip and what I would face.
An RV Trip
Just two weeks ago, Laurie and I were here for a two-week stay that ended up being close to a month. I extended it because I had a feeling that it might be the last time I get with my dad. It was worth taking two more weeks away from work.
The Best Month Ever
When we were here my dad was still himself, just a little slower than normal. Talking up a storm, giving me advice, getting us ready for his next chapter, and communicating clearly. Though his treatments dragged him down, he was strong and vital, just a little less so than normal. And we were encouraged that the treatments would work, his strength would return, and at 94, he could see a couple more years or more. He always saw himself living to be the oldest person alive.
But things change fast. We found him in hospice care, confined to a bed, able to hear and respond, but with a weak and hard-to-understand voice. Such a change from this larger-than-force of nature with the big, booming voice.
A Tough Week
We spent the week, in small moments between rest, talking to him, bringing in family members, and watching smiles come to his face with the joy family brought him. Each day is the same, though a little worse. Yet each day is a blessing. My goal is to be at his side when he graduates his time on earth and moves to his time in Heaven. Having been with my mom, I found it a beautiful experience, and I want him to know we are there. My eyes well up as I write about the inevitable.
Fearing No More
As a kid, as long ago as I can remember, I always feared that my dad would die. Probably because I had seen other kids’ dads die, and though I knew of our family longevity, I always feared it. I feared it the same at 12 as I did at 50. I loved my dad so much, I just could not imagine life without him, and how difficult it would be. Yet here I sit, at his bedside, and I’ve come to terms, knowing his peace and that he is merely changing his address. I cannot imagine believing there is nothing more, nothing better. And I always knew this because my parents and grandparents always talked about the ticket to Heaven — that it was simple, required no works, was not about being good or bad, it was simply about accepting the word of John:3:16.
Some of my readers will be offended. That’s not my intent. Some will consider me a simple-minded person who believes in fairy tales. I’m OK with that.
So what’s this got to do with you?
Life is short, then you die. If you’re lucky, you’ll die instantly. If you’re unlucky, you may die a long and painful death. In either case, the end result is the same.
This reminds me that in an instant, you can go from a vibrant, viable, strong human to one facing the final moments, weak, frail and unable to fend for yourself, unable to control anything.
If you operate as if there is no tomorrow, and make today a day you can be proud of, that’s the best we can be.
Do not delay that thing you’ve always dreamed of doing. Three weeks ago my dad, who expected to recover, was talking about places he wanted to travel. He wanted to take an RV trip with us; he loved being in an RV. Today, that’s no longer possible.
Someday is like smoke. It can drift away as a vapor, very quickly. Don’t live on somedays. Live on todays.
Those dreams you have need to happen. If they are important to you, don’t wait. You’ll find a way.
If you’re telling yourself you don’t have the time … you do have it, you just have to choose to take it. Do it before you truly don’t have any time left.
Take the trip. Build the dream business. Take up something you’ve told yourself you want to do. One day, it will be you, or me, lying on a bed waiting to catch the train out of life.
Not So Bad Anymore
I have my aches, my moments of aging, but suddenly I feel they are nothing. I have things to do, places to visit, and have to assume I have very little time to get them all done. Though we hope for the best, doing things now is important. And doing them with the people you love is critical.
On the final breath, it’s not going to be about how many hours you worked. The money you made won’t matter. All that matters is who is there with you, who loves you so much they are willing to be at your side, for as long as it takes.
Spend your time on love, developing friendships, helping others, and living your impossible dreams, or at least knowing you truly tried. And invest deeply in the gold that will be with you to the end, those you love.
Eric – Even Jesus wept. You are loved beyond measure. If you fall apart, he will pick you up. Prayers for you and your family. nv
Thanks Eric, I’ve been feeling that I’m too old, since I lost my husband 4 years ago. Since I’ve been watching your interviews with all kinds of Artist , especially the Plein air painters, I decided to take a Plein air workshop in April with Kathy Odom . Walking is a bit of a problem for me, but I decided to take up my trusty trekking pole and go for it. I’ve been a studio painter for over 30 years, but , you and others convinced me that I’m missing something
special painting in nature. I really don’t know how to paint “ out there”, but I guess I’ll give it my best shot .
My heart goes out to you. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of your own life at this time and for offering valuable insights for living fully. Although I am a woman artist (who has very much enjoyed both of the Watercolor Live events), I am also a retired Lutheran pastor, so I particularly treasure your openness about your faith. Whether you are at his bedside when your father takes his last earthly breath or find he has slipped away when you return from a small errand, you will know that he absolutely knows how much you love him. My prayers go with you and your family.
Grace and peace,
Chrys Levesque Hendrick
And than you for Watercolor Live! I have participated in both of them so far and am signed up
What a lovely column Eric. Your faith will see you through these difficult days. My prayers are with you and your family.
So sorry to hear your father has come to the end of his journey of life. He is fortunate to ave such a strong loving son and family by his side.
Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life with others. Your words truly touched my heart,….so beautifully written and full of love. I needed to hear this. Thank you again. God Bless you and your family and may He give you all the strength to get through this sad time in your lives.
Beautifully said. Words of wisdom that unfortunately we forget until we lose someone close. Life is a blessing to be cherished daily. ❤️
Mr. Rhoads…beautifully written. Thankyou for your words of Christian testimony!!!
Eric, I want to thank you for sharing your faith. I am a believer and I am so grateful for my grandparents and parents that showed me their faith and prayed for me and the next generations to come. Again , I thank you!
You are so right. It is not what you have but who you love and who loves you back. In the nursing home, nobody cares whether you were a PHD or a garbage collector. You are just you. Invest in people.
Thank you so much for this reminder – i am often guilty of procrastinating and thinking that i can do something, meet someone for coffee or paint tomorrow . I am blessed to believe in Jesus Christ and know where i am going. I have been at the bedside of both my father and mother’s passing – what peace they had as they too knew the Lord. Time is fleeting and we are not guaranteed a tomorrow. This is just a reminder to run the race with everything i have EVERY day and to not put things off. Thank you very much!!
What a blessing to have been with both your mother and your father as they parted for heaven. I missed that opportunity with my dad but was able to be with my mom, as she passed to eternity. It has struck me more and more as I grow older, how our life can change from one second to the next. We just don’t know, but we must be ready for when our time comes.
I pray that God will continue to comfort you in your loss. For even though we know they are in a better place, we, who are left behind, are, well, left behind. But only for a moment when compared to the eternity we will spend together with our loved ones, one day.
May God continue to use and bless you and your family.
yes. i have seen such things as well.
I can see why this is one of your most popular posts. People respond to person and open conversations that aren’t all about business but are about the things we all go through. Thank you, as we see my mother-in-law fading away.
Praying for your family…
I know that pain of watching them take their last breath. So thankful for the assurance of Heaven (because of John 3:16)!
Thank you Eric for sharing about this difficult time .. it is such a powerful time, a sad time, yet a time that will always be remembered. It is a wonderful thing to be able to spend these last days, hours with someone you love and have admired. And yes, as you live your days to the best of your ability, there still can be comfort in continuing to share dreams, hopes, disappointments and triumphs with dad’s spirit . It has been 10 years since I lost my dad and I miss him as though those last moments were yesterday.
But what a gift to have had them together. Take care of yourself.
God Bless You and Your Father. I haven’t read anything as moving as your letter in a long time. You were blessed with a loving father and he was blessed with a loving son.
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful private moment in your family’s life. Thank you for sharing it with the other children of
God. How lovely to know of such love between a father and son.
Eric, my sympathy to you in what you had to go through with the loss of your dad. I am only sending this comment as I started watercolor painting as a way to divert my sadness when my best friend of 30 years died of glioblastoma in 2013. She asked that I continue her work as a Hospice Nurse in helping patients not to be afraid to die. I have spent many years now caring for elders and hospice patients. In November I retired to enjoy my life and to do more on my own bucket list. I attended Watercolor Live and now I am inspired to do more painting. Art for my has great healing powers.
Sorry to hear about your fathers passing, but happy for him. I believe your comments are right on. It is a free ticket that is available for us all. Your comments about what you want to do that you have been putting off also resonate with me. I am guilty; out of fear, not good enough, ridicule or whatever, but I finally made the leap. I finally got a website for my art, not even complete yet and a tremendous learning curve, but it is started. I have a lot to learn, but I love the whole process of art. I will never learn it all, but I will learn what I can before using my ticket.
I enjoy your Sunday Coffee news letter. Thanks. Take care.
Thank you for sharing such a moving and insightful moment in your life. This particular journey is one that we have all experienced and you expressed it so very well.
My deepest sympathy. Losing a parent is so hard. But, you’re right, they’re just changing their address. Moving to the upstairs bedroom. They’ll still be there telling you how to do things. You just have to listen harder.
Eric, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
My sincerest sympathy. It is those left behind that need comfort and peace. The person who is gone is now a soul, free and loved by God. You reminded me of the loss of my own father who would have been 100 just a few days ago. Love lives in your mind and heart. He will always be with you. God be with you.
Beautifully written… and I so agree! Each day really
is a gift!
John 3:16 is my cornerstone too!!
Thank you Eric for all you do!
Your Watercolor Live ( 2nd year attending) fellow
Absolutely, Eric. This is truth. Thanks for writing it.
Eric, I lost my Dad in May of 1996. I sat at his bedside 24-7, as he lay in a coma. If this happens to your Dad toward the end STILL TALK TO HIM! They can hear, they just may not be able to respond the way you want! Dad was open mouth breathing because we took him off Life Support, when there was no hope of recovery, and took him Home. Twice I left his side, once I kissed him on his forehead, and he puckered his lips to kiss me back! Another time, I shared a very private and sad memory with him, and his mouth slammed shut in a “cry”.
AND, a year later, I was painting in Ireland, and I had just finished a painting (which I called “I am the Sunlight”) and a small bird flew onto the cattlegate, and looked at me, then my painting. No he was NOT looking for bugs! How do I know? He did this 3 times! I offered it some sunflower seeds, it flew onto my hand, then flew away.
The next morning on the way to Ross Castle, the same sort of little bird landed in front of us. I stooped to photograph it, and it flew 10 feet. This little guy and I did this “dance” 8 times…I never got his photo! THAT NIGHT, I pulled my journal out, counting back to when we left the States. The day before was the first Anniversary of my Dad’s passing! I wanted to share this with you…DON’T TAKE ANYTHING, no matter HOW SMALL, as “NOT IMPORTANT”!! God bless you both, on this journey! Always, Betty
Thank you so much for sharing your heart and the truth of life and death!! Jesus did pay our price for sins and Loves us with such passion!! Praying for you and your family at this trying time.
I’m sitting in my 94year old father’s home nursing through covid. He is so dear and precious to our family!! So far doing well!’
Bless you and hugs !! A fellow beginner painter! I appreciate your encouragements in painting and life!!
In His Love, Pamela Labbee
For God so loved the world.
Thank you for sharing this. We lost our mother last April 26th, about the same time you wrote this. She was 99 and was in Stuart, Florida. I was going to tell you about the lovely garden you could visit at their church in Port Salerno if you needed a private retreat, and then I noticed the date.
I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for all the you are doing for the painting world. You are truly making a difference in my life and many others too. Thank you.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this season of transition for you beloved dad.
Yes, life is truly a vapor! (James 4:14). It is here and is gone ever too fast. It is time to break forth and live one’s dream.
May the Lord comfort you, and may He be your peace.
Of all your words, spoken or written that I have read/heard, THESE, these words were the most meaningful. One doesn’t have to be an artist to understand the message. Thank you, Eric Rhoades
Thank you for sharing your faith. It was inspiring. The passing of a loved one is always tough, but may God’s rich Shalom provide rest for your soul.
Eric, my dad’s in hospice right now. He’s in the home stretch. He has lost the ability to swallow, so I imagine he will soon join your own father. I’m concerned about a workshop I need to teach next weekend, but now I’ll sit at dads bedside and hold his hand.
Condolences to you and family, Eric. Thanks for sharing. The message is “Life is short, in the greater scheme of things, so make the most of it”. I find myself encountering this message often, in one way or another.
My heart breaks for you and family. Your Dad is a lucky guy to have you by his side…
Thank you for sharing. Coming to grips with my father’s death was made easier because I knew he was headed to heaven. It’s a shame so many do not know and understand the peace that comes with a relationship with God and His Son
Thank you for the message and for sharing this temporary parting with your father. The promise God offers is our hope and reason to rejoice. I know you are glad for it.
That was lovely. Made me tear up. Thank you for your thoughts.
I remember when my dad died…. He was in hospice and we were all there every day ….. but he waited until early one morning and held the hand of one of the nurses and said goodbye …. I think he knew he couldn’t leave with all of us there…. He was our rock.
First of all I had you figured as a Christian long ago, so I’m not surprised. I completely agree with you that I can’t imagine life ending without something else starting. At my mothers funeral the pastor likened it to a baby not wanting to be born and not knowing that there were eager loving parent who could not wait for their arrival. In my minds eye I see it as being set free (In my mom’s case from a body riddled by Parkinson’s disease. I could see her running happily in a new body). Secondly, if you believe that much then you also have the hope of seeing him again for eternity, this being just a short break. Lastly thank you for your example of christian living in your business as well as personal life I am sure. Much better than any amount of Bible thumping. I do think the Bible is important though.
Thank you so much for sharing this. My mother passed when she was 68. That was 20 years ago and
I still miss her and think of her every day. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Take care. Be well.
Your are exactly right!! I have actually been there. Heaven. I was 13 or 14. I had no idea or fear of death and my Mom and Dad did not expect what happened. What other people have experienced was not what I experienced. But I knew I was there and the beauty, colors, smells, sounds, and LOVE was more than anything you have ever experienced on Earth. God was there. I felt his presence but visually i didn’t see Him. I didn’t have a body either. But I was there. The doctors scrambled and knew every part of my body was shutting down. He physically took his hand and ripped my tonsils out. He had to get me breathing. I remember being shocked. Ouch! Every nerve felt the electricity. I came back and fought the tube, and kicked and punched the doctors. I opened my eyes and quickly shut them. “All those faces”. Yikes. I went back to Heaven. Then I got another shock. I heard them saying breath with the machine. I took my first breath and it hurt! Like breathing in fire. So every breath we take here, is like breathing poison. Yes every day we are slowing dying. Now that your father is in the last stages he is about to enter the most happiest place, the most loving place where there is no concept of time. No work, no tears, awesome love only. You will see him again. Your Mom and others too. In a way I am jealous every time someone dear departs, especially if I know they took the free gift from Jesus and know that He has granted us every lasting life with Him. Your fathers life is just beginning. And wow, its forever! Prayers of comfort to you and your family. I when I get there I will look for your Dad and I would love to hear his stories.
Words everyone should read!
Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts. I recently lost my dad who was 95, just one week before he would have turned 96. Unfortunately, I was unable to get to him in time to see him before he died. As I stood waiting for my bag at the airport, my sister texted me and told me he was gone. But, what an amazing and caring man he was, married to my mom for over 65 years. At the end, dad was struggling with heart conditions, dementia, and finally, Covid pneumonia. But, he is now at peace having crossed the bar, and my 89-year-old mom carries on. I am new to watercolor painting and am trying to use it as my grief and stress relief, as well as a way of expressing myself. I take to heart your words that we should not delay doing the things we want to do most, with those who matter the most to us. Retirement is mine in 2023, and I want to travel with my spouse and hike and enjoy the beauty that nature has to offer and to be able to sketch and paint that beauty. Whether anyone else ever sees it or appreciates it, does not matter. It brings me joy and peace, things that many times are elusive in today’s world.
So glad you were able to be there for him and for you. Sad time for your family. Yes we do need to grasp the now as we don’t know the future. Sending love. Jenny
Thank you for sharing your heart. Truly, life here on earth is short, no matter the length in years, compared to eternity. Basically, eternity consists of two choices–everlasting torment or everlasting joy. Thank you for pointing your readers to the one choice that they will never regret, one that delivers them from forever wishing that they had chosen John 3:16 when they had the chance. Knowing of a surety that we will have our family, our children and all our grandchildren in heaven with us is life’s greatest joy here on earth.
Well your article made me cry! Hearing someone else describe losing their parent. I lost my mom in November but I was holding her hand when she died. I too believe that she is in heaven and I will see her again. I’m so sorry for your loss but rejoice with you that this is not the final time we will see our parents. Having this hope makes the unbearable, bearable. Thanks for the great article! I will continue to follow you!
Your words and actions show how much you care. You are there. Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you, your father, and your family. Thank you for sharing these private moments.
Eric, I remember reading this the first time you posted. Tears welled up as I read about your father’s and your situation.
I agree that life is just a fleeting moment and one has to live life to the fullest. Never put off what is important to you.
I have to disagree with you, if one is being a bastard and jerk all through the life and expect to get the ticket to heaven.
Thank you so much for this. These words mean more than you know. I love art. I have done some painting . I’m retired & my time is my own. Yet, for many silly reasons I am frozen & have not made time for several years now, thinking I don’t have the time.
I will sketch today.
I’ll push past my fears which are unfounded.
EVERYTHING about that was beautiful.
Thankyou for sharing such an emotional time.
From earths shores to heaven’s doors..
A room prepared for him..
You were my Sunday sermon today .
Beautifully written AMEN
I feel I have lived your life with your dad. My sweet dad is 91 and is going down that exact trail.
Life is short, live every moment!
Thank you so much for sharing❤️. You and your dad are in my thoughts and prayers.
Hi Eric! I’ve been sharing your messages with my husband for a few months and today he told me that you are his favorite artist other than me! I just wanted you to know how much we love your Sunday Coffee messages! Please keep on doing what you are doing! You are such an encouragement in so many lives! God bless you Eric! Gratefully, Julie White
I very much relate to all you say,
People ask why I am sooooo busy all the time…. My saying is “I have things to do and places to go” :)))). Death does come quickly and unexpectedly like a thief in the night….even to the strongest of us all….
I aspire to so many of the things which your Dad talked about…living to be the oldest in the world is one as well as many many travels…..Waiting for something to happen is not on my agenda…..So I live on, reach out as far as I can….and I am so very glad to have taken the leap of faith in you and Streamline and have learned so very much so quickly and made so many new friends from all over the world. Bless all of you and “Let’s go Paint”.
Everything you said is so very true. It doesn’t hurt to be reminded again and again.
I just lost my mother at age 94. I miss her every day. Prayers for you and your family.
Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s a good reminder to everyone that life and health are unpredictable. I am happy for your father that you are there with him in this transition.
God bless!! Your Dad is always with you and when you listen closely you will feel his spirit. Thank you for sharing again Eric!
As the matriarch of my family, awakening to read your story after an evening helping to celebrate my baby sister’s 80th birthday, I can’t help but smile and tear up at the same time. Thank you for the reminder of what’ we’re really about during these unsettling, distracting times. My husband and I are scheduled to chase the Aurora Borealis next month, (the only thing on my bucket list). And after a hiatus of almost two years I will work at using some of my time to splash watercolor paint around between good times with family and friends!
Thank you. Blessings!
And you suspected that you might offend some people…In this time of prickly responses to just about every topic of discussion, you have managed to gently touch on the universal hope that most of us embrace. Well done, you.
Your father must have been very special. Clearly, you are also special.
Artists like to depict and imagine. After the loss of a loved one, it is difficult to imagine things ever being the same. Our faith tells us that things will be better in our next life. If we could depict or imagine that, we would miss the glorious surprise that is in store for us.
From your Sunday coffee 2/6/2022…” Someday is like smoke. It can drift away as a vapor, very quickly. Don’t live on somedays. Live on todays.
Those dreams you have need to happen. If they are important to you, don’t wait. You’ll find a way.”
Those are the words I will enlarge and put on my studio wall. My life is my son. His is my first priority. I don’t paint as much as I wanted to. I am sorry about your father. I have the same fear of losing him since I was a kid. Even though he is very healthy but almost 90. Your inspiration will help many people find their way. Thank you for sharing.
Eric. So sorry about your Dad. I have four of his photographs hanging on my walls. Two of them of my husband Fr Bob taken at St Johns In The Wilderness when he was priest in charge. We always enjoyed our conversations with your Dad
OS. You look like him!
This was very touching. My mother is 93 years old and so I can relate on so many levels. You are truly blessed to have so much love in your life.
May we all continue to live life with urgency knowing today and this moment may be all we have.
This was a beautiful message and one we should all take to heart. Thanks for sharing such a moving and personal experience. The strength of family is so important, especially at times of loss.
Beautifully said! Prayers for you and your family, and thank you for the reminder of how fleeting and precious life is. God Bless your Dad, and all his family and friends.
Thank you Eric for this sensitive and heartfelt post. It was just what I needed to read today. I woke up this morning feeling sad after spending the day with my Dad who celebrated his 88th Birthday yesterday and thinking all of these same thoughts. He is the happiest and most positive person I know. He taught me to see with artists eyes, slow down and see the beauty in nature. Growing up without electricity or running water, he is grateful for simple things and that’s what I often choose to paint. Blessings and Light to you and your family.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with your dad. My dad was my hero and I and my siblings were with him the last week of his life. He was 6 months from his 100th birthday and would have made it were it not for kidney disease and his exhaustion from dialysis. I am not an artist but I really want to paint. Your post made me realize that all I have to do is MAKE the time to pursue my desire to get better at it, time doesn’t wait for me to FIND the time.
Your post brought me to tears because I could empathize with you and your feelings about your dad.
Hi Eric, again thank you for sharing – the promises of the Lord are the only things we can truly anchor ourselves with and to. No human words can ever comfort your pain, but I can plainly see you are under the wings of theComforter. My prayers are with you and your family your father sounds like an amazing and wonderful person – you are a true reflection of this. What a beautiful legacy. Thank you for reminding us all to do the thing and not put it off for a tomorrow that may not come. One thing for certain, your father has the best travel insurance there is and ever will be. Much love to you and your family❤️
Amen, Eric. This life is a but a vapor. John 3:16 was the verse that led me to a saving knowledge of Jesus 60 years ago. I have never regretted making that decision to follow Him. Each one of us can be only a heartbeat away at any moment, so never apologize for sharing truth.
I woke this morning and read about your experience and guidance. I am currently going through the same thing and your words touched me greatly.
This article is so beautifully written and contains excellent advice. We all need to be reminded of what is truly important in life’s journey and how soon it can be over.
This is beautiful. So sorry for your loss.
Dear Eric I’m so sorry to hear that you’re facing this moment in life. It is so unexpected, no matter how expected. And understanding that whether you’re with him or not when he goes, doesn’t matter. Your father knows you love him. And he may just want to leave quietly on his own. Whatever happens, I send you strength and courage. Lizzie PS Absolutely no need to reply to this.
Very moving and very true
Thank you for this beautiful way to begin Sunday morning. Perhaps we shall meet one day at a plein air event! May God continue to bless you and your family…
What a beautiful message. Thank you so much for sharing your heart.
Thanks Eric. for being so honest and putting your emotions and thoughts out there for all to see. Truly motivating. Peace, prayers and savor those lasting memories of your father.
Dean was a very very remarkable man Eric , as are you. He taught you life as it should be . I am truly sorry to have heard of his passing . My heartfelt prayers to your entire family .
My prayers are with you and with your family. I am so grateful that you were able to spend this “end time” with your father. It is perhaps the most memorable time of our lives to be able to walk the final steps with a loved one. May you find joy in the memories, peace in the living, and gratefulness in the knowledge that this is not the end, but the beginning for your father. John 3:16. AMEN
I love your message. Beautiful. What a wonderful father. You are so blessed, and your family as well.
Eric, I join this wonderful community in wishing you peace and calm during this devastating time. The words you share with us today may just change my life. Sending love.
My 95 year old Dad passed away in January in much the same way you describe your father’s decline. We were so lucky to have him but you are right – it doesn’t get any easier at age 69 than at 29!
Thank you for your words – as always they are very inspirational.
I was told to read Sunday Coffee this week.I have read from the beginning. But waited until today fearing it would be too sad. Although it was sad it was encouraging, and uplifting. Prayers for your family! and joy for a life well lived!
You are a blessing. Your words; so wise and well-felt. You write beautifully.
Much love to you and yours in this time of sadness.
Thank You for sharing your heart and thoughts to bless others. Most of all, Thank You for not being ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and sharing God’s Truth, John 3:16. I pray God Blesses you for your transparency, honesty and faith. That is the truest way to Love and Bless others 🙏✝️❤️🕊.
Eric, my deepest sympathy to you and your family. We all knew your Dad through your stories. 3:16
My heart and prayers are with your dad and your family! Know that there are thousands praying for you.
Wonderful message, Thanks Eric
My prayers are with you Eric. I believe with all my heart we will be going to Heaven after death. I was with my husband almost two years ago holding his hand as he took his last breath. He had the most peaceful look on his face. I will be going someday too and will see him again. Know that friends are praying for you. You are right we all need to live each day as it might be our last. Thank you for sharing. God Bless you and your family and give you comfort during this time of sadness but joy knowing your father will be in Heaven.
Good on you Eric. I remember when in 1998 my wife and I decided to retire to full time RVng, a dream of ours for years. We spent over 20 years on the road with every kind of adventure both good and bad possible. I wouldn’t trade those memories now, though unfortunately I can no longer share them with my wife who suffers from dementia.
I am now enjoying my life caring for my love of over 52 years. Strangely, it was those years living so close in the RV that makes it possible to endure this new challenge. It’s that love that carries us on with the mountain of patience this disease requires. We always solved the problems on the road then and that has framed my outlook with this problem. We’re doing just fine thank you.
Our Friend Eric,
Thank you for sharing. As one who has experienced a parent stepping onto celestial ground after a long illness, I appreciated your simple faith in god’s word. I could hardly say much more than all who have so eloquently expressed our thoughts and sympathy here in the comments. This should encourage you; how you have touched the lives of so many. My favorite of the comments above came from Carlyle Nostrame, “GRIEF NEVER ENDS ….BUT IT CHANGES. …IT’S A PASSAGE, NOT A PLACE TO STAY… GRIEF IS NOT A SIGN OF WEAKNESS … NOR A LACK OF AITH… IT’S THE PRICE OF LOVE.” May God wrap His loving arms around you and all who loved your father in the days ahead.
Thank you so much for sharing your deeply personal experience and thoughts. You were fortunate to have had such a wonderful father and I must say, he was fortunate to have such a caring and loving son! It’s so easy to take life and family for granted. Over this past year with Covid dominating our lives, I noticed how I have shut down and stopped communicating, assuming I will get back out there when this is all over. While I have been waiting, I have lost 2 friends, one from cancer and one from ALS. You are absolutely right. We never know if this is our last day on earth. I have to ask myself, what am I waiting for? Thanks for bringing this up.
Eric, you are a kind and generous man. Thank you for writing as you do; I’m also a person eternally thankful for the gift of salvation from our incredible God, and I’m glad that you’re at your dad’s side as he transitions.
I want to also thank you for the many art instructional videos and interviews you’ve provided these many months! It has been SO beneficial and fun. You’re a blessing to the art community!
Thank you for sharing your story. Always good advice. Invest our energy in our dreams and those that we love. 💕
Amen. As I, at 93, come to terms with my passing , i want to hang on, there is so much they to. I struggle with my walker, and teeth that wont stay put, and naps that force me to rest for a minute, my memory slipping, Ah , you. Paint it well. God Bless.
It seems that many of us are joining the choir here to sing the chorus of “carpe diem”! Your father is SUCH a blessed and lucky guy! My father is 91 and we know how unbelievably fortunate we are to have him, just as he is grateful to have us. Much like your family, I suspect. Wishing all of you peace and zero regrets! Thank you for sharing, Eric.
Your story of your father resonates deeply. When my father began his treatments, we believed at 89 he would take advantage of new medicines available and enjoy a few more good years. Instead, on Friday he was holding court on his beloved porch, the check for his summer condo rental written and ready to mail. Two days later we were at the ICU in Jupiter saying a final Good bye. It’s just not easy. Blessing and prayers to you.
Eric, Your words resonate with everything that I have experienced with my own parents. Thank you for sharing and although we are strangers, I will keep you in my prayers. Painting and creating is meditative through grief and it has been the one thing that has sustained me.
Blessings to you!
Krásná slova .Je úžasné číst o osudu všech , kteří neumí pojmenovat co se děje a proč se tak děje. Já sama stojím po boku své mámy ,které se během měsíce změnil život. Ještě jednou děkuji za krásná slova a přeji hodně sil .
Beautifully said. Thank you for sharing and a heartfelt sorry. sharing this with you. GRIEF NEVER ENDS ….BUT IT CHANGES. …IT’S A PASSAGE, NOT A PLACE TO STAY… GRIEF IS NOT A SIGN OF WEAKNESS … NOR A LACK OF AITH… IT’S THE PRICE OF LOVE.
Thank you for that, Eric. Your thoughts and words are sobering. I like that you at times recognize and bring to the forefront feelings in your articles, including some of the ones on the Sunday Coffee times. Please keep up your good work. Most of us who read these articles you thoughtfully put together don’t respond, so your influence may seem diluted to you. Keep being happy and the very best of good health to you and family. Joe L
Eric, Please accept my condolences . I saw your post yesterday on the loss of your father. My, but there is a strong resemblance . You are a younger version. He was a very handsome man.
Thank you for your Morning Coffee Letter this morning. It was very touching.
I’m glad you got the opportunity to spend this time with your father…for both him and for you.
You are right, you must be prepared as we never know how long is our time on this earth . I’m also glad that it is not by works that we are saved, I could never do enough.
It sounds like your father had a good life , surrounded by a family that loved him.
I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m thankful for you sharing Gods word, I know your father must have been so proud of you. God bless you
Aloha Eric Rhoads, Heartfelt condolences to you & your family in the passing of your Dad. I envy the relationship you have with him, so loving.
I thoroughly enjoyed PleinAir Live. So much to learn, so many wonderful artists & information to grasp. Experiences not available anywhere else all rolled up into four days. Fabulous beyond words!
Truthfully, I am in awe of the exceptional human being you are, so kind, so thoughtful, so caring & more . . . I actually LOVE spending Sunday with you(even if I don’t drink coffee). Your topics/subjects are so very inspirational, they touch my heart and at times bring tears to my eyes. I find peace and serenity in your all that you share and ask God daily to be patient with me and nudge me along to always see the good in others and help those not as fortunate as I.
I am sorry to hear about your Dad making his final journey to Heaven. It is so sad, particularly since you lost your Mom too. God be with you all. My daughter and I just drove five hours to visit my Mom who is 92. My brother and his wife came, and my other brother and his kids came. His wife is not vaccinated, so chose not to come. My nephew and his wife and small children came the next day. We all arrived wearing face masks and limiting the amount of people in Mom’s small senior apartment. We have not seen each other in over a year due to Covid. It was so nice to get real hugs in person, feel the warmth of their bodies, absorb the love that emanated. Mom is nearing the end of her life. She has survived three husbands. We are all so grateful to be together. You are an inspiration to me. I read your weekly posts and marvel at your insight that you share. Thank you. Enjoy your Dad these last weeks, days, moments. I learned real grief when my sister died. I felt the deepest most despairing grief that I have ever experienced, so much more than with all the previous deaths in the family. So I think I possibly know your profound grief. And if it’s like mine was, it will be devastating. It took me 2 years to let my sister go. What I want to say is “feel your grief, but don’t get lost in it”. Loved ones are still with you. Revel in that love. I truly believe in life after death. A beautiful life with our loved ones who went to Heaven before us. Your Dad will be with your Mom. A happy reunion. God is good. And your life will go on. Enjoy your family that is with you here. Love is all around.
This is one of those moments where a “coincidence” isn’t really a coincidence. I was having one of my weeping moments that come every so often, missing soooo much, my husband of 48 years. He died in February. He also went from a strong vital, confident and strong man to one who was lying in that Hospice bed, telling me “This is not me….not me…..not me….” And it wasn’t. Sure, his physical shell was so tired and at 90 years of age he warred with retaining his dignity vss accepting that it was ”his time.” So, my moment here, dissolving in tears and feeling so lonely were shared by a kindred spirit, letting me know that each moment is, definitely so important. Even after the heartbreak of watching his final weeks, we also shared some of the closest of our times together…..they were real in the spirit of our long times together. We both knew to make each minute count and we would laugh off silly things that at other times might have caused ridiculous defenses to step forward. Thank you for sharing your memories with us, Eric…….God Bless
We are with you Eric……holding your Dad in prayer, and also you and all of your family. Yes, oh yes to JOHN 3:16! Most precious words! I can see that they will sustain you through any shaky moments. Wishing you the greatest Peace of God as He has promised, that is not of this world.
Thank you for sharing that, Eric! That is what truly matters the most— walking with God and doing my best with my life for and with other people. It sounds like your father was a great man. I’m sorry that it is a difficult time for you now. I will be praying for you and your family. I just wanted you to know that you are making a difference too. Your podcast has introduced me to the plain air movement and some very talented artists. Today I set up my new plain air set up in my living room to see how it will work in the field when I go out for the first time in a couple of weeks with my local plain air group. Thank you very much!
Thank you for sharing those promising words and reassuring us that each day does count and may you be blessed…Peggy
Thank you for sharing such a personal message. You are right that Christ is the only way to eternal life, and God is giving you the strength and peace for this time. I pray also for peace and comfort for your father and for the rest of the family. God’s Blessings,
My prayers are with you and your family.
Thanks Eric, one of your best
My condolences to you and your family.
Loosing someone is always hard, but knowing that they knew and loved God brings so much peace. I am glad
that you have that and got your last visit with him.
My dad died 30 years ago, but I remember him especially when planting peas. We always planted them in March and the
first one to get them in called the other to brag a little but mostly just to talk.
I just wanted to convey to you my sorrow as you walk through this path of watching your father slip away. I experienced the same thing with my father. He was vibrant and energetic man especially during the party we held to celebrate his 90th birthday party in June, by the end of September he was in hospice and passed on October 3rd. The one soothing thought I live with is knowing that he did not linger long in hospice because he would have hated it. He had lost his sight and hearing in September so it was so difficult to communicate with him and let him know it was family by his side and not always the nursing staff. I do have to admit that the last week I was able to spend with him and care for him was the most wonderful time and helped me with letting go. This all happened back in 2013, but it seems like yesterday. I still have to stop myself from calling him when I experience something I know he would have loved to hear about, so I talk to him and my mother in my heart every day. I am sending you my best wishes and thoughts during this time. You have many people out there who are thinking of you. My best wishes for you and your family.
I am so very sorry to read this Eric. You are a truly good and faithful son, loving and caring to your Dad. Wishing you and your family the inner strength and love and support between each other to help you through this time. Just know that others care and our hearts are with you at this time. Love from NZ
So wonderful that you were so close to your dad. What a blessing for both of you😘🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏
Thank you for sharing these wonderful thoughts and most important reminders. God’s blessings to your family,
as they say farewell to your father, what a honor to be there with him. God bless our seniors, they are such
a special generation.
Thank you for your beautiful words and I very much appreciate and follow John 3:16. I’m so sorry for what you’re going through with your father. In a blink of the eye you will be with him again with out Heavenly Father. I’m 55 and my dad passed away when I was sixteen and I still miss him and would love to sit down and talk with him. You so blessed to be able to have had so many years with him. Thank you for the Sunday letter a for your art endeavors. I look forward to your letter every week.
Thank you for sharing this. I truly appreciate your authenticity- concerning your faith and concerning your love for your family.
Much needed truth to a world which is starving.
Praying for peace and comfort for your Dad and family.
Thank you for a beautiful, touching, inspiring message. May God bless you mightily.
Eric l am glad you told us about your dad and sharing the gospel. The Gosoel is not a fairy tale as we both know. Keep preaching Jesus and telling other about the Lord. D L Moody shared the gospel with a least one person a day throughout his life and ministry Eric feel free to email me anytime. Yes l draw and paint but my cat clawed my hand on Apr 7 and got an infection but l am recovering and waiting to create art again. Thankyou for your ministry to your Dad.
Pastor Steve Winter
Thank you for this personal post. You are so right, we so often forget what is really most important.
Hi Eric-Thank you so much for this beautiful, thoughtful piece! I have been enjoying your Sunday thoughts since I signed up for them after Watercolor Live this year. Today’s is especially personal and touching (I lost both of my parents in the last 2 years- both aged 95 and married for 76 years!) Thank you for mentioning John 3:16, I wish more people had the nerve to mention it. Thank you for taking the time each week to write your “Coffee With Eric”, it is a joy.
oh honey, nobody dies, they just check out – from the physical to the non physical. i bet your dad was /is looking forward to being with your mom again. i am sure they will do the things they said they would in spirit…the saddest thing is not seeing loved ones (or not so loved ones) in the physical anymore… but you can still connect to them in spirit – that connection is never lost. i just know he’s going to be looking over your shoulder sayin what are you doin now? cheers xoxox 🙂
Thanks Eric for your thought-provoking commentary on this Sunday morning. I will keep it and read regularly to remind me of what is important. At 76 years old I have had these thoughts often. Thank you for putting them down in writing.
God bless you and your father,
Eloquently said. Having been through the final days with both parents also, you words ring true. I miss them every day. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for caring enough about us as you suffer. Love and prayers for Dad ,you and your loved ones.
This was so lovely. Thank you. Don’t apologize for your faith. In the end, it is the most important thing. You never know whose life may be changed forever by your acknowledgement of faith. Your dad raised a wonderful, thoughtful, kind son. I know he is so proud. Thank you for the ” live each day to it’s fullest” reminder. We all need to remember. Time is precious. My sincerest sympathy on the loss of your dear father.
Thank you for taking the time to do those things you hold close to your heart and sharing with the greater circle of friends. In your loss, you continue to share…things some of us have not. Blessings to your family and to those who read this.
Sending comforting thoughts your way.
Wonderful post, Eric.be strengthened with grace ,wisdom and God’s love as you saver these days.
Beautiful words to live by.
My heart goes out to you and your loved ones. Your Dad was a good man to have raised such a fine son and I’m sure your Mum had some input in that too. Follow your wise words Eric and take time for yourself and your family and heal with all that love surrounding you.
Eric, for the past two days I have been sorting pictures of the family. I came across the picture of my father when he was ill with cancer in bed. I started to cry remembering that I was not with him when he died. After, reading your story the tears begin to flow from my eyes thinking what a gift you gave your dad and family being with him on his way to graduation and moving to his place in heaven. In Austin, there is a group called Austin Threshold Singers who sing for patience who are dying or just need some peaceful singing in their homes or hospice. There is a song called MAY PEACE BE WITH YOU…so today in San Antonio at the time of practice, I will sing that song for you and your family. Birth is a miracle but death is a mystery. Take care…
Your touching and awesome message is perfect timing. I recently saw my 97 year old father for the last time on earth.
You write beautifully and meaningful.
Thank you for sharing this profound time and sincere message with us, Eric. Please accept my heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Deep peace and warm healing with God’s love and grace. 😌🙏🏼🕊
lOVE THIS AND DEEPEST CONDOLENCES, YOU WORDS SOOTHE THE SOUL AND INSPIRE US ON. THANK YOU.
Each day is a new opportunity that won’t come again, and it’s not until we are in the mature phase of our lives that we realize that. Indeed, letting go is all we can do at the end of each day. It is true – we can’t take anything with us when we finally pass through the veil of our final exit, and it’s true that all we take with us is the love we have received as well as the love we’ve given. However, it is our own name which must be written first, at the top of the list.
Praying for you and your family as you go through this difficult time. I am glad that you have the peace of God that passes all understanding and the hope of life eternal. This peace and hope that gets us through these hard times.
Beautiful, Eric. You are a good son. I lost my father when he was 50, my first experience with losing someone I loved. I still cry talking about it. Thank God we are comforted by Him and I can pray to my sweet father. Thank you for sharing your memories with us. God bless your father and you.
What a beautiful tribute to your father and a reminder to cherish everyday with the people you love. My mother is 96 and still strong. It’s wonderful to have such an extended time with her as you have with your father. Wishing you and your family peace and blessings.
I have lost both my parents now. Be strong in your memories and your faith. Something my Mother always said “ he will never give you more than you can handle “. my prayers are with you.
Eric, so many of our hearts are reaching out in support of you and your family. Please feel the hugs and prayers, and be comforted. You have done so much for us; the covid-homebound, for the past year. Personally, I went from a tepid, occasional drawer/painter to an artist with purpose and PAL-inspired plans. And I’m almost 73. Picked up the brushes about 7 years ago, after my husband went on to his eternal mission call. Your father loves you, and his spirit will be there for you, no matter where he’s journeying. You are loved, and His love and comfort are eternal.
This is a beautiful tribute to your Dad, to your faith and hope, and to life! Thank you for sharing.
Eric, I also lost my beloved Father a few years back. I sat at his side for 24 hours a day, for a week, while he was in a coma. Twice he responded to me, in that state, so I know he was aware spiritually … all that was going on! And Eric, our loved ones NEVER TOTALLY LEAVE US!
Twice Dad showed up! In Ireland while painting, a little bird sitting on a cattle gate, looked at me, then my painting…3 times! I figured birds there were just friendly, afterwards he took some seed from my hand and flew off. The next day, walking up to Ross Castle, with a gentleman named Gabrielle, the same type bird flew in front of me…I tried 8 times to get his photo, but each time it would fly 10 feet further down the lane. I gave up! That night, I had to count backwards to put the correct date in my journal…the date the bird ate out of my hand: it was the first anniversary of my Father’s leaving! They NEVER give up on us!! BUT, you cannot expect it, or demand it…you just have to be AWARE! GOD bless! (Then also with my husband, Robert Walton, who left me pennies constantly…in bathrooms, on pavement where I parked my car, in dirt, in washing machines, I gave up counting after 25! “Pennies from Heaven”? I wonder! Yet, I still miss both so very deeply.)
Thank you for sharing so much of yourself each week with us Eric. You inspire and provoke thought on an enormous scale and at a deep level. Sending you love and strength as you share these final precious earthly moments with your dad. 💕
You are a good son. I understand what you are going through as I have been there for my parents. The saddest part for me was seeing my Mother slowly fade as a woman and a person. My Father seemed to have all his faculties, as does yours, but lost to the failure of his organs.
I’m now looking at my own mortality and I don’t like it one bit.
I can only hope someone is still near me to hold my hand.
Your wise words will be appreciated by many. Thank you
Thank you so much for sharing this touching testimony. My prayers are with you and your family.
Your words touched me because my 88 year old mother is counting down the days until I can fly home to spend time with her…and both of us agreed that my traveling there without being vaccinated would be too risky…my daughter here in Italy was also totally against the idea and kept reminding me that I am the only parent she has as her father died very young…and so in this oh so difficult period I have at least been able to immerse myself in my painting and everyday I do a video chat with my mother and show her my progress, I was last home in Washington State 14 months ago and she is proud of the progress I have made…
Sending a hug from Italy
LOVE & Healing is being sent to you & your family. Always Trust In Love Truth & Respect x
God bless you and your family. I pray that you have peace and healing during this time, although there is great pain. Your Dad is going home. I just went through this with my Mom four months ago. The pain is terrible but I realized that all is well with her and my soul.
Sending you, your dad and your family much blessings and take care.
We lost our Mother on February 28th. We celebrated her 96th birthday on Christmas Eve via Skype due to Covid….After the holidays she fell ill, her body just gave up…within 5 weeks she was gone. I know the void, although I talk to her everyday. My Dad has been gone since 2003..so we were so blessed to have her until now. I still feel her presence and of my Dad. Their bodies may not be here but their spirit his and I feel comfort in that. May you find peace in knowing that your Dad is still there.
Beautifully put Eric. Going through this is sad and comforting at the same time. Feeling deeply is a gift. So are the people you love in your life. Thank you for helping us all remember that we are not alone.
Our prayers and love is with you and your family.
God Bless Grace and Bob Schlesier
Great advice! It seems the older we get, we GET IT. Its harder to stop and smell the roses when we are young,working and raising a family
Thanks for sharing!
Eric, this speaks to me deeply, having lost both parents and I, myself, have just finished three weeks of six week of radiation. Even though I am in the winter years of my life, there are many more things I have left on my “bucket list” that, God willing, will be able to do before He calls me home. Thank you for your insightful messages each Sunday.
So well said! This could only be written by someone there at that moment. I was there as my husband of 55+ years crossed over to his heavenly home. Thank you for the beautiful words.
Eric, this was an amazing gift this Sunday morning. You related an experience many of us have had. I felt my love for my father just as you described yours for your father. I absolutely loved to be with my father until the moment he died.
After that day It seemed I was suddenly aware of how quickly the years are going. I have been wrestling with something that I want to resume doing but have put off. I am going to start today to pursue that activity thanks to your coffee conversation..
Thank you, Eric.
So true and beautifully written!.What a nice tribute to your dad that you want to be there for him…I,too, found it a joy to usher my mother to her next life where I told her she can dance again!..in the meantime I need to keep painting..each day is a gift! And by the way thanks for your hard work in putting on the Plein Air Convention..was so inspirational!
Am so sorry but what a wonderful thought you know where he’s going and you’ll see him again. Thanks for sharing. We too were taught about John 3:16! Am so thankful for our home on high. May God bless you and your family.
I thank God daily for you. He has blessed you with a gift of sharing with others about life, death, and our gift of art personally.
I pray that you will continue in God’s guidance and will have the blessing of Peace through this difficult time.
May He continue to comfort you through His Word.
Mary Lois Brown
Thank you for such a heart felt message, I was with my Mother the last 6 months of her life. Would not give up those wonderful moments for anything.
yes life can change in an instant so best live now. By living fully in the now there are no regrets or sorrows. Dreams become realities quite rapidly. A decade ago now i went into the first of many spinal surgeries with very little projected chance of survival. After which spent 6 months only able to blink while being literally screwed to a hospital bed. thereafter 2 years to learn how to speak, walk, move, read and write.
Live in the instant of life that you have and live it fully.
In a time of chaos where values and beliefs are turned upside down, it is inspiring to hear your words of faith. Those of us who are believers and know the Truth should never be afraid of offending anyone. Blessings to you.
Thank you for sharing this. Possibly your best yet
On 12/22/20 I lost my 36 yo daughter, pregnant with her fifth child, Emily Mitchell, @thehiddenway
It’s the promise of heaven through John3:16 and God’s unfailing grace that are helping us through this season of grief. Painting also continues to give comfort to this challenging time
I pray for God’s blessing on you and your family in your challenging time.
Wise words and oh so true. I pray your dad has a peaceful passing. He is blessed to have such a son.
God Bless and keep. I am happy you have such good and positive memories that will sustain you. No regrets..the most important two words you an hope for at the end of life.
I look forward to your emails each Sunday morning. You inspire me. I lost my dad over three years ago and spent a lot of precious time with him. Your right about what the most important things in life are “your loved ones”
God Bless you and your family that you have comfort through this. God Bless your dad that he goes in peace to his next life. I’m sure the two of them will be watching over you Eric. Find the light. All the Best Deborah
I know how hard it is to say goodbye to a loved one… especially a parent. I sat by my dad’s bedside and slept in the same room as his life dwindled. My brother would spell me long enough to get a shower. He was in a coma but I felt he could hear me so I spoke about all the wonderful times we shared and how fortunate I was to have parents who loved me, and especially loved each other. On the day of his departure, I slipped away to get breakfast….and he used that time to slip away, too. I felt like he was waiting for just that time. I am so fortunate to have had a wonderful earthly father, not perfect but perfect for me. My heavenly Father is waiting to welcome me when I will be reunited with my earthly family….. I’m not wishing my life away but if today He calls my name, I’m ready. Thank you for sharing your story. Blessings to you and your family.
having had similar experiences with my Dad whom I adored, my heart and prayers are with you. Thanks for sharing.
You have also reminded me of all those Round TUITs around the house and in my dreams and encouraged me to prioritize and address them.
Thanks for the reminder and encouragement
Such thoughtful comments this week…thank you for sharing.😊
We should never be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Moreover brethren,I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received,and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received,How that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, And that he was buried and that he rose the third day according to the scriptures . Thanks Eric. For Bringing up John 3:16
My thoughts are with you and your family. May your faith and family bring you comfort and buoy your spirits during this challenging time. Losing a parent reminds us all of how important it is to use each day wisely, for every today is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Thank you for your post and for your support of artists everywhere.
Crying as I read this, my own father died when I was 13, 50 years ago. I am so glad you are able to be there with your Dad. The way you have spoken of him and the wonderful influence he has had on your life has tricked down through you and the impact of his teachings. Grateful you had such a great and positive upbringing, that you graciously share with others. Thank you.
Very well said! Gods peace to you and your family.
Thank you for this beautiful reminder of how precious our days are. I know you will greatly miss your dad because it is strange to be an orphan no matter what age you are when it happens. You have been so blessed to have such a loving relationship with your dad. I know you will hold onto that love.
I managed my Mom’s home care for the last 5 or 6 years of her life. This past December, she passed away peacefully at the age of 100, in the home she and my Dad bought in 1945. He’s been gone for over 30 years. For my two older brothers and I, she was our last surviving parent. An old painting of mine I gave them hangs above my dad’s desk in her bedroom. It’s a colonial wedding scene of Betsy and John Ross. My parents loved that painting. Likely, one of the last things she enjoyed, and lately, I’ve spent some time looking at it again. Now I think I understand why they liked it so much. The image is very optimistic, and that’s just what my parents were. They encouraged my brothers and I to persue our passions. For that, I’ve been a working artist my entire life, and my brothers are accomplished college and university professors and writers. Yes, we have much to thank out parents for, and as we travel through the rest of our lives, they are never gone.
My heart goes to you and your family, Eric. May your Dad go in peace with as little suffering as possible. Your Mom will be there to meet him. What a wonderful, long life he had and look at the legacy he left behind. Prayers for you all at thus difficult time.
Denishugs from Ontario, Canada.
Excellent, thank you, praying you and for your family.
Praying for your family Eric. Your words today are thought provoking, and should be for all of us. We all have expiration dates. As I’ve aged and experienced the loss of dear friends and family, it has become clearer what is important in life, and what is not. Given the chance to do it all again, I’d opt for more quality time with those loved ones.
Excellent, thank you.
Thinking of you and your family with love and prayers. My parents passed away long ago and now I find myself to be the one the kids take time to visit, make sure they call, or send that funny photo. I love and appreciate every gesture, more so when I realize that our time is limited. Your dad is so grateful for you and your steadfast love. God is good.
I loved reading this Eric. I can feel how much you love your Dad and I know he loves you too. May his journey to his new address be a smooth one. God Bless you and your family.
God speed to both of you, Eric! I imagine your father as you are with all the enthusiasm and life-affirming attitude you exude. Our fathers live on in us as well as in Heaven. We are their legacy as our children and our children’s children are ours. Love and prayers during this transition.
Great advice…beautifully delivered! Luv the analogy of taking the train to the next journey! Hope I am able to be there when my mom, who is now 92, gets her ticket! Although she is very healthy right now, your words remind me that life is short and to make the best of everyday for tomorrow may be too late! Thank you for your wisdom and best wishes to you and your family during these difficult times!
Praying for you and your family!
Thank you so much for your blog. I understand the sorrow and joy you are experiencing at the same time. I recently released my husband into the everlasting arms of his Father in October 2020. He died of early onset aggressive dementia. It’s been hard but your Sunday Coffee has helped me to focus on the next steps and continue the walk of grief. Painting is meditative and therapeutic…even when I’m throwing paint on the paper in frustration and grief!
On my knees with my Bible at my side and thoughts and prayers for you and your family.
Very well said Eric! We need to live each day as though it’s the last day and this life is not the end.
Eric, I have been ready your morning coffee for years and always find truth in it. I love this one today. We just lost my husband’s mother at 103. She just refused to die. But she had few reasons to. No cancer, not pain, no real disease,but a will to live like no one I’ve ever known. It was very hard to see her struggle at the end of her life. We sat with her a lot, but she was not one who ever wanted lots of attention,company,fussing,or help. She was self sufficient and that was that. “How are you Mary?” ( at 103 with significant dementia) “ Oh! I’m just fine!” It was remarkable. I talked to her about Jesus and prayed over her ,at the end,when she was not in a conscious state. I knew she was a Christian,but had been very private and wanted no one to preach to her or pray with her. I may never know the extent of her faith. But I feel confident she is in heaven. She was the happiest,most positive person iv ever know. And that gene dropped to my husband too. A true blessing.
Thank you for sha ing this very private time with your Dad. God Bless, Jill
Eric, I am so sorry. I remember your dad swimming laps in our Singer Island residence. Also gave some residents a class in using our IPhones for good photographs. But most of all I remember his enthusiasm talking about anything. He also invited Joan and I to his condo for dinner and still remember his beautiful sculptures. He spoke of how proud he was with his son Eric success.
If can still remember, mention Joan and Kathie Maggisano from Singer Island .
Eric, I really enjoy your Sunday Coffee talks. I’m sorry you’re going through one of life’s most difficult times but thankful you’re willing to share your faith and still encourage others on a whole new level. I will pray for your Dad and your family.
I’m not one to write in the ‘comment’ section normally, but I want to thank you for being the brave, energetic and wonderfully encouraging person they you are. Your Dad did an awfully good job!
Prayers and blessing,
Thank you for sharing this with us. Once again, you always remind us of what’s truly important. While I am not as religious as some, I understand and agree with all your thoughts for your Dad. He will be safe and in God’s eternal arms. Bless you for all that you are doing for him and for reminding us what’s imp[ortant in our lives.
It’s funny how life seems to bring you messages at times when you need them most. This was mine. In your time of grief you took a moment to reach through that and share something important and personal. It speaks. Plumes about you. Thank you for this!
Right on the mark and so true.
Thank You for this post. Its a timely reminder that life passes quickly and how foolish it is to put off anything, especially when it comes to relationships, until ‘tomorrow’. My prayers join with those posted here for your father and for you and your family. May God’s comfort and peace embrace each one of you.
So lovely. Thank you for glorious reminders. God bless you and your family.
Beautiful truths. I will be praying for you and your family as you go through this painful, bittersweet season.
So sad to read this, Eric. My thoughts are with you, your father and the whole family. Sending blessings and love x
Your commentary is touching and uplifting! It’s clear from your writings, that your Dad has lead and exampled a wonderful life. Only through faith can we look forward to that day “when the Roll is called Up Yonder”. A theme I have sensed strongly in your Sunday Coffee emails over the past year or so , is that of “living intentionally”. It seems your Dad had that figured out, and will soon hear the words “Well done, my good and faithful servant”. May our God continue to bless you and yours !
Thank you Eric/ I believe also. We need to come closer to those truths every day
So sorry about your dad Eric. Inevitable but always difficult. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post.
Beautiful sentiments, as I near my 75th birthday I have been thinking a lot about these things. Thanks for saying them out loud. Bless you and your family at this difficult time.
Thank you, Eric. Beautifully said.
I am part of a consolation group named “Share the Love” because “consolation group” sounded too…well…sad.
Death is inevitable, but you shared the essence of the thing. My new favorite saying is, “Live life like someone left the gate open.”
I’ll be sharing your message at our group.
I enjoy your thoughts every week.
I too believe we go from this life to the arms of Jesus.
I’m a new to painting at the age of 69. I’m enjoying it so very much. My children and grands even ask for a painting
I will be praying for your dad and your family as you go through this difficult time.
Thank you for these beautiful words. You have a gift that you so generously share and we are fortunate to be the beneficiaries! May you be filled so much more with insights and blessings!
As always, Eric, you hit the ball out of the park and made us all see home base. I believe in this, practice this and hope to slide into home base at the end using up every gift God gave me. I held my blessed husband in my arms as he passed 5 yrs ago, I’m leaving in 1 week to be with my children and grandchildren for 2 months on the west coast then 1 1/2 months on the east coast to be with my step children and grandkids for 1 1/2 months. Then fly home to sell my house and move to So. Carolina and continue my journey to be the best artist I can be! Life is a blessing. Be a blessing!
Well said…whatever ignites your soul to follow its path lights up the universe…wishing you and your family strength and compassion to travel beside your father on his next journey.
My thoughts with you dear Eric. As a palliative volunteer I appreciate your articulate and thoughtful words that will surely touch hearts . Thank you.
Blessings to you and your family Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts
Peace and love to you and your family, Eric.
I thank God for the hope that we share in Jesus! I have been praying for you, as I guessed that you were spending time with our father. What a blessing to have this time with him!
In February my husband was in the veteran’s hospital on a vent (not COVID) and they did not allow anyone in to visit. When he was taken off I brought him home to be at home to die. My goal has always been for him to be with those he loves and then to the one he lives the most – Jesus!
For now he has recovered enough to resume his job for our church which is pastoral care of the sick and dying. Using his computer he makes his calls from his hospital bed here at home. God is good!
I will continue to pray for you and your family!
Beautiful letter thank you for sharing your innermost self with me. I feel as if i know you because i watch your o plein air tutorials all the time. To know that you are a Christian makes me feel closer to you. May God bless you during this difficult time
Thank you for the wonderful heartfelt words for your father and the relationship with him. Thank you for defining your faith.
May your days be filled with the peace the Lord Jesus Christ provides as we are with loved ones passing into the next level of existence.
We’re praying for you and your family
Profoundly touching in an intrinsically human manner. What a blessed life to have an earthly father and a Heavenly One.
Having been deprived of the blessing of a father, before my second birthday, I delight in seeing my two sons being loving and loved fathers.
Thank you for sharing this with us.
Good Sunday morning to you Eric. Your words remind me of sitting at the bedside of my my own father. We cared for him in our home until his health deteriorated beyond my ability to continue. I gave up a promising career to do that and I don’t regret it. It was difficult because some people were judgemental of my decision to leave a good job. They chided me, in a passive aggressive manner, every time they spoke to me. I let the insults roll off my back and attempted to keep negative people at arms length.
I’ve always put other’s needs before my own. Growing up in a house where I had to be the caregiver for my mother, who suffered from debilitating schizophrenia, made caring for my father in his final life chapter the only thing to do. There was never any question. Thankfully I was married to a man who felt the same. You care for your own.
I may not have all the luxuries I might have had, had I continued to work and left my father’s care to others, but I have peace, and everything I need in life. Most of all I have self respect.
My prayers go out to you and your family today as you sit vigil at your fathers side. May his final moments be peaceful. He is ready and I believe you are as well.
You are very right. Same thing happened with my mother at 93. You are a very good son Our best wishes are with you.
Colonel Kanwar, India
Thank you for writing this beautiful teaching tribute to your earthly father, as well as boldly speaking of our heavenly father’s intentions for us through the words written in John 3:16. Processing the emotions of losing a parent is one of the most difficult things we can do. The simple facts of life’s pattern for this mortal body are difficult to comprehend. However, when we know our parent has lived a Godly life, I like to depend on Paul’s writing, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” As artists, we also have a place to go that can minister His peace and understanding. For the week my mother died, and I couldn’t be with her as she was transitioning, I went into my studio and cried, prayed, meditated, and painted. From that, the painting turned out to be the most satisfying and peaceful view that I’ve ever done. I hope that you can also find His peace through the gift God has given you.
Thank you for this column! My husband has dementia. I am adjusting to the challenges every day brings and will be with him, hopefully, until the end. My mother died when I was 19 and my dad when I was 50. I thought I was prepared for both; not true! I miss them still, but know they are in a better place with God. I hope that your faith comforts you and brings you joy amidst your grief in losing your father. I pray that you find strength and courage and peace in His unconditional love. Agape!
Thank you for that. I KNOW where I am headed because of my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is my faith and also, not intended to offend. I was at my father’s bedside when he went home to be with His Lord and it was an awesome experience. May the Lord give you the joy and peace of your faith in our faithful God.
Beautiful Eric. My thoughts and prayers for you during this transition. I believe in the promise of John 3:16 too and in our family we say “til’ we meet again”. Hold on to the promises and May God bless and keep you, shine His face upon you and onto je you to give you strength and peace.
Lisa, that is so beautiful that in your family you say ” til we meet again”!! What more is there to say? That does say it all that we believe the promises of God and so it will be!! Thank you for sharing it and all of your scripture reference.