Life Story - Angela McIntosh
Solomon Merryman might just sound like an ordinary name. But, that was the name of my Daddy. We were inseparable when I was a child. I was always with my Daddy, handing him tools to change a tire, watching him fix a toilet, watching him clean, taking long walks, or sitting on the porch watching a thunderstorm. We did everything together. My Dad was the one that introduced me to Jesus. It was because of him, that I have a personal relationship with Jesus. He was my everything. But, growing up we had some hard times, and we didn’t always get along.
I moved out when I was a couple months shy of turning eighteen. My dad and I fought constantly. It was a trying time and we didn’t speak for many years. I won’t go into specific details, but it was a hard time we needed some space. He missed my wedding. He missed the birth and the first couple years of my son. We avoided each other and carried unforgiveness in our hearts, bitterness, and anger.
As the years went by, I realized how unforgiving time actually was. Years had passed since I saw my Dad or even spoke to him. It was hard to even think about going to see him or talk to him. But, as the Lord worked in my heart, God clearly spoke to me that I needed to make amends. My flesh wanted to hold onto that anger and bitterness. Ultimately, I didn’t want to admit my wrong doings to him. My pride was in the way. But, God kept pressing and I felt an importance to do this now. I wasn’t sure why, but, I wasn’t going to question God.
One day, I drove over in my van and introduced my little boy to my Dad, I spoke kindly, asked for forgiveness, and swallowed my pride. I could tell my Dad was blindsided by my surrender. He wasn’t sure how to take it. I knew that this relationship wasn’t going to be fixed overnight. I was okay with that.
The more I worked on our relationship, my Dad started to come around. We started to trust each other more. It wasn’t an easy process. We had lost many years. But, I wasn’t about to lose anymore. We spent time together with his dog, talked, and enjoyed our lunch dates at Bob Evans and KFC.
Life is so precious. We don’t ever realize how fragile it is until we are faced with death. My Dad was a handy man, a jack of all trades. The night before my life changed, my Dad was getting his tools ready to help me fix the ceiling at our old home. We went over all the tools, made sure I had all the things ready for him and so on. I remember getting off the phone with him and telling him I loved him. He said it back. Those words were so precious to me. That was the last conversation my Daddy and I would ever have.
That night my Dad had a massive heart attack, he was gone by the time he hit the ground. The way I found out was a shock. It was traumatic. My heart was crushed! I had such a short time with my Dad. We had just mended our relationship. Why now? I was so broken, hurt, confused and angry. Why did you take him now God? I just got my Dad back! I was torn, and shattered inside. My Dad struggled a lot and living life was hard for him. I didn’t understand but God gave me a peace about his death the more I prayed about it. God spared him from all the trials he was facing. Sometimes death is a gift.
My Dad’s death was hard on all of my family. My sister and brother were crushed. As the older sister I felt it was my job to hold everyone together. I wanted to be a strong support. It wasn’t easy to be the strong pillar in a time of trial, but God gave me the strength to help everyone through it. My husband was my biggest support and help through one of the toughest times in my life. He held me when I couldn’t hold myself up. He was there to hold me while I just cried and mourned. He prayed for me when I felt like I had no energy to move on. God placed many people from my church to shower me with a dinner after the funeral and the cards I received in the mail touched my spirit. It takes a lot of love to get you through trying times.
It wasn’t always easy to rely on God during this time. I doubted and felt abandoned by God. But, I never stopped praying. God saw me where I was at and spoke love to me, and held me. I can’t really describe the peace God gave me as the time went on. He showed me that the reason he wanted me to make amends was because he wanted me to have that time with my Dad. He gave me that special gift. I am so very thankful for the time I had with him. I am thankful for being obedient and asking for forgiveness. It was a trying time and also learning period in my life.
I find comfort in knowing my Dad is not suffering with the trials of life anymore. I thank God that he doesn’t have to struggle with mind games and the pain of life not being fair. He is with Jesus now. He knew God. At his funeral my best friend told me that she could see my Dad smiling. That brought such peace to my heart. My Dad was happy and full of joy. Even today when I think of my Dad I see him in my mind when he was younger with a big smile. Finding comfort in death takes time and can’t be rushed. It’s a grieving process, and we all go through it differently. I miss and love you Dad.