Short stories: John's father's last lesson to John

spiritedStarred Page By spirited, 10th Mar 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

This story is a true story with names changed of course. John's father had died just before Christmas. John found a message from his father in the hospital.

It was written for himself, for John's dad that is, but for some reason it seemed to mean a lot to John too. He read out this message of his Dad at his Dad's funeral.

Then just one week later, somehow he mysteriously drew a piece of paper from a basket with thousands of pieces in it, with the exact same message on it.

A miracle.

John's father's death

John's old father had been ill for many months. Finally though, his kidney failure had caused him to die.

John's elderly mother was sitting by the hospital bed when John arrived at the Hospital too. His father had just passed over, about an half hour previously to this.

John's mother had been called in by the head nurse.

The nurse had told his mother to come straight in, and she would see her husband alive for the last time.

John's mother, at 87 years of age, fortunately, although already very frail herself, from her ten years of constant service, and from her being a carer to John's father before he had finally had to enter a nursing home, and which had taken their heavy toll on her own health too, was in a bit better health now.

John's father had been in the nursing home for six months. A nasty fall, whilst there, had placed him back in the hospital though. He had become concussed, had swallowed some of his vomit, and had developed bacterial pneumonia as a result of his doing this.


Nevertheless, when the call had come at five am in the morning, John's frail old elderly mother had gotten in her old car, and she had driven the ten miles to the hospital on her own to be with her dear beloved departing husband during this last final part of his long, painful journey.

Never mind that she had not driven her car in the dark for the last ten years, knowing the state of her own eyes, which operated so much better, within the full daylight hours now.

John's father died at 5.30 am, two days before Christmas day. John's mother had just made it to the hospital on time, to be able to hold her husband's hand, as he breathed his last breath.

"I'm not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens."

This quote is from Woody Allen, the American actor, writer, and comedian.

John's mother was there when it happened for her beloved husband, and she wanted to be there too! She wanted to love her husband right into the next life, and forever afterwards as well.

Photo credit:

The photo used here is from the author's own photo collection.

John's father's last lesson to John

While sitting on the chair next to his dead father's bed, John noticed that a piece of paper was on the small bedside table next to his father's hospital bed.

John idly picked it up. It was a blank hospital menu. John's father had written something on the back of it. John, whose own eyes were not that good in poor light, went out into the better lit hospital corridor to read it.

"Nothing disturbs me."

John's dad had written down, while lying in the hospital bed, one day, and when there was probably no-one else around there, and perhaps when he was all alone with his own not so silent thoughts, once more again. Visitors aside, a lot of time is still spent on your own in these places.

John's dad had written down this little positive thought on the back of the blank hospital meal menu. Before this, he had asked both his wife, and John, several times over, at various times, "Am I dying? Will I get over this, this time?"

And it was like that he was trying to think of something, or of some really meaningful phrase that he could then think perhaps over and over in his own mind, and that would give him that extra peace, that he sought, whenever his worries begun anew, and as he knew that they probably would.

John could see that his father had made a few attempts at writing down something or other on the paper, but then finally he had come up with this one little phrase, "Nothing disturbs me", and he had placed three ticks beside it, meaning that he was really quite satisfied with it.

John's father always used to place such stars, ticks, or asterisks beside any writing that he used to underline in his books, and which obviously had meant a lot to him.

John's father like John himself, was a great reader, and he dearly loved his books.

And it is indeed a most wonderfully meaningful phrase, "Nothing disturbs me."

It would be so wonderful if we could all follow John's father's simple sounding, but really, not so simple advice.

We can't always always do this though, because we are only human, as John's father was too. John's father's death did mightily disturb John. Only perhaps God can un-disturb him, and his mother fully from this type of disturbance, that seems to be able to wound us all so very, very, very deeply.

Photo credit:

The photo used here in this section has been taken freely from the free media site, pixabay.com. It is a public domain photo.

John attends New Year's mass with his wife at his mother's old church

The very next Sunday after his Dad's funeral, John and his wife took John's old mother to the New Year's mass at the old Catholic church in her little country home town. It sat high on a hill, looking all alone, all by itself there.

Both John and his mother were feeling the same way now too. All alone.

After the mass, or really just before it had ended, the old Father (the Priest) told all of the attendees to take a slip of paper from the large basket that had been placed out in the church's foyer.

Father O' Donahue told the congregation that each slip of paper had a quote written down on it from a particular saint. He said that that Saint would be especially close to the person who had drawn their name out of the basket during the coming year. The words would be poignantly relevant for them too.

It was a large cane basket, something like a clothes basket. It had thousands of small slips of paper within it. The same basket was being used at all the masses, and the basket was also being taken around to all of the other churches within the diocese too, so that all who wanted to could draw out a name of a Saint.

After the service then, John went over to the basket. He dipped his hand in. He shuffled the pieces of paper around a bit, then he reached right down to the bottom of the basket, and he drew out a slip of folded paper then.

Each piece of paper had been neatly folded in such a way that its message could not be read until it was unfolded by the person receiving it. The message was meant to be read only by that person. It was relevantly special only to the person who had received it.

John pulled out a slip of paper then, and he unfolded it, and these were the words that he then read:

"Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything. Whoever has God lacks nothing. God alone suffices."

His particular Saint was Saint Teresa of Avila, (1515 to 1582).

This was apparently one of her prayers.

Photo credit:

The photo used here in this section has been taken freely from the free media site, pixabay.com. It is a public domain photo.

Tags

Death Of A Father, Fathers Last Lesson, Last Lesson, Legacy, Let Nothing Disturb You, Nothing Disturbs Me, Saint Teresa, Short Stories, Short Story

Meet the author

author avatar spirited
I have been interested in the spiritual fields for over thirty five years now. My writing is mostly in this area.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
11th Mar 2015 (#)

Oh, WOW, spirited. Good (true) story. Thanks for sharing it.

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author avatar spirited
11th Mar 2015 (#)

thanks Christopher. This happened just last Christmas 2014.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th Mar 2015 (#)

Poignant share Spirited. My father told us to carry on with our lives and not to worry about him and for his part he will leave us in peace! I think the message is similar! siva

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author avatar spirited
11th Mar 2015 (#)

Yes thanks siva,

We certainly shouldn't worry, worrying and being disturbed are similar I guess.

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author avatar WOGIAM
11th Mar 2015 (#)

A story of faith and strenght of love, I hope John continues to keep his father's words close to his heart.

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author avatar spirited
11th Mar 2015 (#)

thanks WOGIAM, yes so that nothing can prevent him from loving, and allow him to be disturbed by his mind's worry's instead.

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author avatar Carol Roach
12th Mar 2015 (#)

so beautiful it made me cry

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author avatar spirited
12th Mar 2015 (#)

Thanks Carol,

John's old mother was deeply moved by this too when it happened for John.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
12th Mar 2015 (#)

May John always know the peace that passes all understanding spirited , and trust his life into the hands of the One who is the Author and Finisher of our faith .
God bless you my friend
Stella ><

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author avatar spirited
12th Mar 2015 (#)

Thanks Stella,

yes, real peace can never be fully understood with our mind because it resides in our heart I feel.

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author avatar Yvette van Niekerk
12th Mar 2015 (#)

I am sorry for your loss. It is difficult to let someone go. I must tell you this message is really inspirational. How awesome is our God.

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author avatar spirited
12th Mar 2015 (#)

Even after they have gone we still hang onto them forever sometimes. Perhaps we do not have to let them go. Our love connects us both together forever,

Thanks for commenting here Yvette.

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