Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Gentle Giant

The waters of Lake Pontchartrain welcomed like a grand dame hosting her own. Although the view was limited by the size of the plane's window, the sight stirred pent-up emotions. From deep within.

In the distance, the afternoon sun reflected from the newly-repaired roof of the infamous Superdome--more stirrings. I'm Home.

My heart twitches with a bevy of emotion. I visit, not to enjoy once again the plethera of seafood, not to take in the good times of family, and not to take in the quiet history of oak-laden plantations. I come to say goodbye.

I come to grab those last moments that God would allow with the man who I will always, despite today's sad reality, view as invincible. The man who could fix anything (including his own lacerated thumb). The man who seemed unstoppable (as evidenced by carrying over 300 wheelbarrows of dirt), the man who stood for strength and stability and as the anchor of home. My dad.

As I take in the worn body, one struggling for the last breaths malfunctioning lungs allow, I see his spirit--it's still invincible. Still strong. I see a gentle giant who rarely complains and still smiles behind the annonying mask pumping massive amounts of oxygen to lungs refusing to accept the life-sustaining mix. But what I see, maybe for the first time the quiet courage of a gentle man who knows his days on this earth are coming to an end. As I watch his struggle to do what I can without effort--breathe, I fully grasp the essence of my father--his spirit, his courage, his character. With a heavy heart, I wonder--Would I exhibit such grace were I in his position? Did I inherit a small measure of his character to endure in quiet dignity what he now endures?

The question burns in my heart. Am I prepared to say goodbye? Are we ever? Yet, I pray for God's mercy on him. To relieve his suffering. My father's exit will leave an unfillable void. And as I prepare, as best I can, to grieve, I cling to hope assured. I can see his smiling face and envision his joy as he reunites with his own parents comfortably in the arms of his Savior, Jesus. For that, I am eternally grateful.


Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

I know this was posted in April, but it is touching. I hope that you are well and wrapped in God's graceful wings through this time.

Marian Merritt said...


Thanks for your kind post. I am well. THanks to God's grace and mercy.