Thursday, January 1, 2015

Goodbye 2014

So much happened in 2014.

Dad - May 2011
Looking back, I am in awe. Sitting here, my heart is overwhelmed with the clear reality that God is with me. This year I took a leap of faith and moved to a city that I never before saw myself living in, the culture infused San Antonio, TX. I left being at my mom's house for 8 months (the longest I'd been there since high school). I was reconnected into public schools here in the states, and I started a routine of living here again. Making connections, building relationships, more Jesus. Thankfully, I had the summer off, as most teachers do, and I was able to chaperone some kids to a kids camp, and travel a little. And then he got sick again.

Praise God for Brandie who encouraged me to rush home to see my dad who now was struggling with a collapsed lung, phenomena, and something else that I can't seem to remember. During my visit, my dad and I talked about Jesus. How did we know we were saved? What would heaven be like? Would we be accepted there? I asked him for forgiveness for the things I held against him. I asked him if there was anything he wanted to forgive me for, and then the conversation moved to the topic of grudges. I wanted him to make sure that he didn't hold any grudges with anyone. He said, "I have nothing against anyone. Not you or your bothers, not your mother, not my parents or my siblings". I told him that was great! The doctors said he had gradually been getting better. A nurse was assigned to him when he was released. I went back to my new home before then to begin the new school year. I was hopeful and at peace with the conversation, but still wanted more for him. I wanted him to want to get better - something beyond my control.

Me and Dad at my graduation. May 2011
The fall semester was no easy task. The new dynamics of parents and students, my new role, helping with a church plant and trying to stay organized. Not to mention the heartache, confusion, moments of frustration, and still I was being stretched and molded. Yes, I had those moments of excitement (kayaking and paddle boarding in the ocean!), and the anticipation of new beginnings (my birthday!), but my heart was waiting for something bigger to happen. I went home for Thanksgiving via the train - an awesome experience. I saw my dad again. This time in a hospice house which was the result of a serious fall that he had experienced in October. He wasn't doing well. He didn't respond. I visited him twice with my brothers, we prayed together, I whispered things in his ear and gave him a kiss on the cheek and went back home to finish off the semester. And then it happened.

Wednesday, December 10th. I was at school. It was late. We had a guest speaker. My heart felt like it collapsed when my brother told me, "He just passed. We're waiting for the nurse to call it". That night my heart skipped several beats, I knew it. The pressure was too much at times. Sleep was difficult, but praise God for friends and a warm home to rest in. Thanks Deborah for opening your home to me. Thanks for the homemade chicken noodle soup, and the fire in the fireplace, and a bed to attempt to sleep in. Thank you for helping me make arrangements to go home - thank you to everyone involved. Thanks God for a church that helped me make a way to go home quick.

So I went home. Came back and went back home. Everything done in God's perfect timing.

To say the least, 2014 was full of transitions and preparation for what's to come. God is moving, there's no doubt about that. 2015 will be the first of many years - the beginning of a new chapter. I am nervous, but a wise woman told me this yesterday… "Being nervous is a good thing. That means that you realize that you can't do it without God". May God be ever so close to my family this year, may He reveal himself to us in new ways that just blow us away.

Things will never be the same, but memories last forever. 

Love you dad.

Arsenio Rocha
Feb. 22, 1950 - Dec. 10, 2014