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I READ THE MOVING STORY ENTITLED, "DAD’S GLIMPSE OF HEAVEN" BY EDNA HERSHBERGER WHICH SAID: “HIS LAST WORDS LEFT US WITH SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO. AT 4:00 A.M. THE NURSE WOKE DAD TO GIVE HIM A BREATHING TREATMENT. "MR. HERSH, DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE?" "GOSHEN HOSPITAL," HE ANSWERED POLITELY AND CLOSED HIS EYES AGAIN. SHE WRAPPED THE BLOOD PRESSURE CUFF AROUND HIS ARM. "MR. HERSH, WHO’S THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?" DAD LOOKED AT ME WITH AN EXPRESSION THAT SAID, "DO I HAVE TO ANSWER THESE SILLY QUESTIONS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT?" SHE RAISED HER VOICE, "MR. HERSH WHO’S THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?" "DO WE HAVE ONE?" HE ASKED HER. "GOOD ANSWER, DAD," I TEASED. THE NURSE LAUGHED LOUDLY, GAVE HIM A MOCK PUNCH ON THE SHOULDER, PUT AN OXYGEN MASK OVER HIS FACE, AND TURNED ON THE NOISY MACHINE. "I GUESS YOU’RE AWAKE AND ALERT." A WEEK OR TWO. THAT’S HOW LONG THE DOCTOR SAID DAD MIGHT LIVE, AND WE WANTED TO MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY MINUTE. I WAS GLAD TO SIT WITH MY FATHER-IN-LAW DURING THE NIGHT, WHILE MY HUSBAND, DWIGHT, SLEPT ON A SOFA IN THE VISITOR’S LOUNGE DOWN THE HALL. SWEET MEMORIES. I BRUSHED THE DAMP HAIR FROM HIS FOREHEAD. "I WONDER HOW IT FEELS TO KNOW THAT YOU’LL SOON SEE GOD." "IT FEELS GOOD," DAD SAID WITHOUT HESITATING. "IT’S SUCH A MYSTERY. TELL US WHAT YOU FEEL AND SEE AND HEAR, TO HELP US UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE EXPERIENCING." "I’LL TRY," HE PROMISED. "ARE YOU SCARED?" "NO," HE SAID, "I FEEL AT PEACE. I’VE BEEN WISHING TO GO TO HEAVEN ALL DAY." THAT WAS TUESDAY NIGHT. IN FOUR DAYS, DAD WOULD BE TRANSFERRED TO THE NURSING CENTER WHERE HE HOPED HE’D NEVER HAVE TO GO. I THOUGHT ABOUT DAD FALLING ASLEEP AND NOT WAKING UP. THERE WERE SOME THINGS I WANTED TO TELL HIM. "HEY, DAD, SOON AFTER DWIGHT AND I STARTED DATING, HE TOLD ME WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT ME. YOU TOLD HIM HE HAD PICKED A GOOD ONE. YOU TOLD HIM I WAS A PEACH. NO ONE EVER CALLED ME A PEACH BEFORE. AND I’VE LOVED YOU EVER SINCE." HE SQUEEZED MY HAND AND CLOSED HIS EYES. "I’D BETTER BE QUIET AND LET YOU SLEEP," I APOLOGIZED. "NO," HE SAID QUICKLY. "I WANT YOU TO KEEP TALKING. I JUST CAN’T KEEP MY EYES OPEN." SUDDENLY DAD JUMPED AS THOUGH STARTLED BY SOMETHING. I SAT UP, HELD BOTH OF HIS HANDS IN MINE, AND PUT MY FACE CLOSE TO HIS. "IS SOMETHING WRONG, DAD?" HIS EYES WERE OPEN, BUT HE DIDN’T SEEM TO SEE ME. "I’M LEAVING," I THOUGHT I HEARD HIM SAY IN A WEAK VOICE. "DID YOU SAY, ‘I’M LEAVING?’" I ASKED QUICKLY. "I’M LEAVING," HE REPEATED MORE DISTINCTLY. HE SURELY COULDN’T MEAN DYING. NOT YET I TRIED TO THINK OF SOME APPROPRIATE LAST WORDS TO SAY IN CASE THIS REALLY WAS THE END, BUT MY MIND WENT BLANK. I STARTED TO SAY, "I LOVE YOU," BUT HE INTERRUPTED ME WITH ONE WORD. IT SOUNDED LIKE, "COLD." "OH YOU’RE COLD" I TRIED TO REACH FOR THE BLANKET, BUT HE WOULDN’T LET GO OF MY HAND. HE TENSED, AND QUICKLY SPELLED IT FOR ME, WITH EMPHASIS ON THE G SOUND, "G-O-L-D, GOLD. G-O-L-D, GOLD AND SILVER. G-O-L ……" I WAS SHIVERING. MY HEART WAS POUNDING. I LEANED MY HEAD AGAINST THE COLD METAL BED RAIL. "LORD, PLEASE CARRY HIM GENTLY," I PRAYED. "WE LOVE YOU, DAD," I KEPT REPEATING, AS HE TOOK FOUR LONG, SHUDDERING...

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