This morning my mother called to tell us that my father, Paul John Wilcox, Jr., passed on to be with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, around midnight last night.
Dad was 80 years old, and suffered from both emphysema and congestive heart failure. Although his health had been slowly declining for the past few years, with some ups and downs, a couple of weeks ago he took a sudden and significant turn for the worse.
My father was a good man—not the kind of man to garner fame or wealth—but a good man along the way everyone thinks of George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life.
Thanks to their local hospice organization, Dad was able to spend his last days at home, with Mom nearby, and with many friends able to visit. In his last lucid moments (maybe a week ago), he remarked that he was glad to be at home, rather than in a hospital.
Dad has shown remarkable grace through all this, and it was always encouraging to talk with him. His decline in health was probably harder on Mom than on him.
Dad knew his destination was Heaven—not because he was a good man, because no one is good enough to meet God’s standard (this is repeated throughout the Old and New Testaments)—but through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Redeemer. (If you’re interested in learning more about why we believe this, this Web site has a very well-documented, Scriptural presentation of the Gospel which is fundamental to our beliefs.)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
In the end, Dad was at peace, and completely ready to go to his eternal home.
Even though we will join him someday, we miss him greatly, and today has been a very sad parting. Other than knowing Dad is in Heaven, I take consolation that Dad was able to die at home, lived a full and mostly healthy life, knew how much he was loved, that all of us (I have four sisters and two brothers) were able to see him within the past year, and that my last (and recent) words spoken to him were, “I love you, Dad.”
I realize I haven’t elaborated on my topic much at all; I will share more of my memories and details of Dad’s life later. Right now I’m very tired.
Please feel free to post your own comments.