Saturday, 29 December 2012

...However Far Away... I will Always love you

A few months back - on August 26th at 11.58pm, I left the following comment on a post by a wonderful awesome fantastic blogger - Gail from Delightfully Diva-ish, after her lovely Dad passed away. 

Neetz said...
Hey lovely... You have been in my thoughts and prayers since I read about your Dads departure to HEAVEN!!! It's so very hard to appreciate the awesome thing that's happened (the leaving for heaven!) when it's your own loved, cherished family member, and it means you're not going to have them here to hold, to talk to, to just "be" with... but when you get a chance and you sit and realise WHERE they have gone...and WHO they are now residing with, wow.. it's amazing the peace that comes when you do! So I hope that in the really hard, sad times, that you can get an amazing vision of what's really happened to your Dad....his promotion from this life to that which we can only dream about and long for!!! I too have been blessed with an amazing man for a Dad, and I cannot fathom what it will be like when he leaves this earth for his heavenly home....I will be beside myself, but I hope and pray that when I am... that I too will remember where he is and who he's with! Anyway I'm prattling on and on, Just want to say... Huge love from me to you and yours..I can't wait to meet your Dad in glory, he sounds fantastic!!

Little did I know that in just 4mths I would be going through exactly the same thing, the heartache and grief and experiencing the loss of my wonderful, much much loved Dad. 




I had experienced loss... LOTS of loss... all of my grandparents have passed and lots of Aunts/Uncles/Cousins and friends also...  but NEVER a parent.  Wow, the level of grief intensifies greatly with the loss of a parent. ... well with a parent like I have anyway.  (I know that some people haven't had awesome parents like I have been blessed with.... so I guess it wouldn't be as Huge if your parents had been less than ideal).

But you know what, I can truly say, that I have been following my own advice (which I left for Gail) re: visualising what's happened... My Dad's left for heaven!!  and I can seriously say that I am managing my raw, sad, gut wrenching moments this way... by really having that hope and Faith in heaven!!

I don't care about those that say "Oh heaven's not real" or.. "Oh God's not real"... I know he's real.
I know my Dad's with God in heaven now!! And I am so thankful that when he passed he was not scared, worried... he may have struggled a little right at the end .. with his breathing, but he never once waivered on his Faith and his belief in where he was going!!

Another funny thing about Gails post............she put at the end of it.. "Enjoy Heaven Dad"...  and you know what, that must have stuck with me (without me even realising at the time how much)... because when we were at the marae and writing up our notices to put in the paper (remembering that this was four months later, and in a very sleep deprived/grief stricken time) at the very end of our family notice...I put........."ENJOY HEAVEN DAD"...  funny :) ((I must really "take in" your words Gail!!)).  I never actually realised that until just now when I re-read her post and my comment to her......


We kept Dad at home the night he died, and then the undertaker took him the next morning... We got to cuddle with him, in his bed, he was surrounded by us all... singing crying, laughing, remembering, and worshipping... Worshipping is what helped us most to deal with our raw moments... when you worship God you can't stay crying/deep in the pit of grief... When you praise...it says God inhabits the praises of his people... so we knew he was with us... we FELT him!  We worshipped and our hope and Faith was restored!  We worshipped and we knew that there was a celebration going on in heaven... :) and that our Dad was no longer tired/suffering... he was dancing and praising and worshipping in heaven!

Many many many people gathered over our 4 days at the marae.
There were many words, many stories about our Dad that just reinforced what we knew about him.  He was a wonderful man.  A man of Faith.  A man who could rub shoulders with people from all walks of life, and nevermind if they were politicians/clergy/surgeons/or prisoners and gang members.... he didn't change who HE was to suit them.. he was who he was, and you either liked it or lumped it! :)

We were so humbled by the people who came and shared their stories about Dad...
We were moved by the people whose lives he had helped ... those who he'd ministered to, given to, and just taken time to listen to.
We were astounded to count how many people had been and lived with us at some point in their lives... lol there were so many.   We were blessed that everyone that came told us how often he spoke about us..his children, his wife, his grandchildren... how LOVED we were by him... that even people we had never met, felt like they knew us...

We were blessed by the people from our marae, Cousins, friends, iwi, who came day in and day out to serve on our marae during the tangi.  Some were up at 4am to get breakfasts ready ... and food ready for the crowds that came through our little marae.  My pakeha husband said something at the end of it all that I really thought was great.... he said... "anyone that says Maori are lazy, really needed to come and see all of those people out there slaving their guts out.......not for $$ but for AROHA"... 
And that summed it up.
My beautiful cousins/auntys and uncles, some I haven't seen for years... Some who lived overseas but still came and grieved with us, but then went out and worked their guts out.
Friends who have given and given...in money, in food, in donations...and given in support...
We were so very blessed and very very humbled!

Dad would have been chuffed at his send-off.
He would have been so proud of our Marae and our Iwi!
I hope God gave him a little peek down at his send off...I know he would have been thrilled.
We had a real interdenominational thing going on... different pastors from here there and everywhere joining in the occasion, coming together and working as one.. we worshipped, had communion, and even had dancing like never seen before on our marae!! :) (Go Angela!!). 

As they closed the casket, Mum wanted us to play  "the 12th of never by Johnny Mathias" and that was too sad... we howled and said our goodbyes to our beloved Dad and friend.  We knew it was just his "shell".. his earthly body... but it was still extremely hard saying that final goodbye..

Then my bro and I sung the following song....Adeles version of a Cure song called Lovesong...which we learnt back in September for my Dads 60th birthday celebration...he loved it said it brought tears to his eyes the night of his birthday..  And we sung it to him the day he died...while he and mum cuddled and watched us and they both soaked in the words and loved it...
So we sang it for him one last time:

LOVESONG:
Whenever I'm alone with you
You make me feel like I am home again
Whenever I'm alone with you
You make me feel like I am whole again
Whenever I'm alone with you
You make me feel like I am young again
Whenever I'm alone with you
You make me feel like I am fun again

[Chorus:]
However far away I will always love you
However long I stay I will always love you
Whatever words I say I will always love you
I will always love you

[Verse 2:]
Whenever I'm alone with you
You make me feel like I am free again
Whenever I'm alone with you
You make me feel like I am clean again

[Chorus:]
However far away I will always love you
However long I stay I will always love you
Whatever words I say I will always love you
I will always love you

However far away I will always love you
However long I stay I will always love you
Whatever words I say I will always love you

I'll always love you
I'll always love you
Cause I love you
Love, love, love...


They carried my Dad on their shoulders from our marae down to our family urupa (cemetery).
~LOVE~
And they started a new line right at the back of our cemetery for Dad ... and our family line... just a few rows back from my Nana and Papa.

This is where we will eventually be buried also.  Overlooking our Iwi land, Our home.



So... this Christmas has been a very hard one. 
An unbelieveably sad one at times... just not having Dad around... here.. at the end of the phone or a cuddle.

Our kids have been fantastic at snapping us out of our sooky sad moments by saying
"Why are you crying?  Papas in heaven...he's okay"
Nothing like that childlike faith/quality to snap you out of it!! :)

So now New Years looms, and I know we will have some "moments"... but we will be okay
We will carry on
We will be fine.

Our fantastic memories of an awesome Dad/Papa/Husband and friend will help us through these hard times along the way, and make us realise how very fortunate we were to be blessed with a Dad like ours.

Thanks to every one of you who have stood with my family in prayer for my Dad, on his journey.
Your love and support has been nothing short of amazing, and I want you to know that I appreciate you!!
Thanks.... Thanks so much xxxx

And to you my beautiful Dad..
I say, don't worry about us..
Yes we will be sad
Yes we will miss you like crazy
Yes we will have a huge Gap where you should be
But we are so happy knowing that you're where we long to be one day,
And we're ecstatic to know that you'll be there to meet us when we too depart this world.
See you then, can't wait for one of your amazing hugs/kisses.
You have been the best Daddy I could have ever wanted/needed/asked for.
I love you, and will continue to love you until I draw my last breath xxx



Charlie Matenga Larkins
14 September 1952 - 3 December 2012

...However far away.... we will always love YOU...



Monday, 17 December 2012

Angels


This song made my Mum and I shed a tear when we saw Fly my pretties sing it @ Villa Maria Estate last night.  Beautiful. x

Monday, 10 December 2012

My heart hurts x

Last Wednesday, we received the most awful news we could.. at a family meeting with the medical staff of Middlemore Hospital.



My wonderful Dad was told he had small cell lung cancer, and he couldn't have any chemotherapy or radiation therapy.... just palliative care.  4 months they said we had with our precious Dad.

The next day they took out my Dads chest drain, and on Friday we took our dad home to Kaitaia. He was so stoked to come home!
He had a terrible night that night, exhausted from travelling, and early hours of Saturday morning he had some trouble breathing... Palliative care came in the middle of the night and he settled right back down.  Saturday we got most of the family together and they got to spend some time with Dad even though he was stuck in bed, we had a family bbq and catch up.

Sunday Dad had an awesome day...up and about almost as good as normal...eating with us at the table, fooling around with us taking photos and having the kids crawl on him (as usual).

Monday Dad woke feeling quite sore and nauseous, Palliative care came out and did a proper assessment etc... and gave us some meds/booklets etc.... later that night he got puffed/breathless and then passed away at approx 8.45pm surrounded by myself, my brother, Mum, his sister and his grandchildren.... <3 

This last week has been a total nightmare for my family.... heartbreak like we have never before experienced...

Tonight I found a post/tribute that I  wrote back in September before my Dads 60th birthday.... you can read that HERE sums up how much I love My Dad...  he has even commented in the comments section, and when I read that again tonight...I bawled like a baby...

Thanks to all my beautiful bloggy friends for all your support and love <3 xx