Mysterious Ways: Last Conversation

There was so much I had wanted to ask Dad. I never even got to say goodbye.

By Linda Kipley, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania

“These are ruined,” I sighed, tossing a pile of water-damaged cassette tapes in the trash. I’d found them in a box of Dad’s stuff that I’d brought home after he died. I hated to throw them away, but a flood had waterlogged all of the flimsy cardboard boxes in my storage room.

Most of the items inside had been wrecked, and I worried about mold getting to whatever was left. What else could I do?

It had been almost 13 years since I’d lost Dad. He had passed so suddenly that I never got to say goodbye. I hadn’t found the courage to sort through his things... until now. Thank God for the flood, I thought, a little sarcastically.

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I thought about the last time we spoke. Dad had struggled with his faith in the last five years of his life, after Mom had passed away. So I was happy to hear him in good spirits when he called.

“You’ll never believe what happened to me last night,” he’d said. “I had the most incredible dream. It put my heart at ease. There’s more, but long story short, I’m going to get baptized this “That’s amazing!” I said. “I’m so happy, Dad. What was the dream about? You’ve got to tell me all the details.”

“It’s too much for over the phone,” he said. “I’ll tell you all about it when I see you in a couple of months.” But he never got the chance. Just before he planned to visit, he died of a heart attack.

A few of the tapes left in the box looked salvageable, so I tested one in my cassette player. Van Morrison’s voice floated from the speaker, “Have I told you lately that I love you?” Nice message, but not who I needed to hear it from.

I dumped the remaining tapes in the garbage and began to tie up the bag. Then I felt a nudge. Listen to one more. I plucked out a tape, loaded it in, and pressed play. The speakers boomed with my father’s voice. “I had the most incredible dream...”

His dream was a conversation with God. When Dad awoke, he was ready to commit himself to faith. “Just as I was about to leave for church, the preacher showed up on my doorstep,” Dad said. “He’d had a dream that night too! It compelled him to come and ask if I would be baptized.”

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It felt as though Dad was sitting across from me in the room, delivering the last words I’d wanted so badly to hear.

This time I prayed wholeheartedly. Thank God for the flood.

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Your Comments (2)

I was so sad that I didn't get to have a heart-to-heart with my Father before he passed. Months later, when I was least expecting it, he came to me in a dream. The sky was so blue and all of the family was waiting on a pristine green strip of land, with the ocean rolling gently at the shore. I knew they were waiting for Dad's funeral, but as I sat in the glass room with him in a hospital bed; he was perfectly well. We shared everthing we wanted to say, in the blink of an eye; it was complete deep understanding with out the necessity of words. There was such peace! Then I realized that they were waiting for a funeral and I wanted to tell them he was not gone. I got up to go to the door and when I turned around; the room was empty. What was left was the peace of knowing that my Dad understood my soul & I understood his.

Thank you for sharing this amazing, inspirational story! I, too was unable to say goodbye to my dad. I had a conversation with him the night he died (1000 miles away)! God delivered the message to him! God blessed me just as He blessed you by keeping those tapes! Thank you again and may God bless you and your family always!!