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Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

Going through Probate

In and Everything, God, Life, Prayer on October 27, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Date: October 27, 2009 2:22:33 PM PDT
Subject: Going through Probate

My father past away on May 31st @ 12:40pm at Self Regional Hospital in Greenwood SC. I had been mentally preparing for the my death of my parents for nearly as early as I can remember. I was born into a much older family with a father who had 9 siblings, that now all of but one remains. I have attended far too many funerals to count. My grandmother passed away when I was about 5 and thus begun a process of spending a large amount of my youth in the Preston Funeral Home in Paintsville Kentucky. So with all these rehearsals for the preparation of my own father’s funeral, in the end…
I wasn’t prepared at all.
The factor that I had not accounted for was that I was preparing to introduce a very special girl,
Miss Janine Clipson to my parents, for the very first time. Me and Janine had been communicating over the phone for the last 3 months. A commitment we had made to God and ourselves, to not see each other until 3 months had past. We had met through a mutual friend, Matt Shirley and had began talking over MySpace & Facebook and realized there was something more. I had been wanting to visit Janine in Atlanta, but she wasn’t quite ready for that. So we waited and talked for 3 months. I was to come and get her and bring her back to Greenwood to meet my parents, on June 1st.
Dad had been cutting the grass, cleaning the car and doing all the things he could to prepare for Janine coming to town. He was tired and complained of soreness, but went about his day. I was working on email IMAP for my iphone at about 2am. Dad walked into the kitchen and drank several glasses of water, i asked if he was Ok and he said abruptly that he was fine. I thought I heard him sit down in the living room, but when I went to see if he was there. I said Dad are you sure your Ok? But he wasn’t there, he apparently went to back to bed. It was very erie looking back on it now. I got the IMAP stuff done and went to bed.
Mom woke me up at 7am Sunday morning and said were taking dad to the ER. Dad didn’t say a word the whole time we got in car and I backed down the drive and nearly hitting the mailbox on the way out.
He was obviously in alot of pain, I didn’t speak to him, nor him to me. We got to the ER, I went to park, I called Janine and told her what was going on. I was very conflicted in my emotions for my father. I never had a really close relationship with my father. But he was always good to me, but we sure had our differences. I remember telling Janine I didn’t know how to feel about it, I had mixed emotions. I checked in on mom and told her I had to drop the camera off at Northside. So I went to Northside and things were in shambles and got really frustrated. Travis asked what was going on and I told him. I was going to fix things but he told me to leave. Im glad he did.
I got back to the ER about 20 minutes later. Dad had been taken in for a heart attack. Mom had walked around the to the other side of the hospital when I found her. The doctors said his artery was 100% blocked and were currently putting a stent into his left arm. The hospital was strangely empty, the doctor that spoke to us was the first staff person I’d even seen. Me and mom had to find a janitor to unlock the waiting room. So we waited, ate some candy bars from the vending machine and pondered post-heart attack Dad.
Dad and Mom had taken care of just about every single family member. They were the ones that would stay with them when no one else would. Always the first ones there and the last to leave. I always admired that about my parents and I got to see that selflessness first hand, many, many times. Me and mom knew if Dad survived this would be a very long hard row to hoe. Cause Dad would not make a good patient. It would be very hard on my mom and I didn’t want to see her go through that. It was a deep bitter feeling.
Dad came out of surgery, rapped tight in blanket on a gurney. The surgery had gone fine, Dad said it was a piece of cake. But he wouldn’t really look me or mom in the eye. He was angry and confused. He never directly spoke to me, but I caught his eye just one time. It was fear. He was scared and he didn’t want me to see it. So they wheeled him off to ICU # 3. Me and mom had to wait again. I had twittered early that Dad was having a heart attack. Mark Heimburger called me and came up to ICU and visited with us for a bit. I really appreciated that and i think mom did to.
About an half an hour later we were let into ICU. They had put a catheter in, Dad had so much blood thinner in his system that the catheter wouldn’t stop bleeding. The nurse was holding it to stop the bleeding. Dad was uncomfortable obviously, me and mom sat down at the foot of the bed. The bleeding finally stopped and Dad didn’t want to talk. He was angry and tired and wanted to just sleep. I don’t think he slept at all through the night prior. All I remember next was looking up the bed as Dad tried to sleep. I was getting frustrated with myself. I knew the road before us if Dad survived, it wasn’t going to be to pretty.
Dad always overshadowed my mom spiritually so much that, she couldn’t grow with him around. Dad was good man and a good Dad. He just didn’t know grace and that made him hard to live with at times. Me and Dad had many conversations about God and salvation. He always told me not to worry about it, that him and God had a deal. And I suppose thats a common thing for his generation and background. But I never understood it and frankly, resented him for it. I was confused, torn and bitter. I looked up at my Dad from the foot of the bed and it looked like he was smiling as he slept. Dad didn’t really smile. I was getting hungry, told mom and then I left the room to goto the cafeteria. Really, I just wanted to get out of that room. I didn’t look back as I closed the door, it would be the last time I’d see my Dad alive.
I wandered the hospital until i found the cafeteria. It was closed for 1 hour cleaning, I was tired, hungry, frustrated and confused. I wandered around a bit more and found myself in the new wing of Self Regional in a nice waiting room. The sun was beading in as I sat in chair trying to kill time for the cafeteria to open. I started praying for God’s will to be done. I wanted my Dad to get better and I did pray that, but I also knew how things would be better if he wasn’t. I said, “God, if your not going save him and allow Mom to grow with him around. Then… well take him out.” I did have a peace about it and did stop praying and just had faith, that God’s will is going to be done no matter what. But it was just heavy.
The cafeteria reopened, i got in line and a thought went through my mind that this is where Dad would be. Cause me and Dad had a lot of hospital cafeteria food throughout the years. Dad never wanted you to go hungry. So, with a piece of broccoli with ranch in my mouth I got a phone call. It was Mom, she said “Get up here, he’s crashing.” So I stuttered for a second, thought if I’d should leave my plate. I took my plate and rushed to the plate dumping area and began to walk then run to the ICU. I had wandered a long while, I didn’t know where I was. It was Sunday, there was nobody in the hospital. It was a terrible feeling. But in all of the panic of finding my way to the ICU again. I had a peace, that Dad was going to die and it was going to be ok.
I even ran into a old black man who was asking for directions and I actually stopped and help him with what knowledge I knew. Of all the times to be rude and blow somebody off. The Holy Spirit got ahold of me and took care of me. After about 8 minutes, I found my way to the ICU. Mom was outside the door with her foot in the door so she could hear. I hugged her and told her it would be ok. She said it wasn’t going to be ok, he was gone. I hugged her again said, “Were going to be Ok.” The wave of emotion begged me not to disconnect and believe this was happening. I forced my head through the door cause I had to see it for myself. Nurses and doctors surrounded him, one nurse was on top of him doing CPR. They kept shocking him and shocking him. Dad bounced up and down. He was Dead.
They began to incubate him and Mom stuck her head in the door. Asked how long it had been, it was about 10 minutes. She said he had a living will and he didn’t want this. They immediately stopped. They had lost the paperwork on the living will. I hugged mom and we cried, I thought to myself, this is it, this is really what it feels like. It wasn’t supposed to be this fast. The doctors came out and tripped over themselves in apologizes for not stopping sooner. We forgave them and I thought how could you be mad at someone who’s trying to save a life. They cleaned Dad up and we went in, I told mom I wanted a second. Dad laid there reclined with his mouth open and eyes close. I had seen it many times, when he was snoring in his lazyboy back home. I took his hand and put my hand on his head. He was still warm and was starting to turn cold as I said everything I wanted to say to him for over 28 years and believe or not it wasn’t that hard.
The next day I went and picked up Janine and we went to Kentucky where the funeral was to be. She was amazing and helped me through some of the most confusing time of my life. Cause God broke me and my theology. I remembered I didn’t have it all figured out and I could never ever approach knowing God and how He works. Cause honestly, I felt I had good idea about all of it. All of my knowledge and all of my theology fell apart as I saw Dad in the casket. He had a smile on his face and I had such a peace that Dad was with Jesus that it went way beyond comprehension. It wasn’t just wishful thinking. I remembered that God looks at the hearts of men and though I had been preparing my whole life for my Dad to burn in hell. When the time came, I found out I didn’t know squat about God.
I had another good conversation with Dad before the public viewing. I made fun of him in his tie and suit, a tie that was taken off before the casket was closed. But mainly I realized Dad loved me, he had a hard time expressing it, but he did. He wasn’t perfect, but he did the best that was given to him and didn’t feel entitled to anything. After I got calmed down, I did something I didn’t think I would do. I took pictures of Dad with my iphone. I took quite a few actually, cause what happened was it allowed my creative eye to open up and do something that I loved. I’m so glad I took the pictures cause I’ll always have them now and will remember sharing that last happy moment with my Dad.
Lastly, I had a long conversation with Pastor Dean Meade, who had done all of my family’s many funerals. I remember some things he said during the service and privately to me that I will never forget. He said something to the extent…

“All my education, theology and studying of the Bible means nothing if I don’t trust God that He knows what He’s doing with people’s life’s and just love people where their at in life.”


“People really don’t care how much knowledge we have of God, they really care about how much we care about them.”

I love you Dad and I miss you.

-Magic Dave



Leaving Northside

In and Everything, God, Life on October 7, 2009 at 5:39 pm
Date: October 7, 2009 10:39:55 AM PDT
Subject: Leaving Northside

I stepped down from my position as Lead AVL at North Side Baptist Church www.northsidebc.org on Oct. 7 2009. I had been working there for about a year and a half. I left to pursue the vision God had been driving in my brain for several years now. Film. I actually tired to do this about the same time last year, I drove down to Charleston for film work. I looked, prayed, called, searched the Yorktown, and ultimately found no open doors there. I really can’t underestimate the loud slam of the door in Charleston that Halloween of 2008.
North Side had been very good for me, I had never really had a real “regular” type job before. I had always worked on a contract basis. And in fact I still did work for CAL and GCT while at North Side and I found that just about killed me. My attitude in particular suffered from the stress of juggling multiple jobs and side jobs. I really have to commend Travis for putting up with all my juggling non-sense. I don’t think I’ve ever seen patience like that come from another human being. No matter what was going on, Travis and all the NS staff backed me all the way. Every time. I’ll never forget that.
I suppose the backdrop of this whole situation was the death of my father. It was nearing October and I still hadn’t slowed down working, helping friends and frankly doing everything for everybody else. I honestly hadn’t taken the time I needed to mourn my Dad since June. I immediately jumped back into full swing as soon as he was in the ground. I certainly did it to myself. It made me very emotionally sick.
So, with October dawning and knowing the vision God had placed in my heart. I decided to call October off. I accepted no contracted work for the entire month of October and took the time I needed to get my head straight. I closed the door on North Side on October 7th and I’ve very grateful for the opportunities and lessons afforded me from my time there. And I know I will always have their prayers as mine will be with them. I am certainly excited for this new season of my life.

Good things happen in October. BIGTIME.

-Magic Dave