Advent Day 13 – Friday, December 8

At birth, we enter this earth with our first inhale as we awaken to the world given to us.

I was blessed to be born to parents who loved each other deeply and loved my siblings and me unconditionally. My father was a gentle man. Gentle in disposition and speech and a gentle father who quietly lead us in forming our family values.

As Alzheimer’s started to claim Dad’s memory, we went on a journey with him, as he transformed from caregiver to the one needing constant care. The path was very long, somethings tiring and often sad, but also a time of our family holding together and leaning on our faith of having the promise of salvation. We often needed to remind ourselves to just breathe.

In death, there is one last exhale. At that moment with my dad, God’s promise became an overwhelming living thing. The peace that filled the room and our hearts was intense and heaven felt just a breath away. In prayer and reflection, I can take myself back to that last exhale and feel immersed in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Someday we will all experience heaven, until then we breathe.

Brenda Bernard