Mark Ahrens continued

to complete the paperwork for my Dad. The hospice gal was late … but we finished the paperwork and the nurse arrived to give us some more instructions. After the nurse saw Dad, she said he probably “had days or hours instead of weeks” left. Wow, this came a little unexpected. I thought I better call my sister and brother Nelson in case they want to talk with Dad once more. As I called Nelson, we chatted for a few minutes and then Karen came in to inform me that “Dad was passing!” I fumbled for words and blurted out to Nelson what Karen had said. What happened in the next 15 or so minutes was a very special blessing to all of my family from God. My Mom, my brother, Gene, and his wife, Marilyn, Karen and I got to say our good-byes to Dad in person. My sister, Mary Anna, and her husband, Ed, along with my brother, Nelson, were able to say their good-byes to Dad via my cell phone. For a matter of minutes we were all together one last time … and then he was gone. It may seem like a small thing, but to me it had the “thumb print of God” on it. What a sweet couple of moments as we parted for the foreseeable future.

As we started passing the sad news along to relatives and friends, it soon became obvious to me that a memorial service for my father would draw quite a crowd. Emails, notes on Facebook, phone calls and cards started coming from everywhere. Again and again I read about how my Dad’s warmth, generosity and sincerity had helped so many different people over the years.

On the day of the memorial, the atmosphere was more of the kind at a high school reunion than the atmosphere of a funeral. What fond memories … what big hugs … what a joy to whole-heartedly worship God together because of the salvation He has given all of us which for me means I’ll see my Dad again some day soon.

How can the Ahrens family say thank you for the loving way you served all of us through my father’s passing. It made his memorial service run so smoothly! For several months, I had started piecing together what Dad and Mom expressed that they would desire in a memorial service with the logistics of bringing family from as far as North Carolina, Texas and California. It was a glorious memorial service and a wonderful regathering of loved ones to testify about the love of God that Dad showed to each of us. One gentleman told me that the memorial was the most encouraging funeral he had ever attended. Thank you New Covenant for helping make this wonderful time possible!