The night begins with the love of my life, David, grasping my hand tightly as the shadows of his life pass though my memories while I listen for his last labored breaths. My free hand I place on his brow to feel his skin becoming a little cold and clammy, when I say, “I love you” his reply sometime is ‘yes’. I feel him slipping away from me, my mind not really believing this is happening. The hours seem like minutes because I know these are the last for him and I together on this earth. Repeatedly I ask if he needs anything, dab his lips with water, pat him on the chest, kiss his forehead, and continue to hold his hand not letting go. Each moment becoming more precious as I realize this our last night together, I close my eyes and the tears flow, I know what will happen, not the first going home of someone I love, but this the hardest for me. I cry out to God to give me strength that I do not have to go though the next hours of my life. Time is in some kind of suspension when you know there is very little of it left. Nothing entered my thoughts except that moment of feeling David hold my hand, hearing his breathing, praying and being thankful for the great man God gave to me for all these years. What David had prayed four days earlier engulfed my mind now and wave after wave of peace crept into my heart! I know David felt this also. Then like a huge clap of thunder erupted in the room breaking the stillness of the early morning, David sit straight up in bed throwing his shirt off saying very matter of fact, with a clear strong voice “I gotta go—I gotta go”! Without hesitation this weak frail body of his flew out of bed just as quickly as I flew beside him trying to figure out what he needed. Within seconds he collapsed and back in bed uttered his last words, “Jesus Jesus” as he took his last breath. Stunned by the suddenness of what just happened I wept, as he took that last breath I held his head in my hands and said “David go home, go home.” Part of my soul left with David in the blink of an eye his entrance into Heaven. Never quiet on the earth his leaving fitting for the person I love and know well. I am sure his arrival into Heaven just as dramatic for those witnessing it too.
Today marks three weeks of David going home to his Heavenly reward. I miss him every second, but I also can rejoice because I know where he is and I can imagine some of the things he is busy doing. My heart is so grateful for family and friends who have held David and I in their prayers and given us much support and love during this past year. Be not dismayed or disappointed because the miracle we all hoped for changed. God is Faithful and the devil a liar. Until two weeks before leaving us David totally believed in his miracle here but he looked at me and said “I am in so much pain, I am ready to go home, my duty here is finished, I have lived well, I want to stay with you but I trust God, He does everything right, no regrets, just blessings. God has prepared you and me for this to come.” As he spoke this I too knew it was time for him to continue his journey with His Savior in that Heavenly home he had labored on his entire life while living on this earth. As difficult as those words were to say and hear we both were comforted by our faith which never waivers even when God’s plan is not what we want or think we can endure. The entire time of this conversation David held me in his arms and I felt overpowering love as we both wept. Great strength came into our spirits from our heavenly father we love so much. Again we placed our lives in His will not ours. This moment in time never to be repeated together it was like taking our vows once more renewed love to bear what would come into my life in the days ahead. Even now water down my cheeks flow remembering David’s voice proclaiming with surety God knows His children and He will always walk with us through the shadow of death. Everything we know about God so real in our hearts both David and I looked into each other’s eyes and saw God’s eye not ourselves but Him living in us giving us His love and comfort so that it would be all right to be apart for a little while. David knew I would be fine and I knew David ready to be in the presence of God– the hope we both carry in our heart since a child almost here for him. I find it hard to pour out the words of love I have for David and our life lived together. My days left here never to be the same without David by my side, our love unchanged by death. He the part of me that had no fear, no doubt, only knowledge that if God led him, God would help him accomplish what I saw as impossible. I think David must have left some of his passion and fire with me because I am more sure of my faith now than ever before and know that whatever God’s plan for me I will follow as did David without fear, or doubt only belief that God will continue to be ever present in my life while my duty continues. Very hard for me to say, but this is what is in my heart. I will trust in God and work while I await my entrance into Heaven.
The last days of David’s life were spent with many family and friends in those remarkable conversations reliving stories that mark who David is. As the days drew close to his going home his thoughts turned toward ‘seeing with his spirit’ not his mind so brilliant that it could retain monumental amounts of knowledge for him to share with us, but now the spirit man comes to the surface no longer bound by what the brain knows. We were now having conversations with David that included glimpses into a realm where none of us has been, nor could see yet. Every day as we would care for him we would hear of a new revelation so wonderful David was more in the spirit than with us. We would cry and laugh at the same time knowing what David was experiencing was given to him by God Creator of the Universe. This part of walking through the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ true as scripture says not alone, fearing nothing, receiving comfort from the Lord we were seeing David walk this part of his journey and it was making us stronger to deal with what we knew was coming for us. I must tell you of a few of the comments David would make during our last conversations with him. When you walked into the room you could feel God’s love and know you were not alone. The Glory of God filling our hearts as David poured these ‘glimpses’ his spirit saw into our world. His reality changing as we were seeing David’s vessel of clay being consumed by this disease we were amazed by God revealing Himself anew to us through David’s spirit eye.
These are some the last few days conversations with David more of his spirit talking than his mind. “Overwhelmed, overwhelmed by God” his statement of faith repeated several times. “Did you know God sits on the front row and He has everything under control?”
“I have tried to gain knowledge and insight into everything all my life, but now I understand.” We ask him to expound more what do you understand and he only smiled and gazed upward. “God does all things right.” “I walked into a brand new church” I ask him what it looked like and all he said was “it had so many future colors so beautiful” then without missing a word said to me “I built my second church today with new kind of bricks you never saw before and future colors” (meaning I guess buildings that looks like a church with those future colors). “Wonderful to be alive; God has given us wonderful privileges.” Bethany and I walked into the room the day before he went home and he was playing his trumpet (no horn just moving his fingers) and singing. “Great joy to be in God’s place,” his comment on Monday about 3 p.m. after David woke from a deep sleep. Every word out of his mouth was of praise to God. Something was changing and we could feel the presence of God everywhere in the house even with most of the 19 grandchildren playing outside and downstairs. His conversation now conveying “he just was helping set up a dinner you know one like those national dinners we go to only grander and he told his granddaughter he would be there in a little while!” When I ask more questions he just kept smiling and praising God with his frail skinny arm raised in the air. By 7 P.M. Monday the pastor and family came to pray with him and found David in worship clapping his hands together with all that was within him praying thanking God. Saying, “I am so blessed, I am so blessed” praying “Jesus, Jesus, ready to go, yep, let’s go; not my will but thine oh Lord”! Also that night Kathy and Dennis came over David wanted them to sing, so we all sang, cried and worshipped. David’s words now were “oh, what has God wrought, the “shekinah” (Hebrew word that means the dwelling or settling, and is used to denote the dwelling or settling presence of God—divine presence) miracles of God; Glory to God.” This was David’s spirit speaking to us all before leaving his worn out vessel of clay.
Now the final moments of David’s life here with us resume with the first paragraph of this story. David’s last words all night before going home on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 are “Praise the Lord” and whispering “Jesus, Jesus” the last word on his lips as my love took his first step into Heaven.
David gave me a wonderful gift our last hours together—those “glimpses” into the heavenly realm so clear to him so comforting to me—our spirits connected these past forty plus years on this earth now his continuing upward—leaving mine with a few more precious sights into my future home with those ‘future colors’—where together again we will serve our Lord and Savior forever. I love you David thank you once again for surprising me.
It is hard to put into words on this paper the huge piece of me that I feel missing these past few days without David. I find my thoughts wondering far away toward heaven. It is hard to be whole with part of my heart gone. Everything that surrounds me is David. So unfamiliar this path I now am on, I can only be assured of this one thing that when I cry, when I am alone, or when I am unsure of my next step my Lord wraps me in His love. When I breathe the name of ‘Jesus’ my fears melt, my doubts leave, and peace engulfs my heart. Try as I may my mind cannot comprehend those “wonders” David now sees, nor the things he is doing, but this I do know whatever he is doing, or seeing —-he was created to be doing just those things and living with God—-as David wrote in his last letter to us;
“No one has yet believed in God and the kingdom of God, no one has yet heard about the realm of the resurrected, and not been homesick for that hour, waiting and looking forward joyfully to being released from bodily existence…..Death is hell and night and cold if it is not transformed by our faith. But that is just what is so marvelous, that we can transform death,” quoted by Dietrich Bonheoffer on his way to be martyred. The greatest wisdom I know and pass on is “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so,” taught to me as a child I now carry with me as my journey continues in my Heavenly Home. I look forward to our reunion. David”
Heaven closer today, my longing more real, but while I live here with you my desire the same as before last year’s days of my life: to love and serve God with all my heart, mind and soul. I too look forward to our reunion.
I have given you a ‘glimpse’ into what will become one of the last chapters of the book David started in which I and our children will finish for him. Much more detail and many more miracles have occurred this past year in our lives that we will write in memory of David Hall.
I must thank everyone who gave such great honor to David and our family at David’s celebration of life service. I think David would be a little amazed at the pouring out of yourselves to stand and give such love and honor to him….he would say “I am overwhelmed, I love you all so much, now continue to do your “duty”—I am proud to know each one of you.” We, his family, wish you to know that your love for David and being with us to take the Liberty Bell on its last journey with David will never be forgotten. We too were overwhelmed. Our love to all!
Many are the questions as to what I am doing? What about the Liberty Bell? What is the Plan?
Many are the answers we do not yet know. As a family we are working on a plan to continue the “duty” of the Liberty Bell— it has been foremost in our hearts these past few weeks. As for me I am going to help finish the Bell documentary with our videographer. This is first on my list of ‘to do’s’. Then early next year I will try to finish David’s book with the help of the children.
The past three weeks I have been finalizing the loose ends of life. Most of you want details I have very few right now, I wait on God to give me those.
My children and grandchildren are of great help to me and as always they care for me. Missing dad and pawpaw one of their life’s greatest challenges so far, but they too depend on the Lord for comfort and direction— David and my greatest legacy is our children and grandchildren. As David’s children and grandchildren learn to live their young lives apart from their dad and pawpaw I can see David’s eyes, his smile, his determination, his love, and his compassion left in them to surround this world with their ‘loud living’ just as David did every day with us. Our one year old Maya roams the house sometime in search of ‘pawpaw’— he is not far away from our memories. When Pro our 3 year old tornado of a boy walked into the room asking “Where is pawpaw?” without hesitation our wise 4 year old Sam proclaims loudly, “Pro, remember Pawpaw is in Heaven that’s upstairs!” It is a wonderful privilege to have all these “wise” little ones to ease some of our pain. I will make sure the ‘baton’ is passed to them helping them remember who their pawpaw is and I can quote some of his famous sayings without thinking. Do not worry David cared for me if he were to leave me just as he provided for me and the family as he lived with us….all is well. I am blessed. Our family will continue to grow and take ‘pawpaw’ with us into our living ‘Loud for the Lord.’
I have so many of you to thank for the prayers, support, love shown to David and I and our family this past year I would have to write a book just to list your blessings to us. I truly love you and without all those ‘hugs’ I would not have been able to walk though these past few days of living. When you think that prayer, card, email or note mean nothing you are wrong they mean life to me. I feel your love, and prayers. I thank God for all of you.
Now before I get to work I am personally taking a few weeks and doing nothing—I think. I am going to try to collect my random thoughts, and put them into some kind of order while I rest a little. And I might do some writing.
My prayer for you is one that David prayed for me:
“God give you His peace” and as David said to me “God has prepared you and me for this to come—-may He also prepare you for this to come!” May each of us run our race as David did with passion and fire to serve the Lord in all things all of our days.
I see David with Jesus, and as I wrote a couple of weeks ago his “to do list” more pleasant, enormous, and joyous living in the presence of God “I can only imagine.”
God Bless every one,
Phyllis Hall in Memory of my love David Hall
P.S. I am all ready getting asks if I am going to continue writing —I will let you know!
The Liberty Bell & Law Memorial Website will have updates and when a definite plan of action is complete I will let everyone know. The email for me is email@example.com
Surprise for me from David found Nov. 1, 2011
I cleaned my billfold out a few days ago and found this note tucked inside. This is David’s handwriting and the date on the note is our Anniversary and my maiden name—-I cried then smiled– David leaving me yet another jewel of love to help get me through this time without him by my side —needless to say I put this back where he left it and treasure his thinking of me. I have no idea when he put it in my billfold —knowing David it has meaning I must need now. Every time I read it there is a memory sparked that just David and I share. FYI very few times has David written me a note, sometimes poems or letters, but never has he placed one in my billfold.
I love you David.