I thank our heavenly Father for my earthly father, James L. Stamberger, who was called home to heaven on Monday, Feb. 6, 2012. It had been only eleven weeks prior that he first went to his family physician that eventually led to the diagnosis of brain cancer. My two youngest and I were able to spend seven precious days with him and were there the day he passed away. Even my hubby and two oldest children were able to join us on the Stamberger farm for a wonderful time with Dad/Grandpa the weekend before he died. Life during that week with him at home slowed down to a snail’s pace as I soaked in every minute of being his caretaker. He struggled with walking and needed step by step instruction to what he was doing at the present time, but yet could eat, sleep, and carry on a conversation so well. His sweet, appreciative disposition and witty attitude helped the rest of us to get through some tough days. We talked religion, politics, family and church history, laughed and cried together. He fulfilled his role as father so well in that he continued teaching little life lessons and giving us advice up until the end. When I think of my dad’s love for his family, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with how much our Father in heaven must love us as His dear children to sacrifice His own Son in our place.
It was only on that Monday, the 6th, that he woke with excruciating pain from headaches. He eventually became nonresponsive and appeared to be able to sleep. We had him transported to the local hospital for a CT scan due to the abrupt change from the night before. The scan showed profuse swelling that was cutting off the flow of blood to his brain. He died there in the ER room with my mom, siblings and me, his sister and brother-in-law, and pastor at his bedside. We had the privilege of reciting the Lord’s Prayer, Creed, Psalms, and singing hymns together before the angels carried him home to be with Jesus. Looking back on it now, I see how gracious and merciful our God is in all that he spared my dad (and mom, too). Dad was to start radiation treatments on the day he passed away. We were all so worried what the treatments might do to him. But my dad’s days were beautifully orchestrated by God’s hand and I thank Him for the comfort that brings. I miss my dad so much and can hear his voice throughout the day and all that we shared together. What comfort Christ’s victory over sin, death, and the devil gives us as we look forward to one day joining our loved ones in heaven!