Friday, June 23, 2006

The Final Sunset

Lee's last couple weeks were spent in Forsyth Memorial Hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. There, he asked Dorothy to summon the hospital chaplain to his room to pray with him. Nobody knows what the two spoke about, but I imagine the conversation went something like this after the chaplain introduced himself:

Chaplain: "Mr. Anderson, I will not say anything you don't already know.
Almighty God created all things. We know this because of the written Word handed down through the ages. Prophets like Elijah, Moses, and Isaiah were chosen by God to speak on God's behalf and convey His message and teachings. God wants men and women to choose Him over evil in the world. God sent into the world His Son Jesus who lived and taught the world about The Almighty and what Heaven is like. Jesus taught that if we humble ourselves, ask forgiveness of our sins, and invite Him into our heart, then we will be received into the everlasting
arms of God."

Lee: "I want that. I always believed in God. Frances studied her Sunday School lessons and read aloud from the Bible on Saturday nights. I listened to her read and pray. I learned about the Lord from Frances and Dorothy. But, I'm a sinner. Please forgive me, Lord."

Chaplain: "Mr. Anderson, may I lead us in prayer the way Jesus taught us to pray?"

Lee: "I'd like that."

Chaplain: "Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as
it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."


Over the next few days, Dorothy spent lots of time in his room. Frances was also a patient in this same hospital in another room at the same time.

Dorothy touched and rubbed Lee's hand, arm, face, and head. She easily enunciated the word love many times in sentences as she talked to her daddy. Lee was semiconscious and unable to speak much of the time, but made body signals that indicated hearing.

Dorothy said to Lee, "You have been a great daddy. I learned so much from you."

Within a few days, at the age of 77 years and 3 days, Lee's time in this world ended. The date was March 28, 1993. This date was 52 years after the day Lee laid on that Sanford, North Carolina road where he looked up and requested the patrolman to let him die because he couldn't live without his arm.

A few days after his death, Lee was buried in the cemetery at Pleasant Hill Methodist Church in Dozier, North Carolina. This was the same church where a woman of the church made Lee feel unwelcome many years before when she made a derogatory comment to him about the way he was dressed in that house of worship.

The scenario between this woman of the church and Lee is, perhaps, an example of what Jesus meant when He spoke the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. The book of Matthew Chapter 20 in The Holy Bible records Jesus' words about God's generosity. Jesus concluded His story with these words, "So the last will be first, and the first last: for many are called, but few chosen." Verse 16, KJV.

The picture above shows Lee pulling a hose to add water to plant life growing in his front yard.

The picture below shows the head stone on Lee's grave.

Return here on Sunday, June 25 for what happened next.

Have a good day!



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