90, 87, 68, 5 – A Love Story

I generally do not use this platform to discuss personal issues…but today is an exception.  Hear me out.

The numbers in the title of this blog have incredible significance to me and my family.  I realize they appear random, but there is a pattern and rhythm that has eternal significance.

90 – The age of Atwood Jennings Cool – my dad

87 – The age of Leona Catherine (Holley) Cool – my mom

68 – The number of years they were married

5 – Keep reading

On Saturday, December 8, 2018, Jesus Christ, my parents Lord and Savior (as well as mine), ushered them both to be with him for all eternity. We had the privilege to have both in their living room on side-by-side Hospice provided beds (BTW…Atrium Health Hospice of Union County was/is phenomenal…thank you for your care, comfort, promptness, and love for those you care for…especially my folks!!!)…see picture below.

OK…I need to pause so I can get a good cry in and wipe the tears from my keyboard…be right back.

Mom had a nasty battle with Ovarian cancer/Chemo and dad had a recent fall that led to an incredibly rapid decline.

So…what about the number 5? This is where the grace and love of God honored my parents’ wishes/prayers.  After doing EVERYTHING together for 68 years, they often would tell us kids that they would prefer to enter heaven together.  They could not imagine a “life” without the other…and frankly…my dad could not have survived without my mom.

Well…God honored them. Daddy graduated at about 5:30 AM and mommy joined him at about 10:30 AM.  WOW…you can’t make this stuff up.  Not even a Hallmark Movie could write such a beautiful script (The Notebook may be the closest example). Hold on…need to wipe more tears.

OK…I am back.

So, why am I sharing this?  Am I looking for sympathy or empathy?  Not hardly.  Am I hoping to get more readers by being vulnerable?  REALLY?!?!

Here is my WHY I am sharing:

  1. We are to honor our mother and father.
  2. My parents ministered to countless people while in the pastorate and nursing home business…now God is ministering to them in person.
  3. God hears the desires of our heart…and he answers prayers.
  4. Heaven has received 2 people that loved their Lord and now are sitting with him as well as their parents, friends and other family.  Time to celebrate.
  5. My parents have left a legacy for me and my family…Lisa and the kids have been incredible. Thank you!
  6. My parents had some other prayers for their 4 kids that have not all come to fruition during their life and I would ask that you join me in praying that all of our family will be reunited in heaven.

Heaven is much richer today! I miss you mom and dad…but will see you again!

Your Timmy Lee

“That my way will not be lost
From now on, ’til that river’s crossed
My soul renewed, and my spirit free
In you I’ll find my peace”

27 comments on “90, 87, 68, 5 – A Love Story

  1. Oh Tim! Pause, my tears this time . As I saw this on Facebook the first time I felt so happy that they were given their wish Of never having to live without one another !
    Reading this story and knowing your heart touches me so. What a blessing to know the story and think of them so happy in heaven. I know you miss them terribly but I know the bittersweet joy of knowing they’re with their heavenly father. May this Christmas bring wonderful memories to flood your heart of them that makes you smile 😊

  2. Tim, such a great tribute to your Mom and Dad. Wow…. And you and your family are a living testimony to the kind of people they were and the influence that had on you. God bless you, my brother.

  3. Thank you for sharing this Tim. What a wonderful memory for you and your family and what a legacy they left you. God bless you.

  4. Praying that you and your family find comfort as you grieve this tremendous loss. This verse has brought me great joy in the midst of deep grief.
    “Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail, the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings, risen with healing in His wings. Mild He lays His glory by, born that men no more may die, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth. Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King”.

  5. Hi Tim,
    Thank you so much for sharing! Praise God for His grace and love that He continually shows us, in the big things and small. What a blessing that you will see your parents in heaven. We rejoice with them and cry with you as you mourn their departure.

  6. Tim,
    My heart and prayers go out to you and your family in this time of tremendous loss. It is hard enough to lose one parents but both is certainly a test of ones faith. Trust in the Lord that He will shelter you in His love and compassion. May He give you strength to carry on as He rejoices that Atwood and Leona have knocked and heaven’s door opened to your loving parents of 68 years.

  7. Tim thank you for sharing. This fall it has been my privilege to arrange the final services for two couples who loved God and their spouse with all their heart for 65+ years. Barbara died in August and her husband David said “my little bird has flown. What will I do?” He joined her and the Lord in October.
    Hal led the way to heaven at the end of November, Kay followed him two weeks later.
    Though both surviving spouses were prepared to soldier on they received the call they really wanted. My husband and I have only been married 45 years and God had better have more work for us to do here otherwise if I were left without my soul mate I’d be praying He’d be saying as He did to Barbara, David, Hal and Kay, “Welcome my good and faithful servant”

  8. That photo says it all – how much you loved them, how much they loved each other, the loving care of health professionals, the great comfort in physical touch and presence. Thank you for sharing. May your family be comforted as you experience this first Christmas without them here.

  9. Thank you Tim, your story touched my heart! I’m reminded of the song, I can only imagine. I did not know your parents but I would like to think maybe they danced alittle.

  10. I love you guys Tim. You loved them well, and what a loving way for them to have gone together. I know there are many mixed emotions for you right now. Thanks for sharing this. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.

  11. Tim, thank you for sharing this beautiful example of earthly love and the heavenly love from our Father. What a sweet picture of them side by side, holding your hands. My prayers go out for you and your family!

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