Day is done, gone the sun,
From the hills, from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh.
—Taps (Day Is Done)
I spent the night at my dad's, just about a week before he passed away. In his sleep, the last words I ever heard him speak were, "It's ok. The lads will take care of it." As soon as he said it, I thought, "Don't forget that he said that." I immediately thought that he was giving his seven sons some kind of charge with those words. I had an overwhelming feeling it might be the last time I would see him. He was dreaming, but I know enough not to discount the words of a man nearing his final days. For very often, at these times, the words spoken in dreams are the words that most need to be said—and heard.
I lay awake for a while wondering what they might mean. What did he want his sons to take care of?
A few weeks before, my brother and I were talking to my dad, and he started to get choked up as he said to us, "One thing that I hope I've taught you all, is how to be a good man."
"It's ok. The lads will take care of it."
He was charging us to take care of the things that a good man must: to see him to his final resting place, to comfort and care for his wife, and for each of us to care for our own wives, and our own children, and our own grandchildren.
The words are striking to me for another reason. He didn't say, "They need to take care of it," or "They should take care of it." He said we "will take care of it," as if he didn't have a doubt in his mind about his seven lads. And if he never doubted us, far be it for us to doubt ourselves. That was my dad's last lesson to me: not to doubt that I knew everything I needed to be a good man.
We've got it dad.
All is well. Safely rest. God is nigh. The lads will take care of it.