Photo: Courtesy of Dave Greenwell
Robert Greenwell was a World War II veteran, having served with the 45th Infantry Division in Europe. He was a POW in Germany, having been captured in France during the Battle of the Bulge.
Mercy and the Death of My Father
By Dave Greenwell
Last summer, my 83-year-old father, Robert Greenwell, had a massive stroke in Indiana. I drove from Florida to be with him. He was not awake, could barely move his right hand, and could not talk. We were informed that he was terminal, and that there wasn't anything they could do to help him.
My brothers and sisters all talked to him over the next few days. I sprinkled him with holy water and prayed for him. On Friday, Aug. 31, 2007, I had shortened my prayers and simply said "Jesus, Mercy!" a few times.
My father never showed any signs of distress. He took a breath and, very peacefully, blew it out. It was his last. I looked at my watch, and it was exactly 3 p.m. A cry came out of me from my soul, and I broke down and sobbed.
I realized that God had taken him at that moment out of love and mercy. It was a great sign to me. Inside, I felt this message from Jesus: "Yes, I am merciful. In love I have him with Me."
I'm forever grateful to God for having been able to witness the manner and timing of my father's death. I was sad, but awestruck at God's love and mercy. When I got back to Florida, there was mail from the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. Enclosed was a prayer card that says: "Everything begins with Your Mercy and ends with Your Mercy." It brought more tears (of sadness and joy). Then I got out my copy of the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion booklet. I began reading pages pages 72 and 73 on the Hour of Great Mercy. When I read the short prayer "Jesus, Mercy," I cried out in thanksgiving to God.
Dave Greenwell lives in Orlando, Fla.
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