I was at work when Mark had his heart attack. He was at home, he had painted our house that day. Amaya and Aaliyah were both home as well. What most people don't know is that Mark completed the call to 911 himself. He spoke to the dispatcher, he requested an ambulance and explained that he was having chest pains and couldn't breathe. Before he made that call he called me. I missed the call, as I often do when I am at work. I can see the list of calls in his phone log, he called me, and when I didn't answer he hung up and called 911 immediately. I am not sure that I will ever fully come to terms that I missed his call when he needed me most. I don't know what he would have said, maybe he would have asked what to do, maybe he would have said his "I love you, and goodbye." Whatever it is that he wanted to say to me, I didn't pick up. I know that he asked Amaya to keep calling me while he called 911. I asked her if he said to tell me anything, she said "he just told me to call."
I wish so much I would have answered, to have been able to hear his voice. I have contemplated requesting the 911 recording, but decided against it. Instead I made an educated guess. My guess is that he was calling to tell me he loved me, that he would see me again someday. I can only guess, but earlier in 2020 Mark called me from work. He was panicked on the phone and said "Babe, I love you. I want you to know that, and make sure the kids know, tell them I love them." I asked what was going on. He was in an elevator that had just fallen and he was stuck. He had already called 911 from inside when he called me, and he was out of the elevator just a few minutes later, but he thought there was a chance he wouldn't make it so he called to say "I love you."
The girls are the only people who really know what happened on the day Mark had his heart attack, but even they don't know what was going through his head. They don't know if he was scared, or worried, or if he was begging God to keep him here.
Recently, Aaliyah shared with me that the 911 call was not the last words Mark spoke. She hadn't told anyone else, and said Amaya was on the phone calling me so she didn't hear him. As Amaya and Aaliyah sat there crying and screaming, looking at their big strong Dad clutching his chest he spoke to them. He looked at her and said "It's going to be ok."
In the moment that literally killed him, he wanted to calm his daughter. He focused less on himself and more on her needs. He wanted to be her strength, to reassure her, to give her the love he had for her. Mark was a good father and even in his weakest moment he took care of his child. I truly wish that the earthly definition of "ok" was true. I wish that Mark would have survived, that he would have come home after 6-8 weeks of recovery and was here with us now. What I know to be true, is that he was not wrong. It is going to be ok. Our life on this earth is not the end, we have a heavenly home. If the situation is not ok, its not over. I have sat on this new information for about a week now, and it brings tears to my eyes, not just a glisten either. I am so grateful to Aaliyah for sharing this part of her story with me, and helping me know that even though I wasn't home to take care of Mark or the girls in that moment, that Mark still had them covered.
I also cannot fail to recognize the parallel of Mark as an earthly father to God, our Heavenly Father. Just as Mark wanted to calm his child, God wants to calm me. When I am in my darkest places, or doubting the future, God tells me "Its going to be ok." I love this fairly new song I keep hearing on the radio, its called "Into the Sea" by Tasha Layton. She references Zephaniah 3:17 when she says "I can hear my Father singing over me "Its gonna be okay, Its gonna be okay."
I have shared the video link with lyrics below, listen to it and remember that no matter what circumstances your life on earth has you in, you can listen for the voice of your Father.
"The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”