It Was Father’s Day

I had only been back home from New Mexico for a few weeks after my mother-in-law passed away, when my sister called saying that my dad’s health had gotten even worse.

I had to go back.

I had to talk to my dad before he passed away.

I had something I needed to talk to him about, or I would never have peace in my heart.

I got on the train again and went back, and I’ve been staying with my parents for the last two and a half weeks to help care for him.

When we brought Dad home  from the hospital in January (at the same time my mother in law was in hospice in the same hospital), the decision was made that he would never go back to the hospital again.  He hated being there, and his health was so poor that there was nothing they could really do to help him anyway.

He knew he was leaving so he could die where he wanted to be – at home with my mom.

It Was Father's Day - KnickofTime.net

I’m not going to lie – These weeks have been some of the most exhausting of my life.  It was like the first weeks after giving birth, when you are up half the night, and you catnap every chance you get.

Dad had become very confused, and constantly wanted to get up and go somewhere.  He had never been one to be fussed over, and in his confusion we couldn’t make him understand that he needed our help, so he wasn’t too happy that we kept jumping up to stop him every time he tried to crawl around the side of the hospital bed’s rails- usually in the middle of the night.

My mom, sister and I watched over him around the clock, and my nephew and nieces took turns staying with us during the night, so we could get some sleep between his restless times.

It was a time to pull together as a family, and make him as comfortable as possible, and help him enjoy any small pleasure he could in his final days.

     It wasn’t easy.  

Some days we were deliriously tired and laughed until we wet our pants.

Other days we screamed at each other and said things we didn’t mean.

     We cried a lot.

I can’t tell you how times we were convinced he wouldn’t last another day, but he kept surprising us, and rallying through another day.

We were given the time to  tell him we loved him.

It Was Father's Day - KnickofTime.net

We were given the time to tell him memories that were special to us.

We were given the time to tell him how much God loved him.

We were given the time to share a the Gospel with him one more time.

My mom, sister and I all sat down by him one evening, and we had the boldest conversation with the man we’d spent our lives with, but who was never open to “heart to heart” talks with us.

I asked him if he understood that he was standing at the doorstep of eternity, and would soon cross over that step.

     He said he understood that.

I asked him if he was ready to stand before God.

     He fidgeted and didn’t answer.

I asked him if he remembered the story of Jesus dying on the cross, and he said he did.

I proceeded to talk about the two criminals who hung next to Jesus on their own crosses.

I explained to my dad that one of those criminals taunted Jesus, and said if he really was the Son of God, why didn’t he get himself off that cross, and save them too?

Then I told him about the other criminal, who admitted that he deserved the punishment he was getting, but that Jesus had done nothing to deserve to hang on that cross.

That thief was in the final moments of his life, but he said to Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

And Jesus answered him,“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

And then I explain that every single one of us are like those two thieves, and we all deserve to be punished.

But, we all have two choices, and only two.  There is no middle ground.

We can be like the first criminal and shun the God who made and loves us.

Or we can be like the second criminal, and admit we deserve death and punishment, and humble ourselves and ask the Lord to forgive us.

I asked him which criminal he would be.

     He didn’t answer.

My sister proceeded to share the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, and how she’d lived a bad life, but Jesus forgave her.

   He still didn’t answer.

Then my mom took his hand, and told him she wanted to be with him in heaven, and wanted him to be there waiting for her when she arrived.

She asked him if he wanted to go to heaven.

He said, yes.

She asked him if he could tell God he was sorry for his sins, and ask him to forgive him.

And he did.  

He said the words we’d been waiting years and year to hear.

We pray the words were sincere, and that he wasn’t just trying to make my mom happy.

In this life, we’ll never know.  We can only hope he meant it, and like that like the thief on the cross, was forgiven in the eleventh hour of his life, and we’ll see him again someday.

It Was Father's Day - KnickofTime.net

So, yesterday was my Father’s Day…he passed away in his home, with his wife by his side, knowing we all loved him.

Goodbye Dad.  

I love you.

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Psalm 23 Goodness and Mercy

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Jane Charnock says:

    How absolutely beautiful. I’m not sure that we, as frail sinful humans, ever completely understand what it is to give our life to God and accept Jesus. But God does and He accepts even our feeble attempts to believe in Him. My favorite verse is in Mark (9:24) when a man exclaims “I believe, Jesus–help me in my unbelief” and Jesus accepted that. It will be great to meet your father when we get to heaven!
    Also, please accept my condolences. However wonderful it is that we will see our parents again in heaven, It is still so hard to miss them so much here on earth. I lost my father one year ago and it is still a hole in my heart though I know I will see him again. God bless you and your family.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. And for not giving up on a child of the Most High God.

  3. I sit here crying as I read and my heart is broken for your family. I lost my Dad in November, and I still cry every single day. The pain is unrelenting, but I know that I will see my Dad again! He was the rock of our family, and instilled in us the importance of knowing Jesus because he wanted to be together again!! You , your sister and your mother will have jewels in your crowns for loving your Dad so much and helping him to Jesus!! Praise the Lord we will see our Dad’s again!! Love to you and your family!!

  4. I’m very sorry for your loss, Angie. It’s wonderful that you were able to spend some time with your dad before he passed away. My heart goes out to you and your family.
    Sending you a big hug,
    Julia

  5. I am sorry for your loss Angie. I’m so happy you were able to be with him and your family at this difficult time.
    God bless
    xo Susan

  6. Angie, Thank you for sharing a truly loving and personal time in your life with such grace and honesty. I still miss my dad, but he was able to give me a glimpse of our Father in heaven by loving me regardless of myself. God bless you and yours through the next part of your journey.

  7. Sandy McElroy says:

    I believe deep in my heart your father made his life right with our Lord. Someday when it’s our time to leave this earth, I will see my sweet Uncle beside momma in heaven. God gave you time and you made good use of it Angie. Love Sandy

  8. Angie, thank you for using this sad news of the loss of your father to share the good news of the gospel with your readers. May God use your words to draw others to Himself.

    May you and your family have “peace that passes understanding.”

  9. Oh so sorry hun i was moved reading this as it took me back to when i lost my dear old dad at his home,also my mum at the hospice.
    I send lots of hugs and god bless you and your family x

  10. Elisabeth says:

    Oh Angie, I am so sorry to hear of your dear Dad’s passing. You will all miss him so much. You were very fortunate, though to have these special times and conversations. Much love to all of you during the days ahead.
    Take care,
    Liz

  11. Wanda Swaim says:

    May GOD be with you and your family in a special way in the loss of your father.

  12. My heart hurts for you. Trust the Lord for your dad’s life. (((hugs)))

  13. Thank you for sharing the gospel message w/ your father one more time. Only God know his heart – as you said. But God also knows yours. How must be smiling at this act of obedience on your part. Blessings and sympathies to you!

  14. Thank you for encouraging us with your beautiful story, Angie. God is so good, and he loved your father so well. Wishing you and your family much love during this difficult time.

  15. Karen Robbins says:

    Your message truly touched my heart. It was beautiful. I am so sorry you lost your dad but I’m glad you could be with him those last few weeks. Those are memories you will always have. It is such a help that we know that God is great and that we will all be together again some day.

  16. I am so sorry for your loss. This has been a hard year for you and your family. Your story has touched my heart and I pray that someday my mom too will come to know our living Jesus Christ so she will celebrate glory. God is good-all the time. Blessings to you and your family

  17. How blessed your family was to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit on your Dad’s homegoing journey. May your mom, sister and you continue to bask in the comfort that your dad is now at peace and eternal love is showering upon him.

    Elaine

  18. What a beautiful post Angie!! I pray with all my hear that he was sincere and that you will see him again one day. That’s what life is all about…loving people and living for God. So glad you were able to spend that time with him…until you meet again.
    Blessings~

  19. What a powerful testimony. Thank you so much for sharing this with your readers. I needed to read this today. God Bless you and your family.

  20. I am sorry for your loss.

  21. That is very touching! A great testimony of the grace of God at any time, no matter what. Praying for your family.

  22. Lori Wymore says:

    You have truly blessed my day with the story of your dad’s words of faith and acceptance of Jesus as his savior. Thank you, and blessings to you and your family.

    Lori

  23. Mary Beadles says:

    Such a wonderful post. Made me cry and thankful your went back to ask the most important question in this life for the next life. My 93 year old dad accepted Jesus on an Easter Sunday so that “Resurrection Day” holds an extra special meaning for us.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

  24. So sad for your loss. Shedding big tears for you Angie. A very special post. Now you can feel at peace knowing that you were able to talk with him before he passed away. May God bless you and be close to you and your family in this time of sorry.
    Hugs,
    Audrey Z.

  25. Thank you for your sharing your sweet, hurting heart. Praying that God will give you peace and rest as you grieve the loss of your dad.

  26. I understand how you felt at that moment…I often wonder about my grandma…she always said she was a christian…I hope so…but I don’t know for sure…I do know about my grandpa….I KNOW my folks are born again….so I have no questions…my mom’s folks passed in the 1960’s…but NO questions linger about them either…
    I am so sorry for the losses you have had this year…prayers for your families….God does bring peace…

  27. What a beautiful tribute to your father, Angie. Thank you for sharing your heart warming words with us. Blessings to you and your family during this very difficult time.

  28. What a beautiful tribute to your dad! Thank you for sharing. Though your heart may hurt, it is so full of love and memories. God bless.

  29. rosemary says:

    With tears running down my face … I remember being at my father’s death bed and praying that he would hear our prayers … and asking the Father to change his heart, to love our dad at his eleventh hour.
    As you say, we’ll never know this side of heaven … but we hope that he did accept Christ as his Lord before he died.

  30. So wonderful you got to spend the time with your Dad. It makes a difference now but even more later on. He knew you cared and took the time to show him. My thoughts are with you.

  31. Sherry Fram says:

    So very sorry for your loss but rejoice in knowing that you will see him again in heaven. God Bless you & your family during this time.

  32. Sincerest condolences for the loss of your father. Lost my father 8 years ago and still have moments when I wish I could share something with him, talk to him … You sharing of the Gospel may touch many lives through your blog…thanks for being forthright!

  33. Jessica Roth says:

    Thank you for sharing your story with us! May God bless you and your family!

  34. Helene Farley says:

    God is faithful and to God be the glory. Awesome testimony Angie. I’m so glad your dad prayed. I am sorry for your loss. May the peace that surpasses understanding be yours and your family’s through this time.

  35. I couldn’t read it all, I lost my Mom and Dad last year within six months. I’m very sorry for your loss. I did
    read enough to see it was a beautiful post.
    Blessings to you and your family.

  36. I feel for you and rejoice with you at the same time. Your story mirrors mine almost exactly. God allowed me to share the last 3 months of my fathers life. I quit my job in Alpine, Tx and went to Grand Junction, Co to care for him along with my sister and mother. My family was not born again so it was a real battle. Yes we did laugh and then spent days fighting and crying and screaming at each other. I spent a fortune on phone calls to my husband praying and venting! God had the victory!!! One day my sister and mother had to go out and I had the chance I had been praying for. Alone with my dad…I read scripture and prayed with him and then I asked if he wanted to give his life to God…he prayed the prayer of salvation and then 2 days later he died in my arms. Thank God I was faithful and did not let the circumstances in the house get me down. My sister is still not saved….my mother died without Christ in her life fighting all the way! My father went to be with the Lord March 1, 1988 but seems like yesterday. We were always very close and there are still times I pick up the phone to tell him something exciting…then remember he already knows! I will be praying for you!

  37. So very sorry for your loss. I know that with Jesus grace you will find peace.
    I too have loss a very dear friend in a auto accident last month. She was a wonderful Christian it does make it less painful when you know they are in the arms of are Heavenly Father.
    Praying for you and your family.

  38. Jennnifer says:

    I am sorry for your loss, Angie. You were very blessed to be with him in his final days and it was beautiful that you were able to strengthen and comfort him, telling him of God’s love and mercy. May the Lord continue to comfort you and your family, in this period of grief.

  39. I am so sorry for your loss, Angie. I know it is a comfort to you that you were able to spend time with your dad at the end of his life here, and we know that God looks on the heart, even if no words were said. May God comfort you during this time and may you get some much needed rest.

  40. Oh Angie, what q beautiful post! Forgive my typos here because I cant see what I’m typing because of my tears. God bless you for your steadfastness in trying to assure your father’s salvation. I’m a lucky girl because i have not one doubt about my parent’s eternity. I’m so happy for you that you can live in peace about this.

  41. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing what must have been a very difficult time. Praying that your family is comforted. You all did as much as you could, and left the rest in God’s hands.

  42. I was so sorry to hear this news, Angie…but am so glad you were able to be with your father and share Christ with him. I know he felt the love surrounding him. I lost my dad nearly two years ago now, and have often wondered how those without faith would get through the experience of losing a family member. I am sending loving thoughts and prayers your way for comfort and the peace which passeth understanding. I know he will be missed very much…xoxox

  43. Terri Hughes says:

    I am sitting here crying for someone that I don’t even know. But, we don’t have to know other people to have compassion for them. My heart breaks for you and your family. I have been in your shoes several times and I do know how hard it can be to sit with someone for days on end watching them suffering and you can’t do anything about it. I pray that your Dad’s soul is in heaven with God. God Bless you and your family now and in the coming days. I pray that God will bring you peace and comfort. May your Dad ”Rest In Peace.”

  44. Cindy Brown says:

    What a very strong post, Angie. I, too, hope that your dad was sincere and that your Mom will have him greeting her in heaven. God certainly shined through you, your sister and your mom. Blessings and condolences to you.

  45. Thinking of you with love, Angie. God bless.

  46. Judy Lincicum says:

    Dearest Angie, I’m so sorry that you will be temporarily away from your loving Dad for awhile here on earth. It’s so terribly hard to say goodbye. I lost my Daddy in Oct. last year at 90, and I sitll want to call he and my Mom to talk on the phone. But your experience with your Dad’s chosing Jesus as his Savior is an eternal one, and God bless you for being faithful, as a daughter and a child of the King, to make sure you would see you Dad again. We are told that God looks on the heart, and even if your Dad had said nothing, God would have know what your Dad’s choice would be and for that reason alone, he has chosen Eternity. Such a special even that you were able to attend! God bless you and your family, Angie, in this difficult time of your life. And may the God of Peace wrap His loving arms around you and comfort you in knowing just exactly where your Dad is at this moment. We have a Hope that is greater than all things, and it is what keeps us going until it is our time to Go Home.

  47. Judy Lincicum says:

    Dearest Angie, I’m so sorry that you will be temporarily away from your loving Dad for awhile here on earth. It’s so terribly hard to say goodbye. I lost my Daddy in Oct. last year at 90, and I sitll want to call he and my Mom to talk on the phone. But your experience with your Dad’s chosing Jesus as his Savior is an eternal one, and God bless you for being faithful, as a daughter and a child of the King, to make sure you would see you Dad again. We are told that God looks on the heart, and even if your Dad had said nothing, God would have know what your Dad’s choice would be and for that reason alone, he has chosen Eternity. Such a special event that you were able to attend! God bless you and your family, Angie, in this difficult time of your life. And may the God of Peace wrap His loving arms around you and comfort you in knowing just exactly where your Dad is at this moment. We have a Hope that is greater than all things, and it is what keeps us going until it is our time to Go Home.

  48. God bless you Angie, You had courage that I didn’t. When my daddy died people from my church visited him in the hospital and my nephew testified to him , but I didn’t. I felt as you that daddy chose our Father in Heaven before he died, but I won’t know until I’m there. I choose to think he’s there as is your dad. I’ll be praying for you as the days go by. Grief is a hard process, but it is what it is, and God’s grace is there all the way.

  49. What a beautiful tribute to your Dad and thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry for your loss Angie. He is at peace now. ((Hugs))

  50. I am so sorry for your loss, Angie. Your storie touched me so. I am so glad your dad accepted Jesus! I’m sure your story will touch others too.

  51. SusanIrene says:

    Thank you for sharing. I have walked your walk. Be comforted that you were there to love and help in the journeys. Cherish your memories

  52. This is such a beautiful post, on so many levels. Thank you for sharing the last, precious gift you were able to give to your Dad. It’s a powerful one.

  53. I lost my Dad 8 years ago, and I still miss him every day. He died on the 17th December. We live interstate on a small farm with horses etc, so it wasn’t easy to be there full time with him. We spent 10 days with him and my Mum in October and we talked about life-death etc, and helped him prepare for his funeral, which was a great help for my Mum who had been looking after him at home. I am so glad that we spent the time with him and reminisced about good times that we had been through over the years. The hardest time hat had was the first Father’s day the next year.

  54. I, too, have spent the last days with my father. My mother, sisters, and I had much of the same experience. In fact, my father passed away 9 years ago this March 31. My thoughts and prayers go to you and your family!

  55. mare williams says:

    God bless you and helps you daily in being able to continue your blog!! What a responsibility! And, what a wonderful way to say goodbye to your loving father – by talking with him about our loving Father! He was lucky to have you in his life, and may God our Father continue to bless your entire family at this tumultuous time…yet beautiful time. And may YOUR words help me know the right words to say to my 91 y.o. aunt living with us as she nears the end of her earthly life, as she has never shared any type of religious beliefs with us. Thanks, Angie!

  56. Your story brought tears to my eyes…. Our God is merciful and full of grace and honors our prayers. I believe he honored your prayers and the prayers of you mother. You will see him again! God bless you!

  57. What a beautiful story! I’m so glad you can have that peace of knowing he is with Jesus. I know a lot of people who never know this side of heaven. I will be praying for you and your family. How hard to lose two parents so close together!

  58. Your story, so much like my own. My dad passed in 2008 after I took early retirement to be able to help my mom. Once I told him I would stay with mom he relaxed and didn’t last long. Mom lasted another five years and we had some great times and then a rough last year. I will never regret my time with them. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family as you struggle thru the grief process.

  59. Stephanie Mudd Carrico says:

    So sorry for your loss. I sit here in tears as my own sweet mother loses her battle with lung cancer. She has made peace with God and herself; I am not ready for her to go but I know she will be at rest and in a better place. And we will meet again.

  60. God bless you all during your dads passing, in the end it sounds like he won?

  61. So sorry you have had so many losses in such a short time, but I’m so glad you were given the gift of being there & hearing your father accept Christ gift of eternal life.
    I pray you can now get some rest & peace of mind. Sincerely, Carolyn M.

  62. So sorry for your loss. I’m glad you were able to say goodbye to your dad & be wth him at the end.

  63. Marlene Stephenson says:

    So sorry for your loss my prayers will be with you and your family at this time. My own father died about two years ago.

  64. Angie, I wept as I read this honest writing from your heart. I felt your pain, as I too lost my Dad 8 years & I was at the hospital for 10 days straight. Looking at your adult relationship with your parent when your parent is elderly is tricky at best. You have a role reversal & yet you never forget they gave you life. Your love for your Dad is evident, but your hope for his soul to be in heaven with God & his son Jesus, is a much greater love. The desire for our loved ones to be with us in heaven through eternity surpasses any desire on earth or it should. Your family will be stronger for having been with your Dad in his last days on earth. What a blessed man your father was to have you, your sister & your Mom together with him, reading the gospel, testifying to him of God’s eternal love for his children. I will pray for you Angie, for your family & especially your Mom. Thank you for sharing a very intimate time in your life with all of us who follow your blog. Your Dad is smiling at you from heaven without pain. When my brother in law died at age 26 from a car crash it rained the following day then when the rain had dissipated a bright rainbow filled the sky. I thought to myself it was Jonny by brother in law saying I made it to heaven & I’m smiling. Since then whenever I see a rainbow, I remember God’s promise & then I think of Jonny smiling & all my loved ones who have since passed all smiling from heaven. God bless you Angie.

  65. Pam Hawkins says:

    Sorry for your loss. Love&Prayers for your family

  66. I am thankful he is,at peace. And you & your family too. He knew how to put you all at peace and then left.
    Rest, be Thankful and when you feel him in your heart, smile. Everyone will wonder what your up to. You all did the right thing.

  67. Derry Gleason says:

    I just cared for my Mama in her last days, she passed on February 9th. I will not know until my Homegoing if she gave herself to The Lord. At the request of our hospice social worker, I have started a secret Facebook group for caregivers in hospice called Watching at Dusk. It is secret to give people a safe place to ask questions, to not feel like the only one weird stuff happens to, to vent and to be comforted by those who know exactly what you are going through. It is also to protect from those who would exploit. It can be joined by contacting me, Derry Cronin Gleason on Facebook in a message.
    Angie, I hold hands with you in our heart aches and will hold you and your family before our Lord.

  68. Thank you for sharing your beautiful tribute and last days with your dad. Condolences to you and your family. God bless.

  69. I sit here with tears streaming down my face…it amazes me how much beauty can be seen at the time of such heartache. Your Dad and your whole family was given such an incredible gift from God…one that you will treasure for an eternity. The last 3 weeks were probably the hardest in your life…but the most rewarding. Your Dad flies with angels now and he will be there to greet your Mom…you …your sister and your whole family when that time comes. I wish you and your family peace and with what I just read…peace you all shall have. God bless your Dad and just think about the wonderful things he is doing right now as he is freed from his body and he will look over you always. Much love to you and yours….Hugs… andrea

  70. Teddee Grace says:

    “…we all deserve to be punished.”? What an unfortunate religious philosophy. I can’t relate, but am sorry for what your father was forced to go through as he took his last breaths and for your loss.

  71. May your Dad Rest In Peace and may all the Memories get you and your family threw!!!

  72. It is so hard saying goodbye to someone we love but knowing that you will all be reunited again makes it a little easier. Just try to hold onto that thought when you are feeling sad! I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  73. Renee Harris says:

    Angie, God bless you and your family. God give you His Peace and Comfort in the days ahead. Thank you for this tribute to your sweet Dad and Mom.

  74. I know you will miss him! What better person to share God’s plan for salvation than with your father! This is such an inspiration to me. The Lord was surely helping you with just the right words and attitude. God bless you all!

  75. Angie, my thoughts and prayers have been with you since your dad fell at your house last year. My continued prayers for you and the family, what a wonderful thing to be able to share God’s greatest gift with your dad.
    Many Blessings to you, Candy

  76. Sheryl Danner says:

    Angie, I am so sorry for your loss. You have paid an amazing tribute to your dad with your beautiful words. I have no doubt he is looking down on you with pride! May you find peace in your memories.
    Blessings, Sheryl

  77. You are a wonderful, courageous and special daughter, Angie. You gave the most you could give to your dad before he passed and I’m sure he knew that. Bless you and bless your family as you learn to live without Dad and Grandpa.

  78. Angie,
    I’m so sorry for your loss, but thankful that you all had the opportunity to speak honestly with him and say your goodbyes.
    Prayers and hugs for you and your family as you go through this difficult time.

    gail

  79. Blessings to you Angie for sharing this with us. I sat with tears pouring out of my eyes – beautiful, how you shared salvation with your dad. My dad passed 21 years ago this coming June, the week before Father’s Day and while he had given his life to Jesus years and years ago, there was a LOT of yuck that happened in the last 20 years of his life. Mom was reassured of his place in heaven with not one, but two peace lilies, delivered to the house in the days following his death. I look forward to seeing him again, as you do your dad. It truly will be a joyful reunion.

    Praising God with you, that you had this time with your Dad, Mom, and sister. And I’ll be praying especially for you and yours this Easter season.

  80. Cheri Hins says:

    Angie, I am so happy for your father and sad for your family. Mixed blessings are strange bedfellows aren’t they? This was such a touching post. Thoughts and prayers for your family. Hugs, Cheri

  81. Ginni Allen says:

    Angie, this was so beautiful. We experienced loss at this same time. I kept checking the blog to see how you all were doing, how your father was. I have been away for a few weeks to walk through our loss, and just today saw this. How beautiful is your determination to get to your father. How beautiful that he was surrounded by those he loves. How beautiful that you were filled with the Holy Spirit, and were brave enough to speak the Words of Jesus over him. You had Jesus working through you. This story is filled with so much hope, and it makes me feel so glad that you were there in time for him to help your father to consider where his next destination is. Imagine the joy your father had when Jesus stood there with him! I am praying for the repose of his soul in Heaven, and praying for your family to continue walking through with strength in the Lord during the double loss. This is a precious time, a delicate time for you. It is fraught with many things. But I am so happy that you brought this story out so that others may have the courage to do what you did for your Dad. May God Bless You.

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