WALDPORT — It was a road trip we’d put off for two years. We’d meant to drive back to the Midwest to see my husband Bob’s dad and check how 89 years had taken the whistle out of his step. It was 3,000 miles away, so we intended to plan and save up.

However, when Bob’s dad called us to come, we left right away.

When we arrived, we discovered he really just wanted us to fix his television remote control. He needed the channel guide, he said, so he could watch his favorite baseball games. Bob’s dad simply wanted control over something. Anything.

In subsequent conversation, Bob got metaphorical and metaphysical, suggesting to his dad that he didn’t really need the TV guide. He didn’t need TV even. Jesus was his guide.

We prayed with him, starting with two words, “Our Father.” It only took a moment for Bob’s dad to continue with us. Some things a person doesn’t forget. Every word meant something to all of us. Then we prayed the rosary together.

For several days, we experienced little moments of joy and smiles. Bob’s dad sang his favorite Frank Sinatra song, “New York, New York,” letting us know if he could make it there, he could make it anywhere. To heaven, we told him.

We drove back to Oregon knowing the Lord was in control, guiding each of us at all times. Along the road, we shared our life stories with souls the Lord put In our path. God calls us to encounter others by sharing our faith and encouraging them to look to Jesus in all things.

We were back in Oregon for a week when Bob’s sister called to say that their father had taken his last peaceful breath. Memorial services were set for a week later.

We spent two days in deep prayer and contemplation. Could we make it back in time for the memorial? Should we? How could we afford another trip? Bob is the oldest of four and thought he should be there. It was his duty. Yet we’d just driven more than 6,000 miles and it felt impossible to get back in time. We prayed for the Lord’s will to be done.

We left on a Monday afternoon, as the bank released funds from the trust. That was our first confirmation from God. We filled the gas tank and took off on the wings of the Lord, driving 3,000 miles in three and a half days.

God makes things happen. I drove 850 miles in one day. Impossible? Not for God.

We had brief moments to share God’s love with Eduardo at a rest stop in Utah, another guy at a gas station that seemed hungry for conversation, a visitor to a shrine where we stopped at to pray. We drove past a wild horse, a white stallion out in the middle of the desert. We took that as a sign from God that we were on a holy path. We drove around storms that took us on roads through small towns like St. Johns, Arizona. Prayer directed us each day as Bob wrote in his journal that his dad’s passing could be instrumental in the salvation of others.

The memorial service was at the local funeral home. Probably 100 people went through the open casket viewing line. Bob’s sister had asked us to lead the service for the family as the scheduled minister had canceled mid-week.

The Lord gave Bob the Scripture to read to his brother and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and close friends of Bob’s parents. Most of these people hadn’t seen Bob and me in more than a decade. Bob read from 1 Corinthians 13:11-13 — No matter what, faith, hope, and love abide, but the greatest of these is love. That’s what gathered all of us that day, our love for Guy Hoffman and hope to support the whole family. At the graveside we read John 20:29 — Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. Bob’s dad was given a 21 gun salute for his service in the 82nd Airborne Division.

God made it possible for us to fulfill the fifth commandment, to honor Bob’s dad. Living our life for God brings blessings and joys beyond our understanding. When we pray, we wait and look for God’s will in every answer. We see the signposts along the way and are thankful.

We had to reroute on our way back to Oregon several times to avoid mud slides and construction along the California coast. God sent us on a desert road that passed a remote monastery where we could pause and thank the Lord for our safe travels. We arrived five minutes before the noon service and prayed with 10 Vietnamese monks. We were greeted by a monk with open arms who said, “We are one.” That’s Divine providence.

We completed the second 6,000 mile journey back to our humble home on the Oregon coast with the Lord’s blessings along the way.

The Hoffmans are members of St. Anthony Parish in Waldport.