Posted in Family

The Promotion

I noticed my last post was towards the end of April and here it is the middle of June. Where I have been and what I’ve been doing is unfortunately a very sad tale. Life is not always sunshine and candy. If it were it would be called Heaven. We live on a planet deformed by sin. Yet our hope, as Christians, is that at the end of our journey we will step into the unfathomable place named Heaven.

My dad has had terrible heart and lung problems for years. This year is no different. His 2020 hospital visits totaled five by the end of May. Every stay did nothing to help him. He grew weaker and weaker. His pain grew intolerable. By May 18th he was taken to the hospital by ambulance. I’ll spare you and myself the details. By that Wednesday I had to decide whether to put him on a ventilator or not. Fortunately, I knew that he did not want that to happen. They made him comfortable so he would feel no pain. On Friday, May 22nd he passed away peacefully. We were and are heartbroken.

Harold’s brother, Cliff, had been fighting pancreatic cancer for 15 months. He was only supposed to live 3 months. Cliff lived long enough to see his fourth granddaughter born. He lived long enough to strengthen his family and wife to prepare them for his departure. Every day he lived was a gift and a miracle. Cliff died on June 4th. His funeral was yesterday, and it was live streamed so we could be part of it. We were incredibly grateful.

Having 2 close family members die in two weeks is gut wrenching. I am aware there are bigger losses but for us it’s the biggest one we have faced. The only reason we have been able to keep going is that my dad and Cliff were both Christians. They are out of pain and worshiping before God. There is nothing we would want more for them.

Bit by bit we are trying to get back to the normal routine of life as it is now. We thank all our wonderful friends who have prayed, sent cards and lots of beautiful flowers, and fed us. You have lifted us up when we could not move. We love you all.

Posted in Family, Pandemic, Religion

Choose Peace

photo of rainbow above trees
Photo by Harrison Haines on

Two weeks ago was rough. Let me rephrase that. It was devastatingly hard in our household. On that Tuesday I had to rush my dad to ER due to horrible chest pain. He had it for two days but was trying to avoid the hospital for obvious reasons. I drove him rather than call an ambulance because we live four minutes away. I had to drop him at the curb because only patients are allowed in. That was a heartbreaking moment. The minute I pulled up, a very kind nurse rushed over to get my dad. There were little white huts set up for patients to be triaged in. I signed some paperwork and left. He would stay there the rest of the week, being tested for COVID-19 (negative Praise God!), get a heart cath (normal for him, grossly abnormal for anyone else) and an upper GI. His esophagus was the culprit this time. He has such a severe case of GERD that it caused all that horrible chest pain.

I believe and practice the point of view that humor can make it easier to endure. Point in case: when I took Dad to the ER, Mom, who uses a walker, had to go because we can’t leave her alone due to dementia. My son, who has Down Syndrome, also had to come along. Now these two are the slowest of the slow. You cannot rush them. Yet when I yelled that we had to go to the ER both made it to the car in less than three minutes. This included the putting on of shoes making this quite the world record! We looked like crazy people but what can you do?

While Dad was hospitalized, none of us could see him. He is in the hospital several times a year as he has congestive heart failure. Normally Mom is with him all day, and Harold and I pop in and out. Friends come by for short visits and one of the chaplains visits every day. I asked Dad if he was lonely. Five days is a long time! He said he was bored, but never lonely because the staff did a good job of keeping him company.

We were extremely fortunate and blessed that Dad didn’t have the virus, didn’t have to have surgery, and came out unscathed. He’s survived death more times than I can count but this time that was never in the cards. During these days of the virus, thousands of families have suffered the death of loved ones, not even being able to say goodbye. My heart breaks for them every night when I see the death totals on the news.

As a Christ follower, I take great comfort in the scriptures. I was meditating on John 14:27. Jesus is with his disciples. Soon he will be killed on the cross. What will seem like a finality to the disciples becomes the most joyful time of their lives: the resurrection.

The Lord told them “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” There are few things that can shake my heart as when one of my parents are in the hospital, very ill. It comes down to who do I believe? The world has negativity, conflicting views, and advice. Jesus says he already gave me peace. I must choose which I want. Of course, I choose Jesus because he is the only one who has ever calmed my fears. He wants to calm yours as well if you just choose to believe in him. Choose peace!