I was still on no food a Dr was going to come to see me. I had gotten the chance to get some sleep in my quiet private room. I opened my eyes and looked around and this room was very similar to me. The one next door to mine was the room my Dad passed away in. They were identical set up but mine was a different color.
(Thinking back to the last day of my Dads life)
Chuck and I had gone home to see our kids for a bit and then were going to head back to the hospital. I was sleeping on the way home and Chuck fell asleep while driving I opened my eyes because I felt like we were all over the place. I looked and we were on the other side of the road heading for the ditch I looked at Chuck and he was asleep. I grabbed the wheel and hit him. That was scary so we decided to sleep at home and go up in the morning again. Two nights of no sleep caught up to us. We got a call at 4:00 in the morning that Dad wasn’t doing good. We rushed to London and got there in about 20 mins. His breathing was terrible. I went up by my Dads head and kept saying breath Dad in and out. Calm down just breath its ok. I started singing Amazing grace quietly in his ear and he calmed down some. I asked Grace for the bible and began reading to him. They had decided to take of the IV and wait…wait for the end. That was so hard.
He became more stable as the morning went on and was moved to the 2nd floor. Chuck had gone home to get our kids. I had wanted to see them with him one more time and give the kids a chance to say good-bye.
He was moved up to the 7th floor and I was still praying for some miracle that my Dad would pull through somehow. Once we were up in his new room. I asked the nurse if in case like my Dad do they ever pull through? Her answer was no its just a matter of how long do they want to hold on. My heart sank as I looked at my Dad I couldn’t begin to imagine my life without him. I had thought I would be able to take care of him. Even though I knew that he wouldn’t have wanted that. My Dad had been “stable” for a few hours and Mike my brother came in the room and said Chuck is here with the kids. My Dad immediately started to struggle to breath and was fighting. As the kids were coming in someone pushed them back in and I was standing at the foot of my Dads been as he was turning grey and all I could think was they were too late. I think he worried for our kids and what they would think seeing him like this and he panicked.
Eventually he did calm down and our kids came into the room to see him. They held his hands and hugged him and said they love him and said their good-byes. It was a hard thing for them to do but they said they did like it that they could see him. Tyler cuddled with him for a bit and then we left. I walked out of the room after saying, “I’ll see you later” with a hug and a kiss. We stood in the hall and I felt an urge to leave. I didn’t want to watch him fight for life I didn’t want the memory of him dying or taking his final breath. At that moment I wanted to run, I wanted to get away I wanted to hit something and wanted an escape from reality.
We went home and I sat at the computer and wrote this. A Eulogy for my Dads funeral.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding
In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.
These are words Dad lived by.
Dad was born September 21, 1935 in Holland. He immigrated to Canada in 1952. He fell head over heels in love with my mom and they were married in this church on April 11, 1958. They had 7 boys, twins who dad is with in heaven. Then later in life surprise a girl. Even though he passed out in the delivery room when I was born it didn’t take long for me to have him wrapped around my little finger.
Dad was an amazing father he was loving, devoted and worried enough about anything for all of us. In his word “belly ache.” Time for him flew by I’m sure all his kids were married and he could finally enjoy retirement. He drove for the cancer society and volunteered at the Bibles for mission thrift store in Sarnia and the local food grain bank. He helped out his kids any way he could. Our family continued to grow with many grandchildren including Dylan who Dad in holding in his arms right now I’m sure and other grandchildren who died before they even had a chance to be born. How neat is that. Also talking and talking and probably taking to his sister and brother in–laws some friends. But most of all He is with our Savior.
Dad had some funny habits any time he wore a hat it was crooked on his head whether it was a barn hat or church hat or ball cap it was crooked. I would try to make it straight and he would say that doesn’t feel right and he would adjust it so it was perfect to him. Also in the farm house when he would read the bible he would open the drawer by his chair close the drawer with his elbow and it would never shut all the way . Then he would check his head for his glasses and have to go to the desk to get them. This happened three times a day. He also loved oranges he would have one almost every night even in his last conversation with mom early Monday morning he let her know he had an orange. Our family is fairly competitive when it comes to sports. Dad never seemed to be real competitive. Like when our family would play in the john knox tournaments he was playing back catcher and would spend more time facing and talking with the people in the stands. It wasn’t until I saw him on the shuffle board court in florida and playing canasta in the trailer. Look out he wants to win. Also golfing at chesley lake and playing pool with his friends. I now see where we all get it from.
All us kids helped out on the farm. We all have great memories with Dad in the barn we learned about new life, death, Some days we learned another language we were to never repeat. We learned how to work hard Especially John who would do 3 things at the same time. I remember dad saying he is going to forget something one of these days. One time my niece michelle was over and mom sent us to the barn on a Saturday morning to help clean out the pens and bed the cows down. Dad sent us into the haymow to gather up lose straw and we threw it down the shoot into the calf pen. We had a nice pile and jumped down instead of going through the barn door. I could see my dad through the other calf pen door shacking straw over the manure in the gutter (b/c even the gutters had to look clean). A light bulb went off and I said to michelle lets jump out of the door and yell, “stick em up” She agreed that could be funny. So out we went. Dad jumped in the air and turned, as the pitch fork was raised in his hand like a spear and he sent in flying in our direction. We both jumped against the wall as that pitch fork fell at our feet and skidded past. We looked at dad as he grabbed his chest bent over a little then walked towards us. I said, sorry he picked up the fork with a smile on his face and got back to work. All the while having four kittens in his coverall pockets.
Dad loved his church community, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. It was always his prayer that each one us would have that personal relationship with our lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He would say to me you are close to your nieces and nephews take care of them. I think this is what he would want me to say to you today nieces and nephews. Trust in the lord with all your heart because life isn’t always easy and we do not always have the answers to the questions we have. Its ok to ask why would God take Grandpa he was doing so well his prayer has always be “thy will be done”. Grandpa would want you all to know he’s just fine and please take care Grandma visit her lots. Lean not on your own understanding. Open your bible read it daily, pray. Find yourselves Christian spouses raise your children in the fear of the Lord. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. You may not always know where you’re going in life or what you’re going to even be doing tomorrow, besides going to church. Know without a doubt God has a plan for your life. Listen to God soft voice allow him to lead you. Your Grandpa always loved seeing all of you it would make his day.
We all took turns holding dads hands in the hospital or praying for him where ever we were. All the while God was holding all of us in the palm of his mighty hand.
For our parents 50th wedding anniversary I had my dad write down a bit of his life story so I’m going to share part of that with you.
As we reflect back we can clearly see Gods Hand in all of our lifes. How we were brought together as husband and wife 50 years ago. For children, grandchildren and a great grandchild he gave us as a gift from him. How we can see that Gods love and care continues from one generation to the next. That same love that we experienced in the past carried on in a blessed married life and in our family. We thank God for the love and support for each other as a family in all the good times but also in the difficult periods. When we really needed each other especially the time when Dylan was take to be with Jesus. Our God our help in ages past is also our hope for years to come ~ Dad.