“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” ~Revelations 21:1-4
I don’t often write about my Dad. I guess I’m still in some sort of denial. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease the week before Pete and I got married. In the 5 and a bit years since then, his health has drastically declined. He’s got dementia and they believe he has some other neurological diseases that have contributed to how fast he has gone down hill. My Dad was always the big 6’6″ gentle giant. He was my hero (he still is, it’s just different now). He is now confined to a wheelchair as he is a severe fall risk. When he was standing up before, his blood pressure was dropping so low he would pass out. He went in to the hospital after my mom called 9-1-1 when he passed out in March of this year. They transferred him to a car home as soon as a bed was open. So, yeah… seeing your Dad who was always larger than life to you now wheelchair bound and hardly able to communicate has been difficult.
Lily and Maggie really don’t know my Dad any other way. It makes me so sad that they didn’t get to spend time with him before this disease stole so much of his life. I know my older nieces and nephews have memories of my Dad when he was still relatively healthy (looking back now we see some signs that he’s probably been sick for a while). I wish so bad my girls had this!
A few weeks ago after we had visited my Dad, Lily was asking about Pake (this is what my kids call my Dad. It’s Frisian for grandpa) being in a wheelchair. I explained that it wasn’t safe for him to stand anymore. Honestly, it’s been so long I doubt he’d have the strength in his legs to get up anymore. She seemed OK with that answer and we just carried on. Later that day as I was putting her and Maggie to bed she asked if we could pray for Pake to walk again. Talk about breaking my heart!!! She’s so precious and thoughtful sometimes, it just blows my mind coming from a 4 year old. I almost said no, we can’t pray for that, it won’t happen. But, God is the God of miracles and I don’t want to doubt Him or her faith in what God can do! We talked a bit about it and I said that Pake likely wouldn’t walk again until Jesus came back and healed all the sick. We still prayed Pake would walk again, even if it was when Jesus returned.
“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.” ~Malachi 4:2
Earlier this year there was a major bus crash involving a hockey team here in Canada, the Humboldt Broncos (you can read about it here if you don’t know about it). We’re a big hockey family. I have nephews and nieces who play hockey and we were raised on Hockey Night in Canada. Hockey was one of the things that Pete and I instantly bonded over when we first met, although he unfortunately cheers for the wrong team. That’s a whole other story though. Last week, the Broncos played their first game since the accident. I was glued to the TV, it was just so emotional, both sad and happy. Most of the surviving players were there in attendance. A few of them are now paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Lily was watching with me and looks at me (I was probably crying) and says “He’ll walk again when Jesus comes back, right Mom?” Talk about faith like a child. For her to put those conversations we had together, is incredible.
I personally cannot wait for the day I see my Dad and these young hockey players walk again!
“Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” ~Isaiah 40:31