Wednesday, July 1

Missing Dad Klassen - three years ago today.

Three years have passed - in some ways it seems like yesterday - in some ways, it feels like many more years.

Three years - while the Canada Day fireworks began at the Forks - Neil, Mom and I were standing around the bedside of my father-in-law - as he struggled to take his last breaths. It wasn't the easiest thing he did - but in a matter of a few moments - he had passed from this world - to be with the Saviour whom he loved dearly.

The day that we buried Dad - we returned to Neil and Ingrids for watermelon and roll kuchen. Today, three years later, we celebrated with the same thing - as we have done every July 1st since Dad passed away.

I think of Dad K. often - and realized after he left - what a void his passing left in my heart. You see, after my dad went home to glory - Dad K. became someone who spoke wisdom into my life - I don't know if dad realized how important his words were to us.

He was quite the man! I look at my husband and he is so much like his dad - and Josh is so much like Alvin - so Josh obviously carries some of Grandpa K. too! During the time that Dad was getting sicker - I was at home, recovering from my hysterectomy. As I got stronger with each day - Dad got weaker and sicker. My first day back at work was actually my first compassionate day off.

There are things I still hear dad saying - and can imagine him saying those things to our little Jay - as they play in heaven. I love thinking about that - about our little guy running and jumping and exploring with his Grandpa K and Poppa T!

Dad was a hard worker - there was little that he couldn't do. I appreciated how, when I came home late, during the winter months - the woodstove had always been filled so that I didn't have to worry about it.

A few weeks before Dad passed away, he was adamant that I "buzz" his hair - the same way I cut Alvin's - with a number 2. Mom wasn't so sure she wanted him to do this - and me - he wanted ME to do it and I wasn't sure I wanted to take that responsibility - but I did. It was one of many moments that I cherish - as we lived so close, and spent alot of time with Dad during his last days at home.

Three years ago, we said good-bye to an amazing man - Dad loved God with all his heart. He loved Mom. He loved his kids - Eleanore, Alvin, Neil, Ruth and Rick - but he also loved us "in-laws" Ray, Ingrid, Todd, Corinna, and myself. And he saw no distinction. Grandpa was a man who taught many many things to his grandkids - Josh and wife Leah, Gord and wife Janice, Ashley (Mike wasn't in the picture yet) Rachel, Joel, Adrian, Miranda, Jonathan, Daniel, Sarah and Nicholas.

John Klassen - lived a full life - loved to the fullest, right to the end - and we loved him and miss him terribly. Dad, thanks for all you did for me - the first in-law to infiltrate the Klassen family! I miss you - but I am so glad that your arms are also the arms that are holding our Jay!

John H. Klassen - Born Sept. 18, 1928 died July 1st, 2006. Almost 78 years of age.
Absent from the body but present with the Lord - which is far better.
We love you Dad K.

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