Thursday, July 1

Remembering Dad K

It was 4 year ago that I was planning to go into the city and spell off I think it was Ruth, who was sitting with Dad, and keeping Mom K. company. Dad was in Riverview, and had been for about three weeks. The night before, he said he wanted to see all of us. We called Alvin and Josh, and they booked off at work and came. Everyone was there. Elleanore and Ray were going to be leaving the next morning back for Calgary. Dad wanted to say a few things.

You had to know Dad. He really was a man of few words, but when he wanted to speak, he wanted to have your attention. It was one of those nights. We huddled in his hospital room and listened as he spoke. Most of us were weeping. It seemed that he knew that he was at the end of his life here on earth. I can't remember even what all he said. But when he was done, he said that was all he wanted to say. Done. Spoken to the kids. I know that later Ashley shared even more time with Grandpa, and it was such a gift to her, I am so thankful.

Alvin and I spent the night there until 3 am. I think Neil may have come then, can't remember that detail. I just remember as we walked to the car, Alvin said he thought that would be the last day, as Dad was getting increasingly weak.

In the morning of July 1st, for some reason I started to write Dad's obituary. I got ready in the afternoon and went in. Shortly thereafter in came Neil. Together we spent the evening with Dad and Mom. Dad had been talking in German for most of the day, and seemed restless.
Just about 10:45 or so, Dad seemed to settle, and we got mom settled in her cot next to his bed.
Neil and I went into the family room, and we were able to hear the fireworks going off. Canada Day celebrations!

Then mom came running into the room and said Dad's breathing had changed, he was going.
We went in, and came around his bed. It was obvious. Death was near. Arlene, the night nurse encouraged us to speak with him as he was going. I told Dad we loved him, and that he could go. Unlike my mom who went very very quietly, Dad struggled as he breathed .... it was so hard.
And then, he was gone. Absent from the body but present with the Lord. He had fought the good fight and finished the race that the Lord had laid before him. July 1st, 2006. Dad K went to be with Jesus.

It in some ways seems like longer, and some ways seems like yesterday. Funny how that happens. With having Mom and Dad as neighbors, our life really really changed. We always expected to see him coming down the path. Alvin who worked closely with his dad, struggled with his loss in a whole other way too.

You see Dad K - was a man of many things. He wasn't overly expressive and yet had begun to express often how much he loved us. He was wise. I remember sharing a few things with him about ministry, and about decisions. He was supportive. He was there to help Alvin build this house 27 years ago, as Alvin was there to help build Dad and Mom's. Dad K. was a pretty silent man - actually I see that in Alvin. YET he was a deep thinker. (The apple has not fallen too far from the tree!) Dad was a hard worker. He didn't need to cut wood for himself, but he sure cut alot of wood for us! When Alvin used to work nights, I would go out to feed the wood boiler and see that Dad (and often Mom) had already been there ahead of me!

Dad was a man of God. Just when he found out he was dying, he began to write his story, and I had the privilege of typing and printing copies for each of us. What a story. I loved reading about his conversion story! Deep, deep unshakable faith. He lived a hard life. Very hard. But he also never talked alot about it, but instead made a good life for himself here for his wife, his kids, kids through marriage, and grand kids.

I miss him. The kids miss him. MOM misses him. That is an understatement. But, as I write this, I can not help but imagine him with Jay. I believe that he knew Jay when Jesus took Jay to Heaven. I believe that although our relationships I think, will be different in heaven (so we aren't jealous) I believe we will KNOW relationships, and thus, I believe Dad K (and my mom and dad too for that matter) recognized Jay even though they had not met him on earth. I know, sometimes that is too mind boggling.

So today, we will gather as we have done since 2006 - and we will remember dad. We will do the "traditional" rollkuchen and watermelon fest and of course talk about Dad, and wish he was still here with us. And Dad, well - he is enjoying time with the Lord - really, what could be better for him. And when I quiet myself, I can hear his voice, and imagine him telling Jay a story, perhaps saying "now young'est" as he used to call the kids.

Dad - you've been gone 4 years. We miss you, more than you know. Love you...
But... it is not good-bye forever - we will meet again!

ps.... for some reason lately, I have had the hardest time posting pictures! But if I could, I would post one of Dad K. He was a handsome man, with a wonderful smile!

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