My first full day back in Canada Pam and I were up early and off to Cambridge to attend church at Forward Baptist. I know that sounds very devout of us, but actually we had a very selfish motive: our grandchildren were going to be in the nursery because that is where Jon and Nic go to church. I had completely forgotten/was never aware that this was going to be Father’s Day. Whe I went into Ben’s nursery classroom he recognized me instantly, dropped his toy and came running over and gave me the sweetest hug. Then he took my face in his hands and stared me right in the eyes and said “I love you Grandpa.” I just dissolved! That was the nicest Father’s Day gift I could imagine.

Abi was a little more unsure. She had to see Pam first and then looked at me again and allowed herself a shy little smile. Kay Brubacher was in Ben’s nursery and was kind enough to give me a welcome home hug as well. I insisted that we sit in the balcony so I could be close to the nursery, and then excused myself during prayer so I could go and just watch the kids interact with others in the nursery without disrupting them again. It was such a sweet joy to see them again after so long.

After church Brian and Bernadine took us back to their place for a barbeque. It is their daughter Tatum who has been travelling with Jon and Nic in Asia. They are a lovely Christian family and not only fed us a terrific meal, but treated us like old and dear friends. We were reluctant to leave, but while we were there Joe called from the hospital and Pam felt impelled to get back to London as soon as we could.

When we arrived at UH we met Ray on the way out, pretty close to tears. He like many in the family is finding it hard to come to grips with Dad’s situation. There is a lot of denial and a lot of anger, but slowly it is being replaced with acceptance. It is not an easy process, but God is faithful in these things. Upstairs Randy and Sylvia and their three kids were struggling with the same things. It was good to see Pam take charge of the situation, ministering to her Dad’s physical needs and treating him with such loving compassion. It seemed to cheer everyone’s mood, and by the time Lorri and her two boys arrived we were sharing stories that featured our interactions with Dad and the family, and things were noticeably brighter in mood by the time Lawrence arrived.

Dad is in a coma, resting as comfortably as the staff can manage. He is in a ward, but in a somewhat private corner of one so we were able to visit around his bedside. We would go to the cafeteria for coffee and back  up to the room again on a rotating basis and easily put in six hours this way. I insisted that Pam come home and allow others to take the night shift. She objected and was angry with me, but I am willing to engage her displeasure if it ensures her rest. She has been at this for over a month and needs to guard her own health to some extent. I see that as part of my role in this. I have always sought not only to be a good father, but to be a good husband as well.

Advertisements