Six Years Ago
It seems like only yesterday that mom and dad were here doing what they liked to do – stopping to fish at a lake, in a stream or alongside the road as they made their way across Idaho and the mid-west in that Dodge Sportsman van. You know the one I’m talking about – the green, extended top and fully functioning camper ala-Wilson. As time went on, the camper-van was retired and dad’s Honda Accord was the fishing and traveling car that could take them anywhere.
I think that among a lifetime of struggles it was during their golden years that they truly loved God, each other more (if that’s even possible) and enjoyed each other’s company, separated only by ongoing hospital stays and rehab. There was a time or two that I was able to help them out during my frequent and often short trips from Colorado.
It was the culmination of mom’s mini-strokes and dad’s mobility issues where they depended on each other until it became necessary to step in to insure they retained their quality of life and remained safe.
Although dad was a disabled veteran he never saw himself as having a disability. One time when going before the VA board during his bid to increase his disability rating, when asked what was it that he could no longer do that he used to do?
His answer was truly in Joe Wilson-style: “Nothing! I rototill the garden, water the plants and trees, cut the lawn with a riding mower and stack firewood on my walker to bring into the house for the potbellied wood stove.” His rating increase was denied.
I remember that he and mom both wore a life alert device on a string around their neck. It was that device that summoned the fire department to come rescue him when he tipped over his jazzy scooter in the ditch while watering the garden. (I know because every time I would get a phone call in Colorado from the life alert folks telling me what had happened).
After a year or so with Jered and Barb parking their travel trailer just outside the front door of the folks place it was time to move mom and dad out to Ola. There were obvious adjustments to be made to remodel portions of the house to accommodate the folks, yet they still maintained contact with family and friends usually on Sunday mornings during home fellowship services over at Jess and Diane’s place just down the road a bit.
It is said it comes in threes, so it was 3 years in Ola that mom went to be with the Lord on January 12, 2016. This was really mom and dad’s first real separation and it was hard on him.
I remember getting the email from Jered where dad was able to see angels coming in to minister to mom on the eve of her death. It was a confirmation of dad’s prayers for mom the days and weeks prior.
During mom’s funeral service dad’s Brother Gary Wilson read a scripture and told of an answer to his prayer of words to comfort the family and friends in attendance. He told of a vision where Jesus took mom by the hand and led her to a majestic grand piano where she played unto the Lord as if she were on the greatest stage – heaven. (Something she had always dreamed of doing.)
A few short months later dad moved back into the state Veterans Home in Boise. He had been there earlier for rehab and it was a place where I took mom to visit each day and to play bingo with dad every week.
This time we enjoyed coming to visit, eat meals with dad and of course – play bingo. We tried to keep family involved by hosting family visits for his birthday; for Thanksgivings and Christmas’ so dad wouldn’t think we had forgotten him. He always used to say, why am I here? I’m ready to go and I want to be with mom. Over time we began noticing a downhill slide in his health, especially during our last visit for his birthday in January 15, 2019. But the call from Jered that dad had passed on February 9th was still an unexpected shock to us all. But alas he died in his sleep and was at last with mom and with the Lord.
Do I miss them – YOU BETCHA, every single day! – I am the Real Truckmaster!