Hello, all. Some of you know my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in Nov. 2015. He was given 4 months to live - they said he might see the grass turn green in the spring. He accepted the news with grace and courage and opted to forego chemo or any treatment at all. That was the last time he doctored. He knew where he was going and was determined to live well whatever number of days the Lord granted him. He certainly did that. No rocking chair or moping for him. He not only lived to see the grass turn green, he roped at brandings this summer, worked cattle, shot a bull elk this fall, marked his 83rd birthday and a 60th wedding anniversary in October. He took his last horse ride on October 28th when we moved cattle 6 miles from fall pasture to home, and his last car ride on Thanksgiving. His health failed rapidly after that, but with the help of hospice we were honored and privileged to care for him at home until he ended his earthly journey on Christmas morning.
Knowing Dad's health was failing, Mom had decided not to have a formal family gathering this year. Folks could just come and go as they were able. After he died, one of the granddaughter's quipped, "Grandpa knew just how to get us all together for Christmas."
The memorial service was yesterday. He had planned everything nearly down to the last detail - wanting to see the video and obit ahead of time, wrote down just how he wanted things done, what he wanted sung and read, full military honors (he was a Korean War veteran), and had a couple of grandsons lead the processing ponying his riderless horse.
He made it as easy on us as he could, right up to the last. He never complained. Not once. He was distressed at losing his strength, but he gave us many moments to treasure this past year. The Lord gave us many months when the odds were against us, in light of the prognosis. He was a great example of how to live well in the midst of the "long goodbye." Mom is also a tremendous example of grace, love and inner strength. I can only hope I inherited a few of their traits.
Anyway, that and a preemie grandson's birth in July are the reasons I've been mostly absent. (Grandson is doing well now.) I have quilting projects lined up.