It was a typical Alberta November day; overcast, cool, threat of snow. The JD Salesman ( then the JD Farmer:) ) and I decided to take a drive to the city. His Dad and Mom were there having traveled from small town BC to the Foothills hospital. Dad was having more problems with his heart and this was the closest place for treatment.
We went expecting to have a good visit with both of them as they waited for possible surgery. But when we arrived we found Mom sitting alone. Dad was in surgery that day for bypass surgery. So we visited, met people who were also waiting and Mom comforted and prayed with a lady whose husband was also in surgery. The afternoon became long. I was uneasy. Then the doctor came looking for Olive Armstrong. He told her they were having problems, Dad was not breathing on his own. The strength and calm of my mother-in-law is something I will always remember. The doctor said they would try again. Mom said that he wouldn't want to be an invalid, to have half a life. She said she trusted God for him. There was no drama. Just calm.
I have no idea how long it was until the doctor returned and said "I am sorry. We did all we could."
Mom and her eldest son went to see the shell that was once a husband, a father, a grandfather. I will never forget the loud sob that tore through my husband......
In church the following Sunday we sang the song "My Jesus I Love Thee". Later that day Mom said that the line about "death-dew lies cold on my brow" is true. She saw it. She felt it.
Dad was a kind good man who believed he was a child of God not because of anything he could do but because of the grace of God. He lived his life holding to his beliefs and principles of obedience to God. His generosity touched so many lives and Mom told us that when he said he thought they should give to someone she always agreed having learned that Dad heard God when there was a need that should be met.
He never quite recovered from the grief of the accident that took the life of his oldest daughter and her oldest son ten years earlier. Something died inside and he was never quite the same. And yet, a softness moved in, emotions were acknowledged and hugs were accepted more readily.
To me it was a tribute to a good man when our youngest grandson was named Beck Wallace.