listed the things we were thankful for, and as we all thought about a future without Dad in it.
Here is a picture from last year, as we sat out on the patio watching Gerrit deep fry the turkey.
Last year Dad came with his walker, this year he was in his wheelchair. Last year he could still talk, this year his computer did the talking for him. Last year he could still eat well, this year he still could eat - its just a lot longer, slower process. Food has to be cut very small, he has to chew for a
long time, and as his friend Ryk said, "He is getting used to eating cold food" because it takes so long to finish a plate. Dad could be fed exclusively through his G tube if he chooses, but he has so few pleasures left - and Mom's pies are worth the effort it takes Dad to eat!
The weather was cold and windy and so we didn't spend a lot of time outside this year, or do our traditional family hike after dinner as Dad wouldn't be able to participate. Instead we set up the projector on the wall in the living room and looked through old family photos. This has become a truly precious pastime - the kids love it! We go through old fishing pictures, trips to the cottage, birthday celebrations, baby pictures and laugh at funny outdated haircuts and clothing styles (love the ruffled shirt and huge bow tie on your wedding day Dad!!)
Dad had two girls perched on his knees in the wheelchair for the show :)
I am thankful for my family and friends. You all do so much to help and care for me. I love you all very much. I pray for you all by name, for your marriages, your businesses, for your church and pastor every day. My hope and desire is that you would all be faithful in your love and service to the Lord.
Everyone had something to share. There are so many things to be thankful for - its hard to pick just one! This year what I was most thankful for is God's Sovereignty. I have been so comforted with knowing that our God is all powerful. That he controls everything from the rain and the stars and the sunset and the seasons, to the smallest detail of our everyday lives. ALS is not out of his control. Our heavenly Father is in complete control of this situation too - and we can know, as believers, that he is working even this horrible disease for our good! Dad and Mom and I have been reading a book by Joni Erickson Tada on Sunday nights, about Suffering and Gods Sovereignty. There is a pendulum of ideas about suffering and God. Some people think God sits on the side, sad about these bad things that happen to us and it seems that He wishes they didn't happen to us. Our God is so much stronger than that! Other people believe in faith healing, as though if we just prayed hard enough or believed hard enough we would be cured. That puts such a terrible burden on people that God never intended. I am so thankful that we can just rest, knowing He is in control of everything. He is able to heal, and will if He
thinks it's for our best, and if He doesn't heal, then even though it may be hard to know why, that too is for our best!
raised with the same sure confidence. That our God is good. All the time. That our God is able. All the time. And that our times are in His hand - not one of us, who believe on Him, will be snatched from His hand.
When Dad was first diagnosed and our family was still in quite a state of shock at the idea of Dad dying, Rev. Procee reminded me that God will KEEP us… and He has!
We have so much to be thankful for, but most of all, we have our God. When those around us say "Why?" and have no hope and no answers to life's hard questions, we do! I am so thankful for that!