The Recovering Farmer

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


The return from the east coast has been bittersweet, to say the least. We had a wonderful time attending our daughter’s wedding. However, while we were there my mother was admitted to the hospital. Not entirely unexpected. Her hope was that the wedding could happen without her spoiling the fun. She can rest assured knowing it happened. Friday I spent some time with her. I showed her pictures of the wedding. When we were done she asked to see them again. A mere four days later she is gone. Passed on.

It is difficult to sit and watch a parent die. There seems to be so little justice in the process. A myriad of thoughts raced around my head. I recalled various memories as I sat there. Ironically I have been eating a lot of toasted tomato sandwiches. It is that time of year. But I also recall swearing off of those a number of years ago. Whether in my school lunches or later in life when my mother delivered meals to the field when we were combining. She had this thing for tomato sandwiches. Not complaining but I suspect you can well imagine the consistency of a tomato sandwich when it is prepared in the morning, wrapped in wax paper and unwrapped four hours later. Does the word soggy mean anything to you?

Monday afternoon my wife took our kids to see grandma. It was an emotional time for all of them. After the visit they all came down for dinner. I cannot say enough of the support I have felt from my kids and their partners. It is awesome. My wife has been amazing as she has watched me jump from emotion to emotion. Thank God for her support.

I really think my grandson noticed that I was feeling some pain. As everyone was eating I took him outside. We wandered aimlessly in my backyard. He insisted on holding my hand. What a gentle, warm reprieve from all the other emotions crowding my mind.

I reflected on the two very different scenarios. On the one hand we have a life that has come to an end. A long life. Filled with ups and downs like everyone else. A journey that involved various challenges. A mixture of cultures, an attempt at mission work in Mexico, (I screwed that up for them as that is where I was born and because of health reasons they had to return), a move to another part of Manitoba to start a farm from scratch, supporting a husband who really was not into farming and changed careers in midlife, to a life without a husband. The whole gambit.

On the other hand I see new life in my grandson. There are times I wonder about what that life will involve. We live in a fast paced, ever changing world. Then again I suspect my grandparents will have had similar thoughts.

In the meantime, rest in peace mom. I know it was difficult for you to leave. You felt that your kids needed you. You have been a support. A cheer leader as our paths took different twists and turns. As my sister said so well last night, we will be okay. Rest easy and say hi to dad. Make it a good one.

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