This week while we were in the MTC, my Dear Dad had a bad stroke. We’re both entering new territory. The doctors tell us his stroke was massive; the left carotid artery was totally blocked resulting in the stroke being in the left middle coronary artery about 4 cm or the size of a golf ball.
Dad’s been in the hospital since Monday and we are readjusting to his new limitations. He went home last night. He’s not able to communicate much or move much. He turned 89 last month and he told me then he expected to be around for 10 more years. We’re thinking he might make an earlier exit. I love him so much.
We fly to the other side of the world in just a matter of hours. We are packing our bags today for a journey. Dad is preparing too, for his journey Home. What a gift it was to spend time with him last month in Reedley. I’m grateful for the technology that keeps us close. I’m grateful to see and hear whatever words he can spit out. It’s hard to step away right now, but I know it’s exactly what he would want me to do. How will I say goodbye?
“Even though our creator endowed us with this incredible power. . . the ability of the body to heal and repair itself from injury and illness. . . he consigned a counterbalancing gift to our bodies. It is the blessing of aging, with visual reminders that we are mortal beings, destined one day to leave this frail existence. Our bodies change every day. As we grow older, our broad chests and narrow waists have a tendency to trade places. We get wrinkles, lose color in our hair–even hair itself–to remind us that we are the mortal children of an immortal God, with a manufacture’s guarantee that we shall not be stranded on earth forever.”
–Elder Russel M. Nelson, October Conference 1996