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A Mid-Winter Family Update

It is hard to believe it has been 10 weeks given that Nick went to heaven—10 days since I last FaceTimed your pet, since I last texted him, since I last shared a belly laugh with your pet. He is still the first thing I think about when I wake up each morning and he’s still on my mind as I get to sleep at night. The pain is different right now than it was in the very first few weeks, but while it may be less sharp, it’s believe it or not present. I miss him dreadfully. I miss our own friendship, I miss the conversation, I miss your pet teaching me what he or she was learning at seminary. I miss him individually, but then I also miss the very fact of having a son. Being a father to a son had been one the great joys associated with my life, but a joy that has now been interrupted. I hardly know who I am without a son following excitedly in my footsteps.

As time passes, we have been slowly working our way back into normal life, although normal life is still plenty abnormal by any objective standard. A couple of weeks ago our province was put into comfortable lockdown, but with COVID situations still continuing to rise, we have been placed under stay-at-home orders. Although the government doesn’ t fully define the order, the general rule is “ In case you’ re not sure when it’ s essential, it’ s probably not, so stay home. ” We can shop in the few stores that are open, get takeout food, and exercise, but not much more compared to that. Churches are limited to 10 people per program or per room. Of course Aileen and I work from home and Michaela’s high school is on the internet at the moment, so it’s only Abby who has a job that takes her outside these four walls. And even then, she has only a couple shifts remaining at the grocery store before she actually is due to head back to Louisville, Kentucky and Boyce University.

Which brings me to something I’ve been meaning to say. For many years I intentionally avoided mentioning the names of my children in public settings like this. It seemed like a method to protect them and their own privacy. But after Nick’s death my girls talked publicly at both the memorial service service and the funeral, and their names became well known. At this point they’ve said I could stick with using their names in order to makes sense to.

Okay, so back to Abby who is due to return to Boyce College to consider up her studies again. You may remember that at the beginning of the first semester I traveled straight down with Nick and Abby since at that time the CDC required a two-week quarantine for arriving travelers. That will requirement was later lifted and, for a time, travel became a little easier. However , here at the beginning of the second semester, it offers just become more difficult again. Last week Canada began challenging a negative COVID test for anyone boarding a flight towards the country, which means if we opportunity south, we need to get tested within the 72-hour period before our return flight. Europe still has the two-week quarantine requirement and, to add to it all, there’s suddenly been a huge upswell of social stigma against those who travel—the kind of stigma that is forcing formal apologies, resignations, and firings for having done nothing more insidious than taking a fast trip to Florida. Meanwhile, The united states has also just begun requiring testing for travelers emerging from any foreign destination, including Canada. So it is test before you go, test before you decide to return, then quarantine for two weeks. At least in Canada it has been made clear that the reason for these measures is to create travel so onerous that people just give up and don’t even try.

Still, Abby’s travel is considered permissible and essential by both countries, so she will head lower in a week, Lord ready. Quite needless to say, this will signify something of a test associated with my faith. Letting the girl go will be difficult, and much more so when travel is so quite complicated. At any other time we’d be just a few hours away by plane and just half a day away simply by car. Now, with the property borders closed, with flights reduced to a minimum, with mandatory testing, she’s more like two or three days away. That seems like an eternity when we’ve so recently undergone this kind of trial, but all we are able to do is pray plus trust. While she, too, is a little hesitant, she loves college life and is looking towards returning to her friends plus her studies.

Some people have asked us about Nick’s fiancée, Ryn, whom he was due to marry upon May 8. Ryn continues to be part of our lives and we are very grateful for that fact. Canada is closed to foreigners so she cannot check us out, but we do remain in close contact. I frequently walk into the kitchen to find Aileen and Ryn cooking or baking together by FaceTime. That always makes me smile. The more we get to know the girl, the more we come to enjoy her and to understand why Computer chip set his affections on her behalf. The fact that she’ll never officially be our daughter-in-law is not any small sorrow. Yet we’re sure she’ll always have a location in our hearts and often be welcome in our family.

Michaela, meanwhile, is probably hardest hit by the pandemic as the girl school is shut down, as are all the schools in the state. She has little access to the girl friends (especially those who live far away) and has seen her social life reduced substantially. She’s a very gifted writer, though, and usually spends much of her time tapping away on various writing projects.

Aileen has picked up some of the loose ends the girl had to let go in November. She is back to coordinating the particular preschool program at church, a position that currently involves recording lessons on video clip and sending crafts in order to homes where parents can make them with their children. She and am have often pondered the way the grief of a father differs from the grief of a mother. We are finding there’s distinction and complementarity in suffering even as in joy, in the bad times even as in the good. In many ways she is the chief counselor in our home, therefore commits many hours to working things through with Ryn, Abby, and Michaela. She is proving godly in her sorrow, submitting herself in order to God’s will, even as the girl continues to shed tears every day.

Personally, I feel like I’m doing okay given the circumstances, though I don’t have worthwhile way to gauge it. I’d estimate I’m probably capable of working at about 30% from the capacity I was at prior to Nick’s death. Over time We are slowly incrementing my method up. As I do so, I really hope to begin making progress on the book project that acquired just gotten underway prior to our lives came to a screeching halt. I do have one other book that was completed final fall and is currently moving through the editing and publishing process toward a fall release. I’ll tell you read more about it soon. Then, some, I continue to make the blog our primary work and, some, it is my great pleasure. I’m grateful to you pertaining to reading it.


(Happier days)