Carolyn (Mrs Holt Press) flew to Melbourne on Monday and arrived in Geelong today. Sadly her Mum's health has gotten worse and the outlook isn't very good. While on the phone to me this afternoon there was an emergency call to Mary's room and it appears she has suffered a number of small strokes. She hasn't eaten anything for several days, her tongue is swollen and she has no appetite or desire to eat. There are now several tubes attached to her and she is uncomfortable and distressed. At her age there comes a time when the body's systems start shutting down and isn't strong enough to keep on living. We are hoping and praying that she will recover but I fear she may not last long. I am just so glad that Carolyn got over there in time to see her and be with both her parents at such a difficult time. It has been a pretty emotional time on both sides of the country. Sport Boy was very upset to hear about Granny's deterioration and asked if he could talk to her. I said I didn't know if it would be possible. We all held hands and prayed for her and Grandpa and for Carolyn and the rest of the family this afternoon and again at tea time.
Mary is a lovely lady and she and Alan have been very generous and kind to us throughout our marriage and as we've raised our family. It has been very difficult and stressful for Alan. He turned 91 today and is pretty well both blind and deaf now. We always thought he would be the one most likely to die first as he has had quite serious health problems for a long time, almost losing a leg because of poor circulation many years ago.
Carolyn said she has been holding his hand as they walked to different places at the hospital today and he said "I'm really glad you're here." (They had both discouraged Carolyn from going over when Mary first got sick a couple of weeks ago so she was a bit nervous about how they would react when she arrived.) I had urged her to go as soon as possible and am very grateful that she made it in time to spend what may be her Mum's last last days with her. Carolyn is the youngest of six children, four brothers, Charles, Raymond, Trevor and Alan and a sister who died at birth, Kathleen. I'm sure there will be a joyful reunion of mother and daughter in heaven but one of the saddest parts of the current situation is that Carolyn's brother Alan hasn't had any contact with his parents or the rest of the family for over 20 years and this has been a source of great sadness for Mary and Alan Snr. To be on the verge of dying without having seen her youngest son in two decades is beyond heart-breaking. There was no big fight or disagreement or discernible cause for estranging himself, he just walked out of their lives without saying a thing. He has had incidental contact with 1-2 of his brothers a couple of times over the years but I doubt he has any idea that his mother is gravely ill. I can't think of anything better than if he were to come and see her while there is still time. May God prompt him and move his spirit to that end.
Favourite Daughter and Spike have been arguing and unhappy with one another recently and I said to FD today that while there will always be conflict and annoyances within the family, I couldn't bear it if any of our kids became embittered with their siblings or us their parents. We all do stuff that bugs others but hopefully no disagreement is so severe as to split the family.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
He makes me lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside the still waters
He restores my soul
And leads me in paths of righteousness
For His name's sake
Yes though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil
For you are with me
Your rod and your staff they comfort me
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies
You anoint my head with oil
My cup runs over
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
There is other big news at Holt Press land but it can wait. Everything else pales into insignificance compared to the events transpiring in Geelong at the moment.