Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday morning, August 12, 2013 at 07:25

Day 36

Scene from August 12, 2006 - Left to right: Dad, Mom, Kimberly and Sharl
Today is Kimberly & Sharl's 7th wedding anniversary. At times it is hard for me to believe that seven years have passed since their wedding. 

Today is also Mrs. Coats' 86th birthday and she still seems to be going as strong as ever. I know this is not really the situation, she has her own heart and health problems, but she does enjoy life anyway.

Tomorrow will mark my mother's 79th birthday and I am certain that she will be passing that day alone, completely unaware that the day is her birthday. Dad may or may not remember but he is unable to go to visit. Alan will not be able to go and I do not expect that Kathy is able to make a visit in the middle of the week. Most likely Ted will not remember and I am unable to travel very far right now. We cannot even call and talk to Mom because she is too far gone to understand what a telephone call is. Alzheimer's Disease is a horrible disease! What else can I say or write about that affliction that is like a curse?

As I write, I wonder if Dad is now headed down that same road - it is as if he does not really care about life and living anymore. I shall not criticize him because I do not know what pain and misery he has to live with and live through each day.

I can very easily say that life is not fair so far as my parents are concerned, but I can also look back over the years that God has given me and then see that God has truly cared for my parents. God has always provided for their needs, even at this time through their afflictions these last years.

"The eyes of all look to thee, and thou givest them their food in due season. Thou openest thy hand, thou satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
(Psalm 145: 15-16)

I cannot ignore or deny the truth of God's word. The evidence is always before me no matter what the circumstances are.

Five weeks ago this Monday I woke up in the Cardiac Care Unit at the hospital and I felt okay - not perfect - but I was not in pain really. I was alone and lying in bed, wondering what my future would be. I had survived the first night and the surgery had cleared the blockage in my artery. I was also aware that God had spared me and had allowed me to see the daylight of a new day dawning. I was filled with gratitude - a profound feeling that I had not known or remembered since reading Kie's letter telling me that she would marry me - that Saturday in November 1978 was a long time ago.

Anyway, that Monday five weeks ago I was able to get up and out of bed and sit in the chair. Later that day I was also able to go to the bathroom on my own. This may not seem like anything to a healthy person, but I was able to do these without pain or difficulty in spite of my heart attack and stent surgery less than 24 hours earlier. I was truly astonished by how well I was feeling - and all that was accomplished without pain medications. God had really restored me; not just let me live. Again, I do not know how to thank God for his mercy - I am incapable of thanking God. This really bothers me. I am incapable of any more than using my mouth to say thank you. God's grace was given because of his love and compassion upon me - there is no other reason that I can claim or state.

On Saturday Kie and I spent several hours riding on the Lakeshore GO Trains. This is the so-called "longest" activity I have done since July 07. And all went well! We started at Clarkson and travelled to Union. After some walking around and going up and down some flights of stairs, we boarded another train and rode to Aldershot. We turned back there, rode to Clarkson and then drove home. We were gone about four and a haff hours and I was okay - no problems on the stairs or with walking around. I did use the elevator at a few locations when we were pressed for time. I did enjoy riding the trains - after all, we had watched and photographed trains at Ellengale Park all week - and again Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Yesterday we went to church, to the Meeting House. Tim and Anita called and invited us to go with them. Afterward we stopped in at David's new home and met up with Kimberly, Kiera and Jonah. Sharl stayed at home. Ben and Catherine came over later. 

August 11, 2013, relaxing outside on the deck at David's new home. Left to right: Ben, David and the Oddblock Station Agent

The one big news even that I should have written about at first I almost forgot - Winnie told us that she is pregnant! She tested positive on the test - no studying either! I am sure that David and Winnie are excited about this news. I am hoping that all will go well for them and that they will become parents. I am also hoping to still be around to see the new addition to our family. All we can do is hope and trust in the God of Israel, the God who gives us life and gives us each day that comes.

In a few moments I shall pause.  I am wondering about what to have for breakfast but I am not very hungry right now. I haven't even got washed yet. I am pondering today and what to do with these hours that are before me. Can I go out and cut the grass in the front? Or should I just leave that for Kie to do? I don't like leaving the work for her to do. I'll have to think carefully before doing anything unusual or too strenuous. I may feel okay but I truly do not know if I am okay inside - but I think I'm getting there!

The Oddblock Station Agent

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Friday morning, August 09, 2013 at 07:14

I have not written anything in the last few days simply because there was little to write about. Anyway, I continue to do okay but I become nervous every time I feel something not right inside me... and ends up being nothing.

Verses in the Bible tell me to have courage and not to be afraid, but in truth, I am at times afraid and lacking in courage. I would be a liar if I said any differently. That aside, I do trust God's word - I can say that because I am here today. God has given me another day of life and I am here to thank him.

On the next page (above here) is the plastic bracelet from the hospital that I was in last Friday night and Saturday. The bracelet serves as a reminder that human help is available to me, and I am grateful that help is there.

"If anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day."
(John 12:47-48)

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of your own doing, it is the gift of God - not because of works, lest any man should boast."
(Ephesians 2:8-9)

Although this passage in Ephesians refers to the spirit, I can say that I was saved from physical death and restored by God's grace. I can assure anyone that surviving my cardiac arrest was not in any way of my own doing! I was powerless to alter the outcome and I have earlier said and written about that. I certainly cannot boast about anything that happened.

If my heart is heavy at any time, then it is because I do not know how to thank God for his mercy upon me. I cannot repay God for restoring life to me - I can never do anything except to say thank you, and this seems too little.

These last few days that I have been home alone I have tried to stay quiet and have done very little. I did a minimal amount of writing but that too can be physically tiring. Inspiration has been dry, but that is a normal response from being idle. I am idle to try and recover.

On Wednesday I did drive again. Tim came over and he accompanied me as I drove to the medical center and then back home afterward. That was trouble-free and without any lack of confidence - in other words, driving seemed the same as before my heart attack. I have not been out again but Kie was talking about going to Michael-Angelo's this evening to buy some things we may need.

I do not have any particular plans for today but I am wondering if I should post more stuff on my blogs as time and inspiration permit. I'll see how this day unfolds before me.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Tuesday morning, August 06, 2013 at 07:47

(The road to recovery can have many pot-holes and detours. These ramblings were my thoughts and feelings as I lived through those days and event.)

The previous entry was last Friday morning but of course that does not mention what occurred later in the evening. Late Friday night I began having chest pains that just would not go away. I tried taking that nitroglycerin spray but that did not seem to help. I was also getting very nervous and shaking - yes from fear of something about to happen. Anyway, Kie and I went out and walked around the block so I could calm down and try to relax. I felt better but the pain, not severe, would not go away.

After another half hour of waiting and no change, I decided to call Telehealth Ontario for their advice on what to do. In the end they said go to the hospital by ambulance and they made the call to 911 for me. Help arrived shortly and the paramedics were quickly checking me out. Tests were inconclusive and I agreed to go to the hospital. On arrival at the hospital I was parked in the hallway along with several others who were waiting to be admitted and seen. At some time after 02:30 I was finally admitted and moved elsewhere to wait to be seen.

Eventually I was examined and had some tests done. As Kie and I waited and sat up all night, my pain was intermittent but persistent, showing no sign of going away. Between 05:00 and 05:50 - the "Patients-in-process" waiting room (my name for it) had a large clock to watch - the pain was constant but never severe, more a nuisance than anything else. I was uncomfortable only because the pain would not go away and I was wondering what the possible cause was. Around 06:00 I had to go for an X-ray and had to get up and walk. That actually helped and made me feel better. After the X-ray, I felt better for the next hour, but the pain came back again.

Around 08:00 I was seen by another doctor and then informed that I was going to be admitted to Cardiology and moved upstairs. All along I was hoping the problem would be fixed and then I would get sent home. The doctor on duty wanted me to be examined by a cardiologist, only because I had a heart attack 4 weeks earlier.

I was eventually moved upstairs and into a hospital room in Cardiology - mostly for observation. All this time the intermittent pain continued without any change. I actually felt okay otherwise, and moving around was no different than before all this started. I would feel better when I would have to get up and use the bathroom.

Just after 13:00 the cardiologist came in and he said that he as certain that the cause of my chest pain was not heart related. He said he could not advise me what the cause was, but he was convinced it was not heart. I was happy to hear that news but the pain did not go away. The cardiologist informed us that all the tests done came up clean and showed no signs of trouble. My symptoms were not matching up to heart trouble. Walking around should have been having the opposite effect - causing more pain instead of less. In the end, the cardiologist wanted to send me home if I was okay with that.

Getting discharged from the hospital took almost 4 hours. Tim had come over before 13:00  and I was feeling bad that he was waiting around for me to be released.

That intermittent pain continued through the weekend but has decreased. I am feeling okay aside from the annoyance and constant reminders. This morning as I sit and write I have been okay since I got up. I was remembering that the cardiologist thought the pain could be stomach-acid related - having gas come up does relieve the pain but it never goes away. I can live with this if this is the cause of the discomfort.

What were my thoughts and feelings through Friday night and Saturday?

Psalm 4:8 and Psalm 8:4 - but I did wonder what was going to happen. I did pray for rest and restoration. I cannot say that my faith was not shaken - it was shaken - and only by what was a slight breeze - but I did not feel abandoned. God did not make any promise that is not already written in the Bible. God did not speak to me that I can claim to have heard him. I know only this: God is faithful in his word that has been given. That is enough.

Yes, I was happy to leave the hospital and to be able to leave the hospital. I was also mindful of those whom I saw downstairs during the night, and some of those same people were also being moved into Cardiology. I cannot say why I was permitted to go home and why they may not be able to. I can only acknowledge God's compassion upon me and to ask God not to forget the others. Human suffering will never end. I am mindful that another day awaits me in the future - this is what God has said - but I also know that Jesus has promised life afterward - and that is my hope. This is all that I have to hold on to. Jesus has been there and knows.

"And if you forget the Lord you God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you this day that you shall perish."
(Deuteronomy 8:19)

This verse is recorded as a reminder to me, that I may never forget that the God of Israel is my god; my life, and my salvation through the One that he sent to bear my sins.

I have written more than usual, but the weekend that passed was far from usual or routine.

On Sunday morning Kie and I went to church with Tim and Anita. We have gone there 4 Sundays. We have gone because Tim and Anita are the only ones who have asked us if we want to go to church - I cannot drive yet. I have gone to worship God out of gratitude for restoring my life to me .

Sunday afternoon and evening Kie and I finally got to see David & Winnie's new home. They have a beautiful and large new home; they have known God's favour and blessing. My wish is that they never turn from God or forget that all they have been given is from God.

Afternoon, August 04, 2013. Enjoying a happy gathering in the back yard at David & Winnie's new home.

Yesterday was a quiet day at home. Kie and I went out twice for a walk to Ellengale Park and both times we did not see any trains. That was okay. Later in the afternoon Kie cut the grass while I looked on - supervised that is. I am not able to do that task right now. She only cut the back and that was enough. Most of the holiday Monday was spent resting. Again I was feeling that intermittent pain through the day - an annoyance at the most, but a constant reminder of my own fragility. This is the reality of my new life.

I am grateful to see this new day and to welcome it; to be able to record these words and paragraphs. As I have written many times these last few weeks, life is a gift that comes from God alone. I am grateful for this gift even though I know that one day he shall take it back and I too shall join my ancestors. I shall enjoy today and accept knowledge of the concept of tomorrow. Yesterday is gone so I cannot do anything about that.

"In him was life, and that life was the light of men."
(John 1:4)

We truly live in a very dark world, but the darkness has not overcome the light.

With gratitude to God for this day.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Friday morning, August 02, 2013 at 06:54

Kie has already left for work and I am just up out of bed. I feel a bit sleepy but I was awake at 05:30 and had to get up. I am grateful to see the start of another day.

"And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life?"
(Matthew 6:27)

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day."
(Matthew 6:34)

I have been thinking about these two verses because I have experienced some anxiety these last two days. There were a few instances when I did not feel 100% well and I was feeling some slight discomfort and sensations inside my chest and neck. Of course I automatically wonder if more troubles are ahead. The worrying does not change anything or make the discomfort go away. Reality is that I do have a heart problem and I am on a long road to recovery from the heart attack. I am no different from anyone else going through the same. 

In front of me as I write is a collection of pill bottles and packages. These were not here a month ago. Now I have to take these medications and assume that they will do me some good as I try to recover. Life cannot go back to the way it was.

God has restored me from the edge of death - why am I fearful about the next minute? That same God who gave my life back to me will also uphold me. I have no guarantee for tomorrow or the next day after, but I have faith that God has granted me more time here before he does take me away. I do not want to live in fear of tomorrow. I want to live in hope and gratitude for today, and for every extra day I have been given.

I read through the last chapters of John, about Jesus' last days and hours here on earth. I do not understand the injustice of that time, but I also realize that I do not understand the injustices of the time I live in. I am no different from those who crucified him. I am no better and no different. I have hope though and only because of God's grace, and not because of anything I have said or done.

Yesterday I did a small amount of woodworking in the shed but I did not use any power tools. I did some sanding by hand, did some filling with wood filler, and then later did some more sanding by hand. After that I took all those items into the basement, coated them with linseed oil and then wiped them down. Maybe later today I shall go and check on those and see if they are finished. 

Like my heart did, everything else in life stopped so far as I was concerned. In death, everything about us ends when our life ends. That is reality.

Anyway, I am looking forward to resuming woodwork and making more blocks and sawdust. I do not know for what purpose, but I shall be grateful to continue if I can continue. Life is truly an amazing gift from God, and being able to do what we can do is a wonder. I praise the God of Israel with thanksgiving and gratitude - and this I know is right!

I have since washed up, eaten breakfast and cleaned up the kitchen. Now I am sitting in the back on the deck and enjoying the cool of the morning with a cup of tea.

Earlier, I looked back at what I wrote in the first entry of this new volume, back on July 02. I was surprised to re-read that verse I had quoted, Psalm 4:8. My writing on that day, like every day when I write, only reflected what I was thinking and feeling at that particular time. I was surprised that I chose that verse and wrote what I wrote - now that I can look back and see what happened afterward. God truly did let me dwell in safety when I lay down and slept.

Today is a nice, comfortable, sunny day - really just one of those beautiful summer days. The weather forecast calls for clouds later and then some rain. That is good too. All that grows needs water. After tonight, the rain is supposed to pass and give way to comfortable weather for all 3 days of this holiday weekend. I don't really know what tomorrow will bring but a beautiful weekend will be good.

I am not sure what I shall do today - or should do today, but I shall be mindful of God's favour, that he has let me see this day and be a part of it.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Wednesday afternoon, July 31, 2013 at 15:00

Today is the last day of the month and I suppose that means that summer is about half over. I suppose saying that this was one of the most unusual months in my life would be a bit of an understatement. This could very well have been the month that my life ended. It did not though and solely by God's grace and timing of events.

For later
At this particular moment in time I am sitting outside on the deck under the gazebo. This is what I had wanted to do that Sunday evening on July 07, but that did not happen. Life suddenly changed. The only difference right now is that I don't have that cold beer that I wanted, and I am probably more grateful to God now that I would have been had I been here on the 7th's evening. Catastrophic events do place life into perspective rather quickly.

Not much sawdust made here these days
My recovery seems to be going well but this week I have at times found the time of idleness to be long. Rest is an important part of my recovery but I am feeling some impatience in wanting to do other things. I know I cannot rush. Earlier I wanted to go in the shed to do some wood turning but Kie was insistent that I wait until after she comes home. I may not want to do that later - wood turning that is. 

I did not go for a walk last evening and I did not go anywhere today. Too much time has been spent in front of the computer. Yes, I know that working on our investments is important, but that is not all there is too life. 

What's next ??
Quite a few hours have been spent on reading stuff and just as many hours have been spent on writing. Since I came home from the hospital, I was able to complete a new chapter in my fiction story. A six month break was in between chapters because I was not able to come up with ideas to write. Anyway, some progress has been made. I did also manage to write a few paragraphs about my heart attack and the surrounding events. That and a few photos were finally published on one of my blogs. I could do more writing if I would just sit down and focus on incomplete stuff. It all requires time but it has to be done at the right time.

What I don't know but wish I could know is how much time God has given to me. I have asked to live to see 50 years of marriage to Kie and to reach 80 years - I have written about this already - but I do not know what God's answer is. What I do know is that I am here now today, and I am truly grateful to be here. I am happy and content with my life because I see God's kindness and favour toward me. I do have some things I need to attend to and I am thankful for this chance to get them done.

Beckonings from Maine!
September is not far away and I am still wondering what to do about the vacation we have planned for the third week. As usual, Kie and I have are planning to go to Maine and New Hampshire, but right now I don't know if that will be possible. I am convinced that I should be well enough to go - and able to drive that trip, but in the back of my mind I question the wisdom of making that journey. 

I do know this: life is unpredictable and nothing I do or don't do is going to forestall any events. When those days come, I should just rejoice, praise God and enjoy each day. Nothing is certain in this life except that death will come. God's power and life are also certain, because he has given me life both physically and spiritually. I don't know what is after life, and beyond the darkness of death, but God has promised us life. I cannot claim to have seen or heard anything unusual on that July 7th, but I do know that God restored my life.

Rain has come and it is time to go inside and check on the closing of the markets.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday morning, July 29, 2013 at 06:54

"And immediately he received his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God."
(Luke 18:43)

This verse of course refers to a blind man who's sight was restored when he cried out for mercy. Jesus heard him a restored his sight.

Dr. Fussy to Grandpa: Don't worry! You're in good hands - I can see them!
In my case my life was restored. I was not able to cry out - I didn't even know that I was a dead man and that my life was ended. God had compassion upon me and restored my life. I am truly humbled and amazed when I think about what occurred on that day. God spared me. I had nothing at all to do with that. I had no control and no say on whether to fight to stay or let go and pass away. I had no ability to decide or do anything. God held my life in his hands as he has always done. Life is a gift that we are powerless to control.

This morning I will have to go for a blood test to have the I.N.R. level checked. Last week was high at 4.2 and I had to stop taking the warfarin for two days. Back on again last evening at 3 mgs. Tomorrow all that may change depending upon today's blood test result.

In the last few days - a week maybe - I have been sending e-mail updates to Alan and he has been showing these to my father to read. Seems as if my father is more interested in reading those messages than talking with me on the phone. The challenge to me is to find things to write about. Also, the sent messages become a record of what has been going on.

Anyway, I should get washed up and then have breakfast so that I'll be ready for whatever time Tim will be ready and able to take me for the blood test. Next Wednesday I should be able to drive again, and then routines will change back to more the way they were, including taking Kie to work.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Friday morning, July 26, 2013 at 07:58

Another day has come and I rejoice that I am able to see it. God has surely been gracious to me.

Last evening I was not feeling too good and I was not sure if the periods of discomfort were indigestion or heart related. I did feel a few spasms of pain but gas relieved those. I suspect that indigestion was the cause. I slept well... really well for about 6 hours... and for me lately that is an improvement. Kie continues to tell me that I am not snoring at night. This morning the scale informed me that my weight is down below 180 at 177 lbs. I have lost weight since Kie was away in March, and this weight loss was not from trying.

"The years of our life are threescore and ten, or even by reason of strength fourscore; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone and we fly away."
(Psalm 90:10)

Last week when I was praying, I asked God to let me live long enough to see 50 years of marriage with Kie and 80 years of life. Whether or not God will allow me these many years is not for me to decide but this is what I have asked for since I came home from the hospital. Whatever the number of my days, every day is a gift.

Yesterday I put up that towel rack that I made to go in what was Kimberly's room. That was the last thing, or one of the last, I made before this heart attack struck. Anyway, not much work was involved in getting it on the wall but I felt tired nonetheless just from that small amount of activity. I was not expecting that. Later on, Kie and I walked over to Ellengale Park again to watch trains, and this time I was not tired out... so I felt better about that.

I feel okay but I guess inside is not right. A return to wood working should probably wait until next week.

"The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made."
(Psalm 145: 8-9)

These words are true and I know from looking back over the years of my life... not just these last 3 weeks.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Thursday morning, July 25, 2013 at 06:58

Another day has been granted to me and I rejoice with a grateful heart. Already I have been out for a short walk to the mailbox and to wait at the bus stop with Kie. Following that I put out the garbage. This may not sound like much and certainly not exciting, but I am thankful to be able to do these things. Others cannot. I could have been dead and gone now... and then what? 

God has been gracious to me to extend my life and grant me a good recovery.

Yesterday would have been my grandfather's (MacDonald) birthday if he was still here. I remembered that detail yesterday. Alan posted a photo last week... taken in 1968, the year my grandfather turned 80. I think it was his actual birthday when the photo was taken. Hard to imagine that 45 years have passed since. The passing of time just does not stop. 

These days I look ahead to the future and hope to see a tomorrow. I cannot lament the past or dwell there. God has reminded me of that. I only have this present moment and a hope for tomorrow - and with these I live in gratitude.

Yesterday was also my class session (early discharge) at the hospital, mostly to learn about changes to make and to get ready for the cardiac rehab part. I think what was surprised me the most was the young man... 32 years old... and already he had a heart attack and a stent put in. He's an active, fit person too! I'm in this situation from living without much thought about what I ate or how I looked after my health. I'm rightly here by poor lifestyle choices and I was not immune from the consequences... I don't ask, "Why me?" because I really know why.

Nonetheless I have been given this second chance to remain here longer.

This morning I am supposed to go for another blood test to determine my I.N.R. and the dosage level of warfarin I have to take. Awful stuff that is, but maybe it is helping me to stay healthy and clot-free inside. Only God knows.

In these days of having to remain quiet and curtail some activities I have done some writing. I was able to break out of that block and continue with the next chapter in my fiction story... and it is moving along again. I don't really know if anyone reads that stuff... it is all on a blog... and too many hits are from search engine groups and not those who would be curious enough to read. Anyway, the blog gives me a paperless means to write and form the story. The internet provides me with pictures to use to illustrate some scenes. I think it is an interesting means to use.

I should get washed up and ready so I can eat breakfast before David comes to take me to the clinic.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday morning, July 23, 2013 at 06:55

Today is day 16 since my heart attack and again I have awakened to see the beginning of a new day.

This last Sunday I was able to go to church because Tim and Anita called to ask if we wanted to go and if I was able to go. I wanted to go - to worship God, but I do wonder about how much of a church service is really about worshipping God, or if more is about everything else except.

"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." 
(John 4:23-24)

On the surface this may sound simple enough, but now as I become older, I wonder, what is genuine worship in spirit and truth? How do we really know what this is and whether or not our worship of God is true and acceptable to God?

Anyway, I do thank God for this new day and I am truly grateful for this second chance to remain here for a while longer. If nothing else, I truly discovered and confronted the reality that I can do nothing at all about my life. I could do nothing to stop, slow down or prevent my going. In the same way, I was completely powerless to do anything at all about keeping my own life and mortality. When I was revived and understood what was going on, I could only call out to God to let me remain; to save my life while I was in that ambulance.

"But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord save me." Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him saying, "O man of little faith, why did you doubt?"
(Matthew 14:30-31)

I was no different from Peter. I was already deep in the water and without hope. I cried out to God in my utter helplessness and that same Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught me. I cannot tell you why he heard my cry and saved me  - he just did. That same Jesus we read about had compassion upon me for no special or deserved reason I can claim. He just had compassion upon me.

Before all this occurred, I was beginning to think that I was old and most of my life was gone - and all of this is true - but I was also beginning to think that nothing was new and nothing was exciting any more. I was an old man already!

God woke me up!! 

Every day is a gift. Yes, most of my life has passed; my youth is gone; I am going to get older - but so what? Every day is new and that in itself is the wonder of life, the gift of life. I welcome each day with gratitude, but I am also aware that each new day may also be my last. I live more acutely with this reality - so I strive to remember to thank God for each new day instead of just taking it for granted.

"Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the City of David."
(I Kings 1:10)

This may seem a strange verse to quote, but it was just like sleep when I went into cardiac arrest at the hospital. I was just talking to Kie and then was gone in an instant - just like falling asleep - only nothingness, not even awareness - just gone.

Coming back was like clawing back from a very different darkness and seeing light, which is life. Jesus is the light and in him is life. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome that light.

Last evening I went out for a walk with Kie. We went to Ellengale park and I walked up that hill to the top. On the way down we watched a train - CPR's Expressway. I was feeling tired out when we came home - perhaps I went too far too soon. Before, walking there and back was nothing. Today, reality is a different story. I am confronting a very shortened stamina, probably from the heart damage. But I am glad I went. The weather was just right for walking - and I was really hoping to see that particular CPR train.

Time to stop here and get ready for today. With gratitude to the God of Israel for this new day!

The Oddblock Station Agent.

Sunday morning, July 21, 2013 at 10:04

For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord who has compassion on you." (Isaiah 54:10)

Day 15 and I was still here to see the dawn and arrival of another day. Two weeks have now passed since my heart attack and today it seems as if that has passed as a dream. I am grateful to God to be here.

"And the Lord heard your words, when you spoke to me; and the Lord said to me, "I have heard the words of this people, which they have spoke to you; they have rightly said all that they have spoken. Oh that they had such a mind as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and their children for ever!"
(Deuteronomy 5:28-29)

A people whom God had heard because their hearts were right with God when they spoke to him. God telling us his desire and a wish for his people to obey his commandments.

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments." 
(John 14:15)

These are the same words spoken by Jesus to those whom he chose. God's desire does not change because God does not change.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Friday morning, July 19, 2013 at 07:05

No studying required either.

Again I am here to see another day of life; I am grateful to God for this day. 

Yesterday I did not write but I do not usually write every day. What I did not remember at any time during yesterday was that a week earlier I came home from the hospital. This past week at home was quiet and uneventful so far as my recovery is concerned, but I did have moments when I felt some twinges of tightness on my neck and chest, and also in my back, but certainly nothing to be alarmed about. I suppose it is normal to feel some uneasiness at every slight difference. Anyway, I am still here and doing okay.

Yesterday morning I had to go for another blood test and I was back home in less than 30 minutes. Hard to believe but that place was empty. That brief trip out was also the only excitement in what was a very quiet day at home. 

I am inside and quiet, hiding from the heat and the world. Maybe I should go out and mail something just for the exercise that I need and I'm supposed to do. At least I like the idea.

The Oddblock Station Agent

Wednesday morning, July 17, 2013 at 08:55

With gratitude for the visit from dear friends, with timely words of needed encouragement from one who has traveled along a similar road.

Today is already very warm and humid; already quite uncomfortable to be outside and it shall only become warmer as the day progresses. I was sitting outside for about 10 minutes but the humidity was too high for my liking. I have noticed that the air conditioning has been running quite a bit more  than usual this morning

Yesterday afternoon I had a spell when I did not feel too good... dizziness and lightheadedness... and resting did not seem to help. I sat in the basement for a while and about an hour later I was feeling better. I expect there will be more days like this.

"For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I will help you"
(Isaiah 41:13)

And I know these words are true because God has spoken them... and I have lived them.

Yesterday was Winnie's birthday and last evening we had a house full of visitors. David used our home to celebrate with Winnie's family. All went well and I was okay the entire time. I was doing that resting in the basement when everyone came.

Again, I am grateful to live to see one more day. I do not know what I shall do today. I do not really know what I can or cannot safely do. I do have to admit to feeling a bit useless, but the hot weather forces me to rest and stay quite

The Oddblock Station Agent

Tuesday morning, July 16, 2013 at 06:57

This of course depends entirely upon what the questions are.

"Then Jesus said, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return to give praise to God except this foreigner?" And he said, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."
(Luke 17:17-19)

Jesus healed this man of leprosy; the same as restoring life to him. God restored my life to me and I am grateful for a second chance. I am a gentile, yet God's compassion is upon me.

Kie went to work a few minutes ago and today will be my first day at home alone following my heart attack. Kie is very nervous about leaving me here alone, but I am not afraid. The same God who restored my life also holds my life. I know he holds my life and cares for me. Nothing will happen to me without his consent. Again, I am not afraid.

Today is also Winnie's birthday and her birthday will be celebrated here because David and Winnie have packed up their stuff to move. The weather forecast is for hot today, so I expect that we won't be outside very much.

Yesterday I saw my family doctor for my follow-up and he said what he heard (through a stethoscope) concerning my heart was good. He actually seemed surprised, so I take this as a good sign. The visit took longer than I had expected, and at first I was going to walk from the medical center to Tim's house, but it was too hot. The doctor also advised me against walking in this heat.

Tim came and picked me up and we had lunch at his home... and also spent some time talking. I got to see the over-the-stove fan Tim repaired and I am happy that I was able to cut some wood for him to use in that restoration.

Yesterday afternoon I had a rest and fell asleep. I had not planned to sleep but I did. Kie said I snored a bit but not like I did before I had the heart attack. She also said that I do not snore much at night; this is one change that she has noticed.

A moment ago I weighed myself and I am certain the scale was reading 178 lbs, which is the lowest I have weighed in quite a while. I hope I read that correctly. I'll have to ask Kie to check later - I had a problem to see the numbers and lines clearly.

I do not have any plans for today but I do know that I shall have to be somewhat quiet and hide inside. Outside is already +26C and the expected high will be around +32C. Anyway, I shall also check on the markets later, which I usually do... and maybe spend a bit more time reading.

The Oddblock Station Agent