June 28,2010

After the meeting on Wednesday my dad seemed to adjust to the decisions that had been made. I spent Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons with him in his room in rehab. You can imagine my shock when my niece called me on Saturday morning to tell me that Grandpa had been moved back to the main floor medical unit and that he was drifting in and out of consciousness.

DAd picture for blogAMy dad went to be with his Lord and Savior this morning June 28th.  I went to the hospital early this morning but then made a terrible mistake.  I decided to go home and have a quick shower and come right back. My phone rang shortly after I walked into my house.  It was the hospital telling me to come right back.  I asked the person calling me if my dad had passed away and she said yes.  My dad should not have died alone.   The hospital staff was well aware that my father was dying yet they did not stop me from leaving.

Not only did my dad die alone this morning but a decision was made by someone that it was time for him to die.  I wonder how many other senior citizens are at the mercy of people who take it upon themselves to decide when that senior should die.

Dad was born on October 10, 1919 in the District of Clearspring on the Reimer family homestead.

On July 1, 1942 he met my mom  and after a short courtship they were married on November 22nd, 1942. They started their married life by living in a Conscientious Objector (CO) Camp in Northern Ontario as dad was conscripted to this lumber camp during the Second World War.  By 1944 they had moved to the Reimer homestead where they raised their family of five daughters.  Dad farmed the homestead for 34 years and also worked land in the Broken Head and Beausejour areas. Over the years to improve his farming skills, dad attended several courses through the Department of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba. When the homestead was expropriated for the expansion of the #12 Hwy he and Mom retired near the Village of Sarto. After a number of years they moved back to the City of Steinbach. He was a devoted husband who learnt to cope as a widower after mom passed on December 2nd 2010.  They had celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary on November 22nd just weeks before her death.  He was a wonderful father  and was dearly loved by his 7 grandchildren and their spouses and his 4 great-grandsons.

Each day Dad  left us with the words  “be kind to others” and he taught us the importance of being grateful for what God had given us.

Dad had a heart for those less fortunate then himself.  It was his sense of social justice that moved him to sponsor water wells in Africa. He was well known across the region for his attendance at auction sales and his love of antiques. He was a volunteer at the Mennonite Village Museum where he helped to tend the animals and demonstrate rope making. He was an avid supporter and volunteer for the annual Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) auction. He also volunteered for Meals on Wheels and left shut-ins with encouragement along with their food.

My dad and I spent many hours talking about the past, the present and the future.  I will miss him very much.

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