Somethings will never change…that’s what people like to say. But the truth is nothing ever stays the same.
Aron Martens, the Father to my husband, Grandfather to my children and Opa to my grandchildren…I have watched him change.
When he was first moved to a care home, He was not sick, he didn’t need all sorts of medication, he didn’t need any type of life support… he simply needed help to do the basic things, necessary things to make him comfortable. He was different and changed. Before the home happened my son brought him out for a visit and we saw him changed…”Mom something is different about Grampa”
When a man changes it is noticed.
Dad was known to all of us as a man with a definite outlook; he was steadfast in his views, holding them tight; whether it was the views of his faith, politics or family life. He was a hard worker, always on the lookout for a job to do, sometimes to make money, sometimes for importance, sometimes just to live. He very often was outspoken, stating his views to the world… not always but sometimes he looked out for the other guy and stepped in to help...
When John and I bought our first farm, on the day of possession we found the house to be unsuitable for living; the floors were sloped, walls were crooked and holes gaped in the foundation. I stopped by to tell him and mom our news, he laughed. But when I told him the devastation of that news to our souls …that very next morning there he stood next to John and my Dad, the three of them working side by side as they undertook measures to resurrect that house, him putting aside everything to help us…I loved him for that!
He was a man of pride and strength, steel and iron…he had a hard knocks life but he also was the father and grandfather of many blessings. Sometimes he didn’t know it, at least he didn’t speak it, but deep inside I believe he always knew it. He was a hard boss, a hard father and a hard husband for most of the years that I knew him… but I saw him change.
When John was dying, he came near and touching him, asked “is there anything between us?’
He asking for forgiveness, a hard thing to say, a hard thing to do…a father changed.
Before John, he lost other loved ones, his grandson, his youngest son, his wife, his brother…more; a lot of loss, a lot of tears…tears soften the soul.
Dad changed, a soul softened, I saw that. I know that.
Once he moved into the home Dad changed again, after suffering a small stroke, his heart softened more, along with his soul. He was sweeter, I don’t think he knew that he became sweeter, it might even have made him mad if he did, but the truth is he became a sweeter soul; he didn’t complain, he simply accepted.
He didn’t know everyone anymore, some he called by the wrong name, some names he didn’t recall at all…but his face lit up when he saw a face he knew. He smiled at remembering something, and sometimes his eyes glassed over and a tear would fall.
He forgot that he could play the piano, no one there even knew that he could…one day on one of my visits, I walked in to hear beautiful music and I thought Dad is getting a treat today someone is playing in the hall, as I got closer I could see people stopped in their tracks; nurses standing, servers watching, visitors admiring, fellow patients listening…and there sitting at the piano was Dad, playing song after song. With my little dog in tow, feeling proud and privileged, I sat on the bench beside him.
He could still play the piano.
As far as I know, he never played again, but that day I received a gift and those that were there listened to a miracle.
I’ve been gone for a time, I wasn’t here when he passed but on the morning before I left, I stopped in to say goodbye, for a while he lay there as if asleep, but when he heard my voice, his eyes fluttered open, his arm reached out, I held his hand and I am pretty sure deep inside I saw him smile…
A man changed…nothing ever stays the same.
One of the places…the only place, I found underlined in my husband’s childhood bible was this…
1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you - who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes… though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
You are there now Dad…a man changed.
Nothing ever stays the same. Rest in peace.