There was nothing unusual about walking the mile from our house on Arlington to Immanuel on that 1988 January Sunday morning when the air was painful to breath. I thought the ache in my chest was a bit different but there two services and a Bible Class to cover. Friday, I had skied along the Black River and needed to change my ski wax due to warming temperatures. No problem.
Monday morning, I made the church walk again, and again the pain. “I’m think I’m having a heart attack,” I announced. But Cathy Embke and my partner Pastor Bob Reinhardt were busy, and no one paid attention, neither did I. So, after a morning of teaching confirmation etc., I walked home for lunch a slight uphill grade. Across from the Kibbel house I stopped, I thought, “Maybe I should stop at the Kibbel’s for a bit.” But the pain subsided, and I slowly walked the rest of the way. After lunch another walk, mostly on the downgrade, back to church. Once again, the pain. A Member of the congregation was in the office and I asked whether he could give me a ride to the clinic.
Once at our doctor’s office they said, “Sit right there and don’t move.” Eventually I had to move and get to a phone to call home. I told Adam and apparently sometime after Becky got home from teaching at Granton he remembered to come up from the basement and tell Becky, “Dad is in the hospital.”
A week or so later I was having surgery with multiple by-passes. I was 47 years old. Our family doctor came in and asked how I was doing, “Not bad for someone who has had his chest split open with an ax,” I said.
That was thirty-one years ago and two more ax wielding’s with a few stents between 2 & 3.
People tell me that God has things for me to do yet. I wonder what it could be… I read of classmates dying, I wonder, “What is wrong with you people anyway?” To quote my 13-year-old granddaughter who told Becky today, “I’ve sure got a good life.”