Like a River Glorious

Like a river glorious, is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth, fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth, deeper all the way.

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do.
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.

I called Dad this afternoon for my daily check-in – saw him yesterday briefly, but we still touch base every day at least once. You know. Neighborly. 🙂 He answered the phone with a smile in his voice. You know the tone – that recognizable lightness that can only come from a released burden or infectious joy. I knew that part of his smile was from today’s weather – it is as glorious as a Wisconsin day can be. Highs in the low 70’s, puffy clouds, no humidity to speak of, and an evening in the 50’s. THE 50’s. It’s spectacular. We earn every one of these days by living here in January and February.

But I digress.

So we talked about the weather, the glories of sitting on his deck and watching the deer, sandhill cranes, and countless species of birds. He then went on to tell of his two mile jaunt this morning. After Dad had his first heart attack in 1977, he became a walking man. Every morning he’d get up, make the coffee, and head out on the 2-mile route – up West Point to Ninth, Ninth to Packerland, and back again – with all appropriate hellos to fellow walkers, MacArthur crossing guards, and friendly neighborhood dogs. I have accompanied him only a few times on this route; this has always been Dad’s quiet time – his chance to find peace and order to face the day.

Through chapters of his journey with cardiac issues, especially over the last 10 years, his ability to manage the two-mile route waned. Too many nitros popped. Too many sore joints. Too many winter mornings of -35 making it hard for the body to warm up. It would take him months to get back to his previous gait and speed – and, the older he got, the harder it got. When he was able to walk at all over the last couple of years, it was about a mile, or less, a couple of times a week, or less. And he missed it. Terribly.

In the 3 – almost 4 – months that Dad has been living in Baraboo, he has been trying to find his gait again. He’s lost weight – 30 pounds or more – over the last year. He’s adjusted to cooking for 1, and he’s adjusted again to the smaller portions that are served at (what he refers to exclusively as) The Home. Dad’s apartment is right on the edge of town, with a lovely sidewalk around the building, that edges right along the woods. Today’s smiling voice told me that for three days now he’s been back to two miles. And he’d like to add more. He sounded so proud when he told me his hips don’t hurt, his legs and feet are back to normal, and he’s not popping nitros like he was before.

Yesterday he told me that he has laughed more in the last 2 weeks than he has in the last year.

This afternoon at the root beer float party [!] he sat at a table of eight that included a woman from the assisted living portion of The Home who is 104. She was in her wheelchair. And somehow, with their straw wrappers, they started a silly game of table hockey that went on. For. An. HOUR. And he said that table of eight, including the 104-year-old, behaved like second graders. And, for the record, they had the time of their lives.

He plays cards – mostly euchre – 5 or 6 nights a week. I played piano for the happy hour over there last Friday and let me tell you, those folks know how to party. It was a riot.

I said, “So, Dad, are you still feeling badly about the high cost of the rent at this joint?”

His reply?

“I am having fun. Every day. I see you and the kids almost every day. I miss your mom every day, but my life is richer than I ever thought it could be. It is the best money I have ever spent.”

And then he had to hurry off. Because it was time for Bingo.

 

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

 

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5 thoughts on “Like a River Glorious

  1. lovely, Lovey…thank you Lord for dovetailing these details…
    BTW My favorite hymn of all time–already in the plan to be sung at my funeral. Hope you can make it, Steph.
    Love, Alice

  2. What an encouraging post! Table hockey with straw wrappers? A laughter-saturated life? Daily talks with his lovely daughter? Time with the grands? This man’s life is truly blessed. Thanks for giving us a peek.

    You know, one of my greatest fears is losing my husband. I find such encouragement in knowing your dad is well after losing his wife.

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