Wednesday, August 1, 2012


He barely slept; he coughed his way through the night watches. As a result, this morning he was tired and a little bit pale.

And today was the day for cardio appointments.

How much can a heart take and still keep beating strong? In 1959 Dad said goodbye to his family and boarded a ship bound for Bombay. He would not see any of them for almost ten years.

He and Mum decided that she should live in the Nilgiris with us kids while he worked in Bangalore, coming to spend four or five days with us every few weeks, so that we didn't have to go into boarding school at such a young age. We would wave a sad goodbye to him on the Monday evening, straining our eyes to see his white handkerchief fluttering until it was swallowed up by the blue mountain mist from whence the Nilgiri region got its name. His heart felt like it was wrenched from his chest every single time he said goodbye.

And when it came time to put us into boarding school, his heart felt like it was torn from his body.

Even though he and Mum officially "retired" from the College in Bangalore in 1999, after 40 years of service, their hearts pulled them back year after year, where they continued to teach, preach, work with music, and coach and mentor both students and faculty.

His heart has ached for his children any time he has had to watch us go through our own difficulties, calamities, heartaches.

He has buried his father, his mother, a brother and a sister. He has buried his father-in-law and mother-in-law. He's buried too many friends to count on both sides of the ocean including Dr Jacob Chelli,who was president of the College for the years Dad was vice-president.

And, almost five years ago, he buried his beloved wife and partner of 46 years.

Nine years ago he had triple bypass surgery.

This afternoon as he walked through the doors for his stress test, still coughing, Deb and I sat a little closer to each other, bracing ourselves for the results.

It didn't seem too long before he appeared again. He was tired and a little breathless, but grinning, quite pleased with himself.

"I got through the whole thing!" he beamed. He had felt weak and shaky at the very end, but he made it through without much dip in his oxygen levels.

"The doctor said my heart is holding up," he commented.

"How did you do it?" we exclaimed.

"I told God - " he began.

"You what?" I almost shrieked.

He continued on as if I hadn't spoken, but with an understanding smile in his eyes.

"I told God that two things He had promised me from His word were that He would give me strength, and that my breath was in His hands. 'I need strength, and I need breath,' I said to Him. And God gave me both."

You might recall that a couple of years ago Dad was introduced at a conference as "a good friend to God."

What is even more important to Dad, though, is that God is a good friend to him.

Despite all the bruisings and batterings it's sustained over the years, Dad knows Who has his heart. Many years ago he responded to God's call to him, found in the book of Proverbs chapter 23, "My son, give me your heart." Because he did just that, he can now call upon God to protect and strengthen that heart, fully confident that He will do so until such time as He wants Dad and his heart with Him in heaven.


  1. He is an amazing person who has raised some amazing children ...who are full of compassion and so much love for all....we will pray for his good health and courage to carry on like he has done so far...

  2. There is nothing more that I can add that hasn't been said in the Post above.

    Love to your dad and to all your family Karyn

    Mim xx

  3. we miss sir n all of u God bless

  4. Dear Karyn,

    I am delighted to read your father has done so well and for a season more, you have your father with you. :)

    We just buried my mum, a week ago. She never made it to the bypass surgery, her lungs would not cooperate. We nearly lost her on the same day my father passed away, 10 years prior. Instead, she hung on for three more days.....then she departed. We have now entered the season of being 'orphans'. A new lens in which to view life.

    Hope to see you soon..... :)

  5. Oh Carol, my heart weeps with you this morning. Strangely enough, I was thinking about you, and your extraordinary talent for sewing beautiful dresses, just last week. I was wondering what new beauty you were dreaming up, while in reality you were saying goodbye to your beautiful mother.

    My thoughts and prayers and love will be with you over the next months as you start to adjust your sights to the new lens. You are embarking on one of the hardest, heaviest seasons of life; but as you ponder the gift that she was, oh, the richness of the beauty you will draw from memories of her!

  6. Praise the Lord for His grace and mercy in giving our dear "uncle" strength of heart and breath. We love and pray for your family. Edwin & Sarah


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