Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Remember

Today I visited with an old friend from high school.  I called Chris after I arrived back in my home town of Oliver B.C. to see if he could meet up with me for breakfast.  Chris immediately said yes and then gave me his condolences for the loss of my Dad Charlie Boisclair who passed away suddenly on September 6.  While we had gone to school at SOSS Chris had not always been in Oliver, he arrived at the school at the beginning of the Grade 10 year for me.  Chris was big and tall and full of personality, played basketball and was labelled "a jock".  Certainly not the crowd I hung around with.  I guess you could say I was a "wanna be jock"  but was too small and slight to play that serious paced game.  Neither did we have a football team, like it mattered.  We ended up in several classes together and became friends as we often studied together.  What an unlikely pairing, but we became stronger friends and he offered me a summer job through his father.  I accepted because money was right up my alley as a teenager, I mean food was pricey!  What followed was several years of friendship that continued even as I moved away and began my adult life.  My father and Chris always had a great relationship and Dad even helped Chris start his first business when he was in grade 12.  It was great and I know Chris always had a great respect for my Dad throughout the following 30 years.  Even as I returned to my hometown for visits from time to time, Chris was always a welcome part of our family.  So solid was that bond.  When the news of my Dad's passing came to the family of course shock and sadness ran its course.  Each of us facing the news with different but similar circumstances.  When I had received the news about his passing I sat and stared at the email and read it again.   Slowly I began to realize that I would never again be able to talk to him, hug him or just sit with him.  Never again would I be able to jump in the truck and race up McKinney to see how quickly we could get to the power line and settle down for an afternoon hunt.  Oh how he loved that part of his life.  It seemed that throughout the years of growing up that was all he ever did.  All his brothers ever did, even some of my aunts embraced the overwhelming desire to provide for their families in this way.  It seemed that even when hunting season was not on we were always up the hill cutting firewood to ready ourselves for the winter.  Dad even turned firewood into a small business as he hauled truckload after truckload of wood down the mountain for us kids to split and chop for resale customers.  As I sat at the computer reading the news the flood of emotion came over me like a wave, welling up from inside and filling my depths first and then moving quickly into my head.  My thoughts raced to how everyone was reacting to this shocking news and the floodgates opened onto the desk.  I gasped and sobbed uncontrollably for a few minutes and then suddenly, as if a tornado had suddenly ceased, calm washed over my body.  Peace came into my mind as I knew suddenly that God had taken him now for a reason.  His suffering was over, time to go home.  His family must stay behind and continue on without him but surely not in pain.  Some of us might continue to grieve that he is gone but the peace I felt of God's will was overwhelming.  God took him to ease all of our suffering.  Dad had endured over 10 years of progressive illness through Alzheimer/Dementia.  An extremely debilitating disease that traps people in their minds and traps the families that have to watch their loved ones suffer.  Enough God said.  Enough.  Chris said to me confirming words of what I knew God was doing.  "It is truly a blessing for Charlie and the family that God has released everyone from the burden of this time"  he said to me this morning.  Chris Jentsch is not a Christian.  But God uses people all instruments of His will, even when they don't even know Him!   Chris continued to comment about my Dad as we sat there and listened to his reminisce about all the times he had spent with my Dad.  "That man had the biggest brain in any man I know!"  he said, "I mean he was so quick with a comeback or a joke and he always had a smile on his face!"  "I wish I could come up with the quick retorts or have the witty little jokes that made people laugh!  Chris spoke for quite a while about the way my Dad was around people.  He was absolutely right, confirming for me that my Father raised me up to appreciate and respect those around me.  That he in turn respected my relationship with y friend so much that now my friend could edify all that my Dad was to all of us.  Charlie Boisclair was loved by all, not a fighter, not mean.  Level, strong and always sure of what he did and who he was.  I knew that, so did my brothers and sisters, all of his brothers and sisters, all of his friends, anyone who met Charlie knew he was alright.  Chris knew it and still does. Thank you Lord for the gift of friendship in a man who I have known for more than 30 years and can still call me brother at the same table.  Your confirming presence is gratifying to me that I am still to continue working for you the rest of my days.  Thank you Lord for your continuing presence in my family, for your peace and love to them as they seek solace in each other and in you.  "Blessed are those who mourn" Jesus said "for they shall be comforted" Matt 3:4. Thank you Lord for your Holy Spirit who comforts all of us when we rest in you as we mourn.  Charlie Boisclair lived his life and now he is gone, but his legacy lives in all of us who were touched by his spirit.  Pray Lord that we never forget him and help us celebrate his life.  Amen

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