Euripides once wrote:
“Lucky that man whose children make his happiness in life and not his grief, the anguished disappointment of his hopes.”
We received the call this morning that we’ve honestly expected for a while now. Not that we’ve been looking forward to this call, but knowing that Jason’s father has been in poor health these last few years we have all completely realized and accepted the possibility of the news we received this morning. Doctors aren’t expecting his father to make it past this week and suspect that he might pass away in the next 72 hours.
Though Jason’s father has been in bad shape the last few years, many of us have not been there by his side as much as we probably should have through many of the struggles life has brought his way. Over the years we’ve seen him struggle with the effects of diabetes, kidney failure, heart problems, cancer, and attempted suicide. We heard this morning that he had to be resuscitated and the doctor’s fear that he went without oxygen for too long to be responsive once he recovers.
As I told Jason earlier today that I had planned to write something on our blog about his father, similar to what I had written a couple years ago in memory of his grandfather, he said he didn’t know much good I could write about his father. Yes, I admit, over the years I’ve been with Jason – most of our memories of his father have not been the best. In fact, his isolation from our lives and the lives of his brothers has been something tough for us all to accept. The Kern boys have been equally stubborn – really only wishing they had received the attention their father once gave them as children. But rather than thinking of his father’s problems, I instead think it’s far more important to remember…remember the father the Kern boys looked up to as children.
As I glance back at photos from the past, of two people I truly never knew – I look back and am reminded of the love Jason’s parents shared. A love that has never died, despite Jason’s mother’s passing just over 16 years ago. It’s pretty apparent to us all that his father has been challenged coping with the loss all these years and the only resolution we have with his current health is that in due time he will be reunited with the one person he has missed most all these years, Jason’s mother.
I guess what I fear most is that it might be too late to heal the hurt that their father has caused them all – and that it’s too late for them to tell them how tough these years have been for each of them. As we prepare to take a tough trip to Indiana this week, I remain hopeful that through this situation there is resolution which helps everyone come to terms with how tough it’s been for everyone coping since Jason’s mother passed away many years ago. And though I know prayers right now may not fix the problems that have been endured all these years, I still say prayers that through these tough moments life brings us that Jason’s father and the Kern boys find the peace within themselves to move forward in life.
The Kern boys have so much to be proud of…I know in my heart that their father couldn’t be prouder – despite his actions over the years. Here’s to a man who’s stubbornness only strengthened the hearts of his own children.