So 7:30 on Saturday night Keith and I were eating dinner, getting ready to go watch season 2 of Dark Matter on Netflix while I finished casting off for a skirt I’m knitting.

Then we got a phone call. My father, who has advanced Alzheimer’s, was in the hospital with pneumonia and wasn’t expected to recover.

By 8:30 I was in the car driving to my daughter Rebecca’s in Ottawa, where I spent the night. At 5:30 the next morning Rebecca and I were on the way to the airport, and by noon PST we had arrived in Vancouver.

We spent the afternoon and evening at the hospital yesterday and we’re getting ready to go back in just a few minutes.

So needless to say, blogging will be light over the next few days, and since Rebecca works on the blog with me and she’s also out here with me, we likely won’t be replying to comments much. Sorry about that! (We will see comments tonight though! And we’ll be checking Facebook throughout the day).

But two things before I go: prayers would be much appreciated, for some difficult decisions that will need to be made over the next few days.

Second: my dad can get very agitated, and I know that Alzheimer’s patients are often calmed by memories from when they were much younger. Yesterday when they were changing his IV Rebecca and I sang Blessed Assurance, and that seemed to help a bit.

So if any of you came of age in the 1950s or 1960s, or know much about the period, what would have been the big hymns or gospel songs you would have sung? Or what would have been the calming songs of your teen years or early 20s? Becca and I can both carry a tune pretty well, so we’d like to see if that would work. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Then just one final observation: you know, hospital ministry is an important work. There was a woman with dementia just walking around the floor last night. She latched onto Rebecca and started talking to her as if she were her daughter. Rebecca just hugged her for a while and the woman started crying, and then we managed to get her back into her chair. Later when she was agitated again, Becca just said firmly, “Now, you need to sit here and stay here. But God bless you. Jesus sees you.” And she welled up and said, “Oh, thank you.”

So many poor souls are all alone on the hospital floor. It’s just very sad.

The family a few years ago at my half-brother’s wedding. About a year after my dad was diagnosed.