Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Farewells (for now that is)

We will meet,
or there,
or in the air!

Dad has always said that little ditty when he says good-bye (or God be w' ye) to folks.

It takes on a very poignant tone when he says it now.  Most of the good-byes Dad says to folks are the 'permanent' sort.  It's increasingly unlikely he will meet them again while he is still alive.

These days Dad eats so very little - and unsurprisingly has become very thin.  His pain continues to be a constant companion - ranging from the dull back-ground pain to excruciating moments.  Thanks to scaled up doses of his therapeutic morphine, he is able to see much of it controlled - but despite the meds, Dad is not living the pain-free life either.

It was a real blessing to have my brother Rudy with us for the past week.  Rudy flew in from Hawaii to spend these days with Mum and Dad - and his presence was deeply appreciated by them.

It is hard for Dad to meet people - especially those who ask him (in all innocence of course) "how are you uncle?  how are you feeling?"    If Dad has the energy, he will then give them a small loving lecture on the right way to talk to people who are sick (hint: start with changing "how are you?" to "how are you doing?")

Mum continues to amaze with her love and dedication.  She is no spring chicken, but continues to serve with such zeal and tenderness.

Ever learning - she is currently reading a Hindi Bible, with an English one next to it to help understand the context.

Dad's energy levels are very low now.  He spends most of his time sleeping or sitting in his chair - reading the Bible or a biography (he is currently working through the life of DL Moody)... and that too slowly.  Over the last two days he has fallen asleep repeatedly while talking to you.  Occasionally he wakes up disoriented about where he is.  Loving words and touches and prayers make such a big difference.  And the meds help too!

But on the positive side, over the last few days he decided that he wanted to go for walks again - and so goes on small walks, while holding on to the shoulder of a companion.  He moves  s  l  o   w   l   y.

The walks are mostly short.  And also help Dad sleep better at night.

This evening we had two more good-byes.

Rudy is travelling back to Hawaii.  It was a blessed and tear-filled time to say good bye and pray with each other.   Dad repeated what he has been saying all through his life... we will meet, here, there or in the air...

The second good-bye was with Vicky.   Vikram has worked with Mum and Dad since Shanti Kunj was rennovated and rebuilt in the mid 1990s.  Now a man, Vicky has been so faithful and good to Mum and Dad - and is very much another of their many sons.

We are so amazed by the love that Vicky shows them - how good that God has brought someone like Vicky into their lives - and for his long and faithful service and devotion to Mum and Dad.  It was Vicky's caring for them at home that allowed them to stay in Mussoorie till last week!

Vicky went back to Dehra Dun - to be with his wife Sunita and their 2 girls - and then will go up the hill to continue the challenge of looking after our beloved Shanti Kunj again.

Good-byes are hard.  Esp. when you are unlikely to meet dearly loved ones again in this life.

It's all very new for us.

Thanks for all of you who have walked with us on these paths.

We really don't know what the future holds - but we know who holds the future!


  1. Thanks Andi....thinking constantly and remembering

  2. Thank you Bhiya !!! Praying for you all ... Specially for Mom and Dad...

  3. Thank you dear family.we are upholding you all in our prayers.

    Praying for God's strength and grace.

  4. I really love your Dad... he is the man I was always encouraged meeting and giving his books to read and read .... I have lots of good memory specially the recent one in Mumbai.... I don't know what Lord holds for right now but our Pray that Lord may give him healing / strength and pain free life ...
    Sabir Ali

  5. Thank-you for sharing a few steps of the journey. No number of good-byes said ever makes the next one any easier.

  6. Ruth mangalwadi2 August 2016 at 09:56

    Praying for you all at this most difficult time.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing so openly about your dear father and mother. We fondly remember our days so many yrs. ago in India (49). I have a lovely photo of your mom when she first came to Bangalore. I must post it. We also lived in Adjmer at 'The Domes' for awhile.

  8. They Both have been a continuous source of encouragement & inspiration ever since we met in Mabalipuram in 2006 January.........
    We love you & are praying cotinuously........
    God Bless You & Lots Of Love.............
    Ajay, Shuchi & Abhiram Shandilya,
    Ilaisa & Shubhra Shandilya........

  9. the 'heavenly' smiles in their faces.... always reinforcing our longing for the celestial city ....

  10. It is a tough phase.....I remember our own journey with my mom....with Alzheimer's....it was tough....praying...

  11. Thinking of you Andy and your Dad

  12. Thank you Andi for sharing so openly. Our eyes fill with tears as we read but our hearts warm with precious memories of time spent together in Ajmer and Shanti Kunj – and the sure and certain hope of all being together again when our King returns and 'the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God'. Love to you all, especially dear Ray and Christa.

  13. Praying for smooth journey Home. Good byes are getting harder.

  14. Thank you for sharing your journey. I have never met your parents. But reading about their faithful walk with the Lord has been so encouraging - especially in these difficult days. Thank you once again for sharing. Praying for all of you. Rightly said - we don't know the future but we know the one who holds our future!! Praise God for such an amazing hope we have !!

  15. Thanks Andy for updates, almost like sitting next to you guys. Thank you for reminding of next avenues of meetings. May God continue to strengthen you with His Word and presence..blessings

  16. Thanks Andy for updates, almost like sitting next to you guys. Thank you for reminding of next avenues of meetings. May God continue to strengthen you with His Word and presence..blessings

  17. Our hearts and prayers are with you during this bittersweet time. May pangs of joy continue to interrupt. May grief be full and good. May He infuse each of you with His strength and peace and comfort...

  18. Love to Ray from Scot Pope (Eastward Bound), late '70s, and from my wife Patricia. So sorry to hear of Ray's suffering. My prayers are also joined with yours.

  19. Andi - thank you so much for sharing this. Your parents were such a blessing to so many, and I am praying for your dad. Please give my love to your parents.

  20. Andy, thank you for sharing all the little things and the big things. Thanks for your honesty. Thinking of you all.

  21. I can feel you pain, not so long ago my brother faced the same pain. You all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. God is in control of everything. Your dad is right we will meet again here, there or in the air..... Shonila

  22. Thanks for the updates. Much love and prayers.

  23. Rehan Abbas Khan7 August 2016 at 18:43

    Dear Andy and family, thank you for the updates and thinking of your parents. Sending my prayers in this trying time. God Bless. Rehan