Dick Hunt's Blog

March 26, 2010

Some Closely Related Stories

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Some Closely Related Stories
by Dick hunt, March 26th, 2010.
On August 16th, 1956  Ruth and I welcomed our fourth child Timothy (Tim) into the world.  It was when we were in Saskatoon Saskatchewan and he was born in the University Hospital on the Campus of the University. The Maternity ward was on the same corridor as the Cancer Ward.  On the morning of his sixth day, a Dr. Cole examined Ruth and Tim as a matter of policy  to check for any sign of Cancer.  She detected a hard lump on Tim’s right thigh and advised us that a Biopsy should be done to assess the matter.  On the ninth day, while Tim was still in the hospital, the result was  given us.  Rapidly growing bone cancer.
The amputation, at the hip socket was performed on his sixteenth day.   Some years later I was visiting with one of the students who was there on the occasion and he started to laugh.  I asked him what was so funny.  He told me about a conversation he had overheard at  the College shortly after the above events. He said there was a group of students discussing the matter.  They  decided that Dick would leave the college and not be ordained since he had suffered such a bad deal.  His mirth was caused by his memory that none of that group had finished their studies and been ordained.  Ruth nursed Tim every four hours, night and day at the hospital for six weeks as he had caught staph infection in his wound.  The surgeon told us that was the reason Tim recovered so well. During the six weeks of his recovery, I never got  to see Tim as Ruth nursed him in an isolation ward.  She did hold him up to the window to let me see him, two floors up.
But I spent very valuable time in the Visitors lounge, talking with other family members and some of the ambulatory patients and I learned so much from them.  One of the patients was a twelve year  old boy who had been terribly burned in a gasoline fire.  His face was horribly disfigured, his ears burned away, one arm was in a brace to hold it away from his body.  Yet he was cheerful and wanted to help all the other children in any way he could. With his one useful arm he pushed them around in their wheel chairs and cheered them immensely. He was an amazing model of loving care for the other patients and their family’s.  His behaviour has been indelible in my memory, I still see him in my mind’s eye.
I remember visiting an elderly woman in Hospital in Campbell River years ago to minister Communion to her. She was cheery and bright and quite helpless, but had not lost her sense of humor. She told me the Doctor had discovered of her problems.  “I am 93 years old”.
In another hospital I visited an elderly lady at the request of her daughter.  She was listed in the records as “Protestant”, which is a term which can be broad in it’s application.  She wanted to talk and I listened.  For some time.  After while she stopped, looked puzzled and said, “how come you haven’t stopped me  and corrected me?”  I said that she had been talking and I was listening.  She  said she had visits from six Protestant ministers before me and they all told her she was wrong and spent all their time correcting her in her faith.  We had a good visit.
Today, I was about to leave the Care Home in which Ruth is so happy here in Maple Ridge when I saw a lovely little scene.  A couple was sitting in two easy chairs with a wheel chair between them.  In the wheel chair was a young girl who I had seen many times before but always in misery, flinging her arms about and pitifully thin and emaciated.  Today she was fast asleep, fully relaxed  and her parents were holding hands with her.  Obviously she was at peace, felt secure and knew she was loved.  And so she went to sleep. Beautiful.  As I was about to go by I was moved to say, “I want you to know that you are very beautiful people and I love you very much. That’s all that was said but we were all a bit weepy as we smiled and I went off to the exit.  It was a most touching and blessed moment.

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