Due to the Covid-19 pandemic The Moving Wall has been POSTPONED until August 2021. We will have updated dates and information at a later time.
Meetings in August
A message from our Chaplain:
In January of this year, my 94 year old father-in-law Art had a medical setback, forcing his children to make the hard decision of placing him in a nursing home so he could have 24 hour care. This decision meant we had to decide what items he would need at the new facility and what had to be boxed up and put into storage.
As I walked alone through his apartment, gathering up items that he would need, I felt a pang of deep sorrow. Like a pending thunderstorm, sadness hung heavy in the air of his apartment. The silence of his apartment was broken only by the sound of passing seconds that resonated from the pendulum clock that hung on the wall. Winter’s deepening shadows crept across a small collection of treasures that once brought life’s light to his home were now whispering the end is near. These treasures of a youthful past were to be wrapped and placed into boxes for storage. The two out-of-date suitcases bespoke of long past adventures and dreams of future adventures never to be realized. As I gazed upon those suitcases, heavy emotions washed over me, my throat tightened as I choked back sobs only to be betrayed by the tears that escaped from my eyes.
Art’s new room in the rehabilitation nursing home is less than a fifth of the size of his apartment. The clothing and few personal possessions were a little more than he once carried in his sea-bag during World War II. A sea-bag that crisscrossed the vast Pacific Ocean with a young man willing to serve his nation. A young man whose ship was part of an armada preparing for the invasion of Japan, an invasion where it was estimated by the planners that the American forces would suffer over a million causalities. This young man, like so many others, felt he would not return home from this war. Yet he nor anyone complained or wavered in their duties, despite the uneasy feeling the pending invasion would bring certain death for them.
Then one day, an announcement came over the ships intercom, “Japan has surrendered! The war is over!”. A cheer of joy reverberated throughout the ship. The cheers were blunted as the captain reminded the crew though Japan had surrendered, the US Naval forces were still on a war footing and now was not the time to slack off on their duties. All hands were to stay alert watching out for mines and submarines; the war was over but the potential for death still loomed over the distant horizon.
In time, Art’s ship would dock in San Diego and he would head home to his sweetheart, a girl he met at a dance before he went into the navy. They would be married and raise eight children. The years would slip by quickly and he would lose his wife of 56 years to cancer. Now, Art’s body once straight and strong, is bent, yielding to gravity of time, while dementia slowly robs him of the present and one day he will take his last breath.
It has been said that the American flag still waves not because of the wind but because of the last breath given by those who have served America. Let us never forget our aging veterans and we should take stock that we are still a nation of people who are free because of men and women like Art. Please join me in prayer of thanks for these American veterans.
Doug Thompson, Chaplain