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A Quick Family Update
Good morning, friends,
Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that about 10 days ago, my dad was rushed to the ER and then transferred to the ICU. Chris, the kids, and I got on the road almost immediately, and spent all last week in Illinois with my family.
Throughout the week, in addition to being with my dad, my sisters and I were caring for my mom, who has Alzheimer’s Disease. For about six days, we expected the worst. Then, as he has so many times before, my dad rallied. We still knew he was dying, but it seemed like he would be with us for at least a few weeks more (if not longer). Since Chris was experiencing great pain (from what turned out to be a herniated disk), Toby was sick, and school was starting for Chris this week, we decided to return home three days ago, thinking I could just fly back later this week to continue helping my family.
Unfortunately, Dad sharply declined yesterday and passed away shortly before 10 pm. My mom and my sisters were with him. I was not, and that is hard.
Chris is going to go teach today and get things set up for a substitute, while I pack up the kids and the car yet again. Because of Chris’ back, we need to divide the drive up into two days instead of one, so we should be back in Rock Island by mid-day tomorrow. The funeral will be at the end of this week.
All of which is to say, there will not be an August newsletter for paying subscribers. I am sorry about that and hope to write an extra essay for you at some point this fall. This also means I won’t be able to start the final Benedict XVI encyclical next week as planned. It will probably be at least two, if not three weeks, until I get to that. Again, I am very sorry, and hope you understand.
In the meantime, our family could very much use your prayers. Obviously, prayers for my father, Gary Stimpson, are appreciated. My mom, Ricki Stimpson, could also use your prayers. Despite the Alzheimer’s, she is still very aware of who she is and the loss of my father, so this will be difficult in all the normal ways, but also in ways particular to her condition. They were married for 51 years, and still deeply in love with each other. My sisters and I have to make a lot of decisions about her and her care, so prayers for that are welcome as well.
Lastly, our trip home is going to be difficult. Chris is still in an enormous amount of pain and not sleeping. He can’t sit for long stretches or lift the children, so I don’t know how we are going to handle those limitations with the logistics of this trip. We’re also struggling to find a place to stay, with all the normal AirB&B’s close to my parents and sisters already booked for the holiday weekend. None of this is as major as the loss of my dad, and I am sure we will come out fine on the other side, but prayers are needed for safe travels for my family and relief from pain for Chris and just help for all of us as we navigate the logistics of the coming days.
Thank you for your support, your understanding, and your prayers. This community is a tremendous gift to my family, and I am grateful for each and every one of you.
P.S. Here is a cute photo of my parents, holding hands and watching the news together in the hospital last week. This is the last photo taken of them together, and I am so glad I was there to snap it.
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