two years

“You’ve been gone two years now.  We all miss you.  I collected lots of things from your house that should be kept and brought them back to Alberta.  Cash is with you now, chasing his shadow.  Glenn, too, and not chasing his anymore.  We are all well here but miss you.”

house sold, server offline

Hi everybody.

Firstly, I want to tell everyone that Father’s memorial / update website has not been taken down.  My server crashed, and I lost the ability to post any updates.  I tried my best to get it running again, but it was beyond my control.

The contract for sale of the house is signed.  Closing date is November 1, 2019.

All the belongings in the house, shop, & yard are distributed or sold, including the Case skid steer, truck, and tandem axle trailer.

Thank you to Kelly, Lou, and John for helping out so much in getting things cleaned up, sorted, recycled, dumped, etc.  Without your help, I’d still be there.

I was happy to see everybody there, like Isobel, Pete, Barry, and everyone else.

For those hoping to attend a Celebration of Life, I’m sorry that it did not happen.  Many people saw that I was in Rosedale for a few weeks and dropped by to visit and talk about & remember Father.  Thank you for that.  You honour him by your visits, by taking a few things with you, and by keeping in touch.  We all have to have our own way of closure.

I will be doing the rest from here, Lethbridge.  Feel free to contact me if you need to.

house for sale

Father’s house is unofficially for sale.  I have had offers on it, but I will not make a decision until I’m in Rosedale / Chilliwack.  I will also have meetings with two Realtors about selling it.  Unfortunately, I cannot live there.  It’s way too much house and expense for one guy (me).  I’ll probably be selling it during the last week of August, 2019.

If you have made an offer on it and I haven’t replied back to you in a while, please remind me.  There is a lot on my plate these days – car accident, Mother, Floyd, friends, neighbours, looking for work, working part-time – not making excuses – just time is not my own sometimes.  Please remind me if you’re interested.

Laura will continue to look after the house – including Cash (the dog, not money), the chickens, Mousetrap, and her own dog – until she is able to find another.  I’m sure she is taking good care of Father’s house.

I’ll be out there when I can.  I’ll have to sell whatever remains – tractors, tools, trailer, and other farming and ranching goods.  My ETA is about mid-August, 2019.  If there is something you have your eye on and wish to buy, please make an offer on it.  You know how to get hold of me (contact).

I cannot believe it’s been nearly two years since Father passed away.  I miss him.  I’m sure you do, too.

Probate finally granted

Probate has finally been granted on Father’s property.  Why did it take one-and-a-half years?  Tammy (Glenn’s ex-wife) put in a claim on Glenn’s portion of the Estate.  The Will clearly states that the estate will go to whoever is living at the time.  Glenn, unfortunately, is not coming back.  Yet, Tammy put in a claim against the estate anyway and did not follow up further on it, causing Probate to be delayed by one year.  This claim had elapsed, so Probate could more forward.  The lawyer will contact me soon to discuss everything.  I’ll keep everyone posted here when the time comes.

ashes at Sparling Cemetary, Elton (Justice), MB

I placed Father’s ashes at Sparling Cemetary (map, pic) in Manitoba today.  Aunt Isobel, Father’s sister, arranged it.  Many people were there.

I also placed Glenn’s ashes beside Father’s.  They’re both in leather urns.  I placed the first soil on top, and others followed.  Aunt Isobel placed Uncle Al’s ashes beside his Mom & Dad with the first soil.

Phil Harder prepared the cemetary.  He conducted a heart-felt ceremony and read some verses from the Bible.  His dedication to the care of Sparling Cemetary is very much appreciated.

There their ashes will rest forever.  In the end, we all go back to our origins.

Cousin Sherry’s pictures

Thank you to everyone who was there and offered coffee, conversation, and caring.

Celebration of Life planned for springtime 2018

People have been asking about a Celebration of Life for Father.

Father’s favourite time of year has always been … well, not winter.  He always looked forward to spring – outdoor life, planting his garden, sneaking in some flowers here and there, sunshine, & the end of winter.

That, the fact that winter travel is less than ideal for most people, and that it would be nice to have a barbecue outside and enjoy the warm weather (hopefully), most people have said that spring would be best.

So how does the end of April sound?  If you have any days that would be best, please let me know.  And spread the word.

Celebration of Life

There is a Celebration of Life tentatively planned for sometime around Christmas.  However, people are saying that this winter’s weather will be rough, and this may be a concern for people travelling.  It could also be in the spring, depending on what everyone thinks.  If you have any ideas on this, please comment.  It’s our time to come together and do this, so please let us know if and when you can make it.

the legal

I visited the lawyer today to discuss carrying out Father’s wishes.  Most legalities are or will be completed.  Anyone mentioned in Father’s Will will be notified by the lawyer.  It is now in Probate review and will take a while to complete.  Most say it will take up to a year … or more.

In the mean time, I’ve asked Laura to stay in the house and look after it, Cash, the chickens, mail, and anything else important.  Neither of us know the duration of this.

Above all, Father was so concerned Cash’s fate:  If Cash went to another house, he’d likely escape and run back here, the only home he’s ever known, since puppihood.

the viewing

There was a viewing today.  Les, Tammy, Laura, Isobel, Carley, Sherry, Lou, Tammy’s Mom, and I were there.  We met at Woodlawn Mr. Cheam Funeral Home, Chilliwack, at 4pm, and I went in to identify him.  Yes, that was Father.

He was in a white shirt with collar and his grey suit jacket.  His hair was combed nicely, hands folded in front of him.  He looked very peaceful, almost with a content look on his face.  He was also covered up with a blanket, just the way he liked.

Aunt Isobel brought flowers from her garden.  Laura put them into a vase to set beside him, and we later brought them home.  I believe he has always secretly liked flowers.  He’d mix them up into his vegetable garden on the sly.

I chose a dark grey round leather urn – leather because Father was always a leather boots, leather belt, leather work gloves kind of guy.  I also chose and a matching one for Glenn.  They were always two peas in a pod.  I’m sure they’re having a pint together now.

His initials L J on his fingers … Aunt Isobel said that my Mom’s sister, Merine, put it there.  I did not know that.  After so many years, it stood out.  Nothing about him faded.

We went back to Father’s house for cake.  Aunt Isobel made a chocolate brownie with chocolate icing and raisins – the way Father liked it.  Really good.  Unfortunately, Tammy, her Mom, and Les didn’t come back for cake.

Aunt Isobel wrote an obituary that will be put in the Chilliwack Progress, the Vancouver Sun, and the Brandon Sun.

Leslie Gordon Johnston of Rosedale, BC
March 25th 1937 – Sept. 11th, 2017
Fourth son of Robert & Frances Johnston of Justice MB
One of 7 children, Les was raised on the farm at Justice, moving to Brandon, Snow Lake, and North Surrey in 1966 where he worked as an Eaton’s repairman until he retired and moved to Langley and eventually Rosedale in 2007.
Les was predeceased by parents Robert & Frances Johnston, brothers Mel, Al, & Bill, son Glenn, niece Melva, and nephew Ron.
Les is survived by two of his three children, Angela of Wetherby, UK; Justin Allan of Lethbridge; sisters Mame & Isobel, brother Don, grandson Les, and faithful Laura whose love & tender care improved his quality of life which she shared with him until the end.
Les was a wannabe farmer who raised beef & pork and had a wonderful garden & a thriving egg business.
He was a good guy & will be missed.

I added:

A Celebration Of Life will be held in December.  Please see website lesjohnston.ca for more.

Tomorrow will be a world without Father, Les, Dad, Grandpa.  It’ll be a very different world.

Father has passed away

Father has passed away.

I just heard from Laura.  He apparently passed at 7:45AM (MDT) this morning, Sept. 11, 2017.  The coroner and others are now (11:33 MDT) at Father’s house talking with Laura.  She said she has to take care of documents and such and will call me back.  I’ll update here when I know more.

bless

I got a call from Laura and one from Ally, a social worker with Fraser Health.  I was out cycling and missed their call.

He was in hospital today for a fever – Laura thought it best to have him brought in – and is back home (or should be by now).

I called Ally back, and she told me that doctors really don’t know just how much longer Father has.  I guess it’s her job to keep me informed.  Laura told her that she keeps me informed all the time.  This is true now but only since my last visit a couple of weeks ago.  Before that, nothing.  Nonetheless, I’m informed now.

Anyway, Ally said he wasn’t getting ‘treatment’ per se but, rather, pain control to keep him comfortable for ‘however much time he has left’.  She tried to speculate as to how much time that was.  I suppose many people as that question.  If you’re The Lord, then yes you might give it a shot.  But we really have no accurate idea.  So I just told her that I knew he was slipping fast last time I saw him.  I said that it only matters if someone is looking after him (Laura) and that he’s not in any pain, is comfortable.  Time isn’t the important factor here.

He’s lost half his hair and is very quiet.  Laura says he hardly says a peep, but Laura walked into his room at the hospital, and he looked directly at her.  He knows.  At home, Cash licked his leg, and he didn’t cuss at him like he didn’t know him like last time, so that’s good.

This is the first time Laura stated that he doesn’t have much time left.  She has always been of the mind (outwardly, at least) that he’ll pull though … somehow.  This time isn’t one of those times.  He asked Laura to pray and tell The Lord to bless him.  Only very few times in my life have I heard him refer to The Lord.

Keep him in your prayers, please.

at home getting care

Laura called me to tell me Father is doing well at home.  He’s not able to get out of bed, so for sure not able to walk just yet, but he’s recovering and gaining strength.  An occupational therapist might be used to get him some exercise with his legs.  He might not be able to walk again, but he could also surprise everyone.

He’s eating apple sauce and other foods to get his health and strength up.  Home care staff from Fraser Health (BC government medical care in that area) come to help him turn over and to make sure he’s clean, etc.  He had some bed sores on his legs … or hips? … but they’re not open sores, so he’s doing well in that.

Laura says she hopes he’ll be able to get into his wheelchair at some point so as to wheel out to the deck to see his garden and chickens and such.  I’m hoping he’ll be able to do so soon.  As was proven in the hospital, his legs have become very weak while laying in bed without any activity.  Besides, fresh air always does people good.

home sleeping

Father is home sleeping in his newly delivered bed – at home.  Yay.  All is well once again.

Hopefully

  • he’ll eat well
  • he’ll have his meds regularly
    • dilantin for seizures 4-5 times per day
    • dexamethasone twice a day for swelling
  • stand up and stretch his legs now and then
  • Laura and the Fraser Health home care people can make sure he’s cleaned up when needed
  • feel well enough to talk with people again
  • Laura can get some respite when needed.

All this can be done at home, not in the hospital.

I’ve kept Aunt Isobel and Aizlynn up to speed with what I know.

(Now it’s time to take care of myself – ear infection – earache, vertigo, & nausea.)

going home again

Nurse Laura was too busy to talk to me.  So Margaret, the head nurse on the floor Father is on in Chilliwack hospital, was sure there was no way that Father could get home before Wed. next week.  Finally, after a few attempts at speaking human to her, I said, “I’m not a very commanding person when it comes to conversations – never have been – so, please, just let me speak for a minute.”  <Silence>  I explained that I didn’t want my father to die in hospital.  He should do so at home.  She softened her stance and sounded like a real person, just just trying to control the conversation to obtain a desired outcome.  Is there any way of making this happen – like if I were to arrange to borrow, rent, or purchase a hospital bed so he could be transported home?  Yes, absolutely, if you can arrange it on your own, we’ll work with you on that.  <Sigh>  Bossy-boots power woman trying to ride over my ass with a steamroller.

Don’t be heavy, mamma; I’m your brother.

Lisa at Discount MediQuip out of Chilliwack, BC, was the very opposite.  “Yes, I can find a bed for your father from somewhere.  Just give me a minute.”  Within a minute, she came back from putting someone in a headlock (I’m sure figuratively) to get a bed for me.  The long and the short of it is that Father’s bed will be delivered by 2pm today.  Cost: $220 ($30 delivery, $30 setup, $150 rent for one month, $10 mandatory mattress cover.)

Laura (henceforth Father’s friend, not nurse at hospital) says Father will be delivered by patient transport at 4pm today.  Father was happy and ate lunch.  Yay.

The kicker was last night was when Father asked Laura if he should die in the hospital or at home.  It broke my heart to hear this.  No, Father, I don’t believe you are going to die in hospital.  You’re going home so that you can live there with your dog Cash, your 43 chickens, your beautiful back yard full of flowers, and Laura looking after you.  That’s what you’re gonna do.