Soapbox

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY AMY RATZLAFF
My father passed away this week. I now know what it means to truly grieve. But as I have worked my way through these days, I have come to realize that a miracle has taken place right here in this community.



My mother married an attractive and energetic young man. They enjoyed a wonderful marriage and many successful moments. My father did everything 110 percent and God blessed them, knowing things would soon change.



At the age of 33, my father suffered from a brain tumor that was successfully removed without complications. I saw my mother stand inches from his side the entire time. Little did they expect a second tumor to grow that year. This time I saw my mother stand inches from his side after the surgery was performed with many complications.



My father suffered from numerous long-term effects and my parents? lives changed forever. It took them away from the dairy farm that my father started and into a new phase of life.



Years later, my father?s health was to be altered again by a drunken driver. The accident took away my father?s chance of a normal lifestyle. I watched as my mother stood inches away from him during the long rehabilitation process.



And finally, two years ago my father Suffered from steroid myopathy that left him completely disabled and bound to his bed for the remainder of his life. Again, I saw my mother stand inches away from him during the countless hours of comforting and caring for his needs.



He is gone now, so where does the miracle take place? I guess I have always believed in my heart that God really can do anything, including a miraculous healing of my father.



As you can see, he went through more bad things than you could dare to imagine, and I knew in my heart that God was going to completely heal my father to show people that ?all things are possible for him who believes (Mark 9:23).? Then, my father?s suffering would not be in vain because others would come to know the Lord through him.



When my father died, my heart broke, not only because I lost my daddy, but also because his suffering seemed so pointless. Where was the miracle? I know there are times when we do not understand because we do not see in whole what the Lord has for us, but I desperately needed answers.



My answer came from an unexpected place. I had gone uptown to pick up some items for the funeral when a friend of the family said something to me that went straight to my heart. She said she was so relieved and reassured to see that the love my parents had for each other endured an ultimate test.



My mother stuck by my father in the absolute worst of times. Not only did her love not desert him; her love took care of him beyond what most of us could imagine.



This love was not one-sided. My father?s attitude was a tribute of his love for her. I never heard my father utter a complaint. He was often in intense pain and anguish, but he would not complain. I?ve always wondered how he could do that. Even in the last two years, when he could not even have a swallow of water, he would not complain.



This week was the first time I realized a possible reason. His positive attitude was his way of returning his love. His attitude affected my mother?s life everyday, and out of love he would not let his pain drag her down.



He also knew his job was to witness to his family. I learned so much from my father, even though many times he could not verbally express his thoughts.



In a time when marriages seem to be falling apart at the seams, God gave me a miracle. He showed me that love can endure all things.



If love can make it through so much tragedy, surely it can make it though all the little things that affect our marriages.



Love is bigger than an argument, money problems, or trash that wasn?t taken out- ?Love never fails? (1 Cor. 13:8).



I am realizing that this miracle has taken place many times before as I look around our community and see marriages that have survived tragedy and loss.



My father?s suffering was not in vain, the miracle has just now become evident to me. God?s grace gives love a chance to survive all things, and nothing can replace love, especially the love between a father and a family.







Amy Ratzlaff, Hillsboro, is the daughter of Jerry Klassen, who died March 20 at the age of 56.

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