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Monthly Archives: June 2009

Judson Cook

It was 3:00 in the morning and my hero lay in the bed struggling to sleep, lightly snoring, eyes half opened, and occasionally wincing in pain.  He would be 90 years old in just two weeks.  Dad had fallen the day before in the hotel bathroom putting a two inch gash in the back of his head and fracturing a rib.  He was hurting all over and it seemed there was little I could do to help.  Mom had gotten out of bed and found him laying in a pool of blood and moaning quietly.  I awoke to her banging on my hotel room door, frantic that her husband was dying.

Now, its four days later and dad is recovering nicely at home.  In fact, I had the best conversation with him two days ago that I have had in months.  He was thinking clearly, with no signs of the dementia, and could hear me speak to him.  Evidently both hearing aids were working for a change!  As we ate our sandwiches, we spoke of several things when finally he asked, “Jonathan, do you think I need to move to an assisted living facility?”  The question caught me by surprise.  It was a topic that I spoke of often to my wife and older sister.  However, dad and I had never considered it together.  I asked, “Dad, do you want to move to such a place?”  Answering a question with a question is sometimes the easiest path.  And then the man who has devoted his life to others, especially his wife, said, “No, but I’ll do whatever it takes to make things easier on Wanda.”  That is a response that comes only after 65 years of commitment to another!

Yesterday afternoon I visited with my son’s best friend who asked me, “What does it take to be a good person?”  My mind immediately went to my father.  I said, “Stephen, my dad has loved God and devoted himself to others his whole life.  He sacrificially loves my mom, my sister and me.  He longs to be reunited in heaven someday with his mother and eight other brothers and sisters.  He is a peacemaker, generous to a fault, and earnestly prays for others.  His life is defined by relationships; his relationships with God and others.  He is the best man I know.”

Dad fell early Sunday morning in a Little Rock hotel.  It’s Thursday morning and I’m sitting in the coffee shop thanking God for the best man I know.  He has been a gift everyday of my life.  He is my friend and hero.