Dear Friends & Family,Our family has experienced a number of unsettling changes since our last prayer letter in September. We had been planning to begin our home assignment in the U.S. this coming December but then we received an email from Karl’s brother. Dad was in the hospital. In just a little over a week, our family had packed out of our home in Thailand, said goodbyes, and were on a plane back to the U.S. to begin a year of home assignment - three months earlier than expected. But Karl’s dad would not be there to greet us.We were in plenty of time for the funeral but even if we had jumped on a plane the second we heard he was in the hospital, we would not have gotten back in time to talk with him. It is strange to think that just two years ago we made another unplanned trip to New Hampshire to be with Karl’s mom just before she died.
I knew my eyes were deceiving me but I wanted the deception to be true. I was standing before my father as he lay on a small raised platform, legs covered in a blanket. His chest was moving up and down, almost imperceptibly, as one breathes quietly when asleep. But there was no breathing. No motion. It was all in my mind. This was not the stillness of sleep, but of deathA week earlier I had learned that he was in the hospital. A few days after that I learned that this may be sickness unto death. And after hurrying to pack up our family, arrange our affairs, and get plane tickets, here I was with my father.
One of the more colorful aspects of living in Thailand is geckos. On our walls. On our ceiling. On our table. Scurrying across the floors. Converging upon the porch light in hopes of getting some yummy bugs for dinner. However, geckos seem to have an uncanny ability to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, meeting some rather horrible deaths. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have opened up a door or window only to see a dried up, quite flat, gecko skeleton fall out of the space between the window/door and the frame. Apparently when I had been closing up the house at some point, a poor little gecko didn’t move in time before getting caught in between a closing window/door and the frame. Normally, geckos are extremely quick but unlike flies, they don’t have those compound eyes to anticipate what’s coming from behind them. So, they get squished. Regularly. In anyone were to do some research, I wouldn’t be surprised to find “squished in door frame” to be one of the top causes of gecko death.