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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hope.

Mr. Gehrke's wife, H and Mr. Gehrke. July 2008

I have talked about the man in the picture above lots before. He was my most favorite teacher. Oh yes I had lots of other favorites that made me love to read and excel at math, but he was my most favorite.

It was the way that he would laugh and smile and joke. But then he'd get serious and speak softly.

There was never any denying that his two daughters were his absolute pride and joy. Pictures of marathon races and ski trips peppered his office amidst the pots and clay. He taught pottery and his hands were so skilled at throwing the pots on the wheel. On my kitchen counter sits a beautiful bowl he gave to me upon his retirement and another he gave to me with a wedding gift.

He coached football and his hands were so skilled at tossing the ball down the field. He had the respect and admiration from all of the students.

Mr. Gehrke retired the year I graduated from high school. Early. He battles Parkinson's disease making some of his favorite things, nearly impossible.

Yesterday, he was supposed to undergo an operation at the University of Minnesota that will hopefully help him. When he called two weeks ago to tell me about the surgery in his brain, I could hear the shake in his voice and his hands as he held the phone and the next day when I spoke to his wife, I knew that this was a big deal.

But last week, the phone rang and as his number flashed on my caller id, I gasped. It was his wife. In tears. There will be no surgery, he has some infections he needs to recover from first.

The disappointment, frustration and sadness in her voice was clear. This surgery, while risky and anxiety ridden, gave them hope. Hope that perhaps things will get better. His hands won't shake as much, his body won't suffer as much. And while there is still hope that they can do the surgery in the weeks to come, postponing it is a blow.

Mr. Gehrke is a wonderful man who loves the Lord. And I know that I am not the only one who has been touched by the person that he is over the many years he taught.

Regardless of whether you know Mr. Gehrke or not, we all have our special, favorite teachers so today I am asking you to pause and hope.

Take a moment and say a little prayer for him. And his wife. And his daughters. For healing. For the strength to endure and the faith to keep going.

And for that flicker of hope to not go out.

1 Comments:

Blogger The Lindahl News said...

I remember you talking about this
special man. Here's a big dose of hope (and prayers) coming his way!

August 12, 2008 at 7:47 PM  

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