Friday, February 29, 2008


I'm working the law library tonight. I get to go back to work at my bookstore tomorrow night. There is a part of me that is excited about this, but, then, there is a part that is actually kind of frightened and I'm not sure why. Part of it, I think, is the fact that I haven't been at the bookstore in quite a while. I think I've worked about a week and half the last five weeks. Its not because I wanted to take the time off, trust me. I had to. I had no choice. And for some reason, I still feel like I let work down by not being there. I'm sure they did just fine without me, but there is a sneaking suspicion on my part that taking so much time off because of my father's sickness will come back and haunt me. I hope not, but I have that fear.

I'm tired today. This last week has been busy with running hither and yon dealing with insurance and social security stuff. I could probably use another week off just to sit and do nothing, but then I'd get bored.

Its funny, old habits die hard. I picked up a New York Times today at the law library to take home. I used to take NYT home for my dad so he could read it. I don't need to take it home, and yet, in some weird way, I do. I'll read it tonight after I get home. I can see myself lugging home the Sunday Times, too.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


"Peace in the Valley"

This is the place where my father rests. It is in the mountains of Western Maryland. I took this last week before we left. It snowed that weekend. As a matter of fact, the day we left was the nicest day we had. I hadn't seen the blue sky all weekend, or for that matter, since we had left Indiana.

If you look carefully, you'll see a black roofed church. That's the church my father served at for ten years. He is buried in that cemetary. He is buried amongst his congregation. He will be happy there. He is among friends.

Last night I had an opportunity to go to an
IU basketball game in Bloomington. This picture is from part of teh pregame warm up. The cheerleaders are in the midst of some cheer or another. Its always a good time going to Assembly Hall. The game was alright, the Hoosiers seemed a bit flat. It wasn't their best game, though they did win, by three points.

Prior to the game my friend Joe and I went to a restaraunt called The Irish Lion. A wonderful place to eat. I had a bread bowl of a soup called Codel. Yummy. And to wash it down I had a half-yard of beer (hence the long glasses).

I'm slowly coming back to some form of normalcy. I didn't realize how tired and stressed I'd been over the last month. I've needed this down time.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I woke up this morning about 9:30 to the sound and feeling of my big grey cat pawing my bed, telling me it was time to eat. I opened my eyes and looked around, for a second I wasn't sure where I was. I was in a fog. Quickly, though, my mind snapped into place and I realized I was home, in Greenwood and one of the longest weekends in my life had come to a close.

Yesterday afternoon, as my mom and I drove home Western Maryland, after laying my father to rest. I found myself thinking quietly "has it been a week already? Has my dad been dead that long?" As a matter of fact, I wasn't a hundred percent sure that yesterday was, in fact, Sunday-- I had to check the masthead of the local newspaper to confirm that it was Sunday.

My dad would of been very pleased with the funeral and commital services we had. They were both packed with Grace and God's Love. The Monday after he died, my mom and I sat down with the Lutheran Hymnals. We looked at each's funeral services and decided the new Lutheran Service Book's funeral service was the "best." It really flowed nicely. We borrowed a couple things from the Lutheran Worship.

I must stop here and say this: pre-plan, and pre-pay for your funerals, if you are able. Both of my parents had the forethought to do that and it was a blessing for both my mom and I that my father had done so. It made every so much easier (and to a certain degree, cheaper, too).

We had an open casket. He was dressed in a blue suit, brown shirt and tie. He didn't want to be buried in a clerical. He did, however, have a white stole place over his hands and single red rose in the casket with him. He looked peaceful.

Surprisingly, my fingers are the same size his were. I am wearing a ring of his-- his "pastor's ring." A simple gold ring with an opal top with the Chi Rho symbol carved on the top. My mom doesn't think I should wear it because I'm not ordained, and I'll probably take it off eventually, but right now, I just want to wear it. I'm not sure why.

There has been very little sadness since my father died. As a matter of fact, I was concerned about my lack of mourning feelings, if you will. So, I actually went to the book store and looked through some "death and grieving" books. I learned one thing: there is no right way to mourn, but as I skimmed through the books I discovered something else. The people these books talked about didn't have anyone to place their grief on. If nothing else, these five weeks in general and the last week in particular, have helped me relise that God has been in control and if I believe what I say I believe than my father is with his Lord. He is in Heaven and he is more than happy. To be honest, I haven't had many feelings of mourning, but I have had some feelings of jealousy. I want to know what is he seeing, what is he doing? Basically, what's it like?

My mom and I are doing okay. We were both thankful to get home safely.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

my dad's funeral is tomorrow at 11 o'clock am.

my mom and i are packed and ready to go. we will be driving to Maryland after the service. My dad is going to be buried in the cemetery of St. Lutheran Church "the Cove," Accident, MD. He served there for 10 years and that congregation was a blessing to him in more ways than I can even talk about.

The funeral arrangements have all been made. Everything was quite easy. What a relief. My mom and I are both ready for a break. It has been a long four weeks, but we are both doing well. We're tired, but feel okay. We're mainly tired.

I hope I can blog from the road, but I'm not sure I'll have internet access.

The funeral service comes from the Lutheran Service Book. Its a beautiful service.

As I said earlier, he will be buried in Accident, MD. There will be commital service done in the church because its going to be very cold. That is going to be officiated by a man that my father supported and helped get into seminary.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Its Monday, right?

It feels like Wednesday to me. These last 48 hours are a blur. Actually, maybe the last 72 hours are the blur. At one point today I literally sat down and couldn't remember what day it was today. I actually thought it was Tuesday. So much happened in the last two days that I can't quite, in my own mind, get it all straight. I think part of it is that I had two cups of coffee Sunday morning after coming home from the hospital. I should of just gone to bed and foregone the coffee.

After I got things taken care of at the hospital, I drove home. When I got there my mom and aunt were awake and sort of waiting for me. We sat at the kitchen table talking. I was decompressing a bit. Sorting through images, dissecting words spokend between my dad and I before he died. I was exhausted, yet I wide awake.

We waited until six o'clock and then my Aunt Anita, my mom's sister, went to McDonald's and got some of their breakfast buns. She brought those home, mom made scrambled eggs, and we had breakfast. Two cups of coffee, a sugarbun, and eggs later I was tired, but wired. Great combination. I lay down on my bed and tried to sleep, but I couldn't turn it off. The caffine didn't help. I fought to go to sleep for a couple hours and finally gave up.

I got up, and then kind of walked around in a befuddled caffine-caused cloud. Everything was in slowmotion for a while. About 2:30 mom and I went to the funeral home that is taking care of things. My parents, in forethought, preplanned and prepaid for their funerals. So, my mom and I just had to fill in some blanks and make sure everything was set properly.

By the time we were done there, we were both wiped. We ate out, but for the life of me, I can't remember the name of the joint. It was a deli, McAllister's, I think. THe food was good.

I've been thinking back to Sunday night all day. It was a night that I will not soon forget. I have seen dead bodies before. I've been to many different funerals, but I've never actually seen anyone die. My father's passing was so quiet, it was almost surreal. One second he was here, breathing hard, the next he was gone. It was literally like a switch was flipped off. It was so sudden that the nurses weren't even sure he had gone. He was peaceful. His eyes were slightly lidded and his mouth slightly open. His arms across his chest. It was silent.

I took some time to be with my father before I left. It was he and I. I stroked his forehead and took his hand in mine. I prayed over his body, thanking God for taking care of him and easing his pain. I thanked God for taking my father to Heaven and for allowing me to be his son. I kissed his forehead lightly and then pulled the sheets up to his chin. Before I left I pulled the curtain around his bed so no one could look in. I wanted him to have his dignity. The last thing I did was turn off all the lights and then walked away.

I don't think I can put into words how it felt to be in that room at the moment. I wasn't scared or angry. I was glad I was there. He needed me to be there.

When I was little, right around the time his father died, my dad took me to a funeral home. My grandfather didn't want me to see him in his coffin. He wanted me to "remember the good times," but my father wanted me to understand death. So, he talked with a funeral home director on Long Island and we went to view a body in a coffin. I think it was probably one of the most important things my father ever did for me. It is because of that visit that death doesn't scare me in the least. I remember the man, I don't know his name, but he was laid out in his coffin. His head was to my right. He wore a blue suit. He had white hair. His coffin was completely open. He had been a veteran, I remember the tri-pointed flag.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Funeral Arrangements

As many of you may know, my father, Ernest Lindner, passed away on February 17th.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for being so helpful the last month as my mother and I have dealt with his illness and hospitalization. My mother and I would like to thank all of you for your kind words and prayers during this time.

My father’s funeral will be on Thursday, Feb. 21st, at 11 am, at Calvary Lutheran Church, 6111 S Shelby St, Indianapolis, IN.

Internment will be in St. John’s Lutheran Church cemetery located in Accident, MD the following Saturday.

Please, do not send flowers. Below are two organizations we, as a family support.

Worship for Shut Ins
Lutheran Ministries Media, Inc.
3225 Crescent Avenue Fort Wayne, In 46805-1501
Worship for Shut Ins website.

Bethesda Homes and Services Cypress Campus
PO Box 729
Cypress, TX 77410-0729
Bethesda's Website

Thank you again.

Carolyn and Karl Lindner

In God's Arms, Now

dad reading

Rev. Ernest G. Lindner
April 5, 1937 - February 17, 2008

Rest in Peace. God bless you and keep you. I love you and always will.
My dad died this morning at approximately 4:10. He died in the hospital. I was with him at the end. He went peacefully and with no pain. He is with the Lord in His Heavenly reward and for that I am thankful. He has no more suffering. He is in his glory. His last words to me were "How are the roads?" I think there is meaning in those words. I really do.

Thank you, again, for your prayers and well wishes. I will post funeral arrangements as soon as they are finalized.

Blessings to all of you


Saturday, February 16, 2008

how to describe what is going on now. i'm not sure. my feelings are mixed up. i have a lump in my throat as i write this. my father is fading. i doubt seriously he will live through the weekend. i pray for a quick release. that the Lord Jesus come to his servant take him to his reward. that is my prayer. i love you dad. thank you for the blessings of faith and love that you gave to me. thank you for the love reading and literature and history. thank you for teaching me the art of patience and art of listening. be at peace. i love you.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I am sitting with my father right now in the hospital. The hospital has a WiFi netword that I am able to use with my laptop. We are watching Wheel of Fortune. He is resting comfortably and is in good spirits. As a matter of fact I'd say he is probably more comfortable now than at any time in the last three weeks. If nothing else, the floor he is on in the hospital is probably the quitest place he has been in the last three weeks. It is certainly more quiet (almost silent) compared to the ER yesterday. That place was crazy and busy. My mother and I finally had to leave. We just couldn't take it any more. I hated to leave, but I had to. I just couldn't do it. I think the screaming guy that yelled "QUIIIIIITE! LEAVE ME ALONE!" did it. He certainly didn't help matters any.

These last three weeks have been tough and exhausting, but somehow my mother and I have been able to find strenght. A lot of that strength has come from our faith, but also from each other. It has been three weeks of ups and downs.

I do appreciate all the prayers that have been said on my father (Ernie's) and my and my mother's (Carolyn) behalf.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

To describe today I have to use words like "exhausting," "heart wrenching," and "peaceful."

My father was taken back to the hospital this morning about seven with chest pains. He is a very sick man. Very sick. He is getting weaker. Yesterday, while at the rehab center, he became winded and very tired. During the evening he was restless. He said he didn't eat the night before, he felt sick. Around seven this morning he had some chest pains and that sent back to the hospital.

His cardiologist came around this afternoon and we had a good talk with him. My father was lucid today, for the most part, and that was a good thing. After talking with the doctor and coming to the conclusion that there isn't much more that can be done we decided to turn off my fathers defibulator that he has in his chest. It is a combination defibulator/pacemaker. He has a standing DNR (do not resucitate) order and he decided, on his own, that the defibulator in his chest kind of trumps the DNR. So, he decided to have it turned off. That doesn't mean he will die tomorrow. It just means that if his heart goes into a weird rythm that defib will not shock the heart into a proper rythm. In short, nature will take its course.

He will continue to be treated via medication. But nothing drastic will or can be done. He isn't a candidate for any kind of radical surgery up to and including transplant. He has a variety of other health problems that make such procedures dangerous.

He is comfortable with his decision and resting comfortably in the hospital. God's will be done.

Monday, February 11, 2008

In Which Your Faithful Narrator Talks About Faith and How His Has Gotten Him Through These Last Few Weeks

A few years back, when we still lived in the Great State of Texas there was a woman that went to the same church we did. For the life of me, I can't remember her name and I've tried, but that's not really important. She had had cancer for five or six years. The thing was this: the doctors had given her six months to live when they found the cancer. She beat that prediction. Sadly, the cancer eventually won and she died, but somewhere along the way someone asked her how she felt when she learned about her terminal cancer and that she only "had six months to live." She replied that she thought it had been a win-win situation. She was firmly rooted in her Faith in Jesus and His salavation, so she knew that she would go to Heaven when she died, but she also was able to spend more time with her family, in this case five more years. I've always loved that way of looking at things.

I knew another woman whose name Esther. She was one of those people that can only be described as Lutheran. She was so strong in her faith that it was at times scary. As a matter of fact, when my father had his heart attack in 1989, Esther was the one who took over his confirmation class. She and her sister, Claudine, would sit in the front of the church right under the pulpit and listen intently to my father's sermons. I used to enjoy watching them nod their heads in agreement with things my dad would say. Esther was an important person in my life when it came to looking at things in a spiritual sense. She would say, when someone died that "their room was ready." That seems like a course thing to say, but in fact its not. She was referring to the scripture John 14:1-5;
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may also be wehre I am. You know the place where I am going.

I find a tremendous amount of solace in that scripture.

I must say, quickly, that my father has not died. He is still very much alive. He was released from the hospital today and went back to the rehabilitation center. He has a lot of ground to make up. He lost alot of strength over the last few days of laying in bed.

It has been a long three weeks for me and my mother. As a matter of fact, looking back, it seems like a great big blur. I'm amazed that it his Feb. 11th.

I have been praying alot these last weeks. More than usual and I'm a fairly regular prayer. I pray thanksgiving prayers and pleading prayers. I pray hopeful prayers and scared prayers. I pray relief prayers and quite prayers. I've even prayed a few beg-prayers. But I always make sure I pray one thing: "your will be done, Lord, not mine." I think that is important. I think it is important for me to hear me say that. It keeps me grounded.

My faith has not been tested these last few weeks. It has been strengthened. I am stronger in my faith at this moment than I have been in a long time. I have stress, yes, but not fear. I know that the God's grace is surrounding me and my mother, but more importantly my father. I know that his faith is strong. As a matter of fact, he has had a couple of rough nights this week and I got him to calm down through prayer.

This hasn't been fun, by any means, as a matter of fact it has sucked. If I can use that term. I've lost weight and sleep. I have only worked four days in the last three weeks. I'm tired and so is my mom. I'm worried, but not scared. I'm nervous, yes, I'll admit that, but that's because I don't know the future (and frankly, I'm glad I don't know it). My faith though, that has been the constant. That's the thing that I have leaned on and held on to. I don't think I could have gotten through the last few weeks without my faith and friends who have shown concern and care.

I believe whole heartedly that the Gospel of the Good News is not only true, but real. I believe that through God's grace I can get through anything. I'm not afraid to say that outloud or in public. I thank God constantly for that faith that he so graciously gave me. I'm not sure how anyone can get through daily life without knowing and feeling the presence of God.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

calls at 3 am are never good. they're usually bad. my dad was taken back to the hospital this morning, early, because of chest pains. you have to understand this: my father has a bad heart. not a so-so heart, but a bad one. not much can be done for him. he really isn't a candidate for surgery, he does have a defibulator/pacemaker implanted in his chest, and he takes a small pharmacy full of pills each day (as well medicine for diabetes), but that's about all he can do. he excercises lightly, but nothing major.

right now, he is back in st. francis hospital, third floor, ccu (cardiac care unit). a much nicer place than the ER, we did that this morning. it was quiter than the last time, which was nice, but its still an ER and those places just can't be cheery, no matter how clean or well-lit they are.

he is comfortable. he is awake. he knows what's happening. he's upset that he is back in the hospital, but he knows that he is safe. this does throw a bit of a monkey wrench into the works rehab-wise, but that will be taken care of.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

In Which Your Faithful Narrator Gets Noirish

tonight, after work in the library i sat in my car and flipped through my book of cds that resides, currently in said car. i flipped through that bastard three times and couldn't find anything that really said "oh, listen to me!" i had a rather frightening thought: i've moved on. most, if not all of the cds in that book are from college and some from high school. its a combination of rock, alt rock, and some hip hop. i listen to it and become nostalgic. i actually felt a little sad about the whole affair. so, instead of listening to a cd, i turned on the radio and let the sounds of bee-bop jazz take me through the cold, misty streets of indy.

the streets of indy have a weird light to them at night. particularly madison and meridian. there is a certain amount of creepiness that exudes from those streets. i'm sure it has something to do with the neon lights from the bars and clubs, but also from the steam that rises from the manhole covers that dot the streets. tonight, in particular, was strangely weird. i could see the images of people on the sidewalks, but not the people themselves. i saw a blond standing next to a stretch humvee, but it wasn't a person, no, it was more of an anomorphic image. an extra, if you will, in a noir film that i happened to find myself in. the stop lights glowed menacingly and the steam blew at me in shifty clouds. i was safe in my four wheeled capsule listening to bee-boppin dizzy gillepsie. i felt like i needed to bottle it all up, to save for later. to re-experience it, to unpack it and view it from different sides. i was in the scene, but not of the scene. it was a weird discontected feeling.

maybe it was the music that made the scene. maybe it was my far away thinking the caused it. i wasn't thinking of anything in particular, just kind of going with it, if you will. i felt like an observer, not an interactor.

as soon as i got passed the lilly pharmacutical headquarters and continued south the spell was somewhat broken, but it nagged me all the way home. it became stronger again for a while when i got into traffic and i became part of a group waiting at a stoplight. images flashed at me, not in a schizophrenic way, but in that weird unfolding way. it became spooky for a while. but just as the images washed over me, they left. i was part of it again. whatever "it" was. it wasn't a scene. it wasn't staged. it just was.

Friday, February 01, 2008

In Which Your Faithful Narrator Narrates

There was no snow today. Ice, yes. Slush, indeed. But snow? Not so much. The reason I bring this up is that according to the weatherman last night we were in for it. I mean, we were really in for it. The predictions dire. The rhetoric bordered on end-or-the-world-every-man-for-themselves kind of stuff. And yet, not much came of it. I think the nasty weather went more north. I'm sure 3rdWorst got it good, but not us. Oh we have some bluchy slushy, icy white stuff on the ground that crunches a bit when you walk on it, but not the blizzard they seemed to be predicting last night. Am I complaining? It probably sounds like it, but in fact, I'm not. I'm not the least bit disappointed we didn't get inundated with significant snowfall; but, truth be told, I'd rather have snow than that ugly ice. It is warmer than it was last week.

I'm sitting in the law library right now. Its quiet in here. I think a good many people got scared away by the nasty snow talk. Its going to be a long night. One of those nights that I have to find things for myself to do. I can do that, but I'd rather not. The clock seems to tick slower when that happens.

My dad is continuing to improve. He is doing very well. His right side is a bit weak. But his intellectual facilities seem to be okay and that is important. He's able to read and think and talk and knows what's going on. Its site better than it was this time two weeks ago. Man, has it been two weeks since the stroke-incident? How time flies.

I started my taxes last night. I'm shocked at how much I don't make. I once read that one should make at least a thousand dollars a year for the age they are. In other words; if you are twenty-five, you should make 25,000 dollars a year, if you are forty-eight, you should make 48,000. Sadly, I don't make anywhere near my age. Its quite ugly, actually and not a little scary. But it makes me angry, too. I've worked for the company I work for going on eight years, I should make more than I do. It just seems criminal, almost. And yet, for some reason, I'm actually quite happy. I'm doing okay, sort of. I'm not sure I wouldn't have the same problems I have now if I made more money. I'd probably have more problems. In short, this just shows me that I do have to find better and more fulfilling employment.