Ken was diagnosed with cancer. As the Mariners year progressed, so did Ken’s cancer. He spent his last months in his home with his wife Francie. (One of Rich and Karen’s grandkids now live in that house.) As it became apparent Ken may not make it, people talked about how it was too bad Ken may not live to see if the Mariners would win the world series… I saw Ken frequently in his last weeks. We would talk about the mariners. Even though his body was failing, his mind was good. He was interested in the Mariners. He was interested in the start of the Seahawks. But not that interested.
In the last weeks of Ken’s life, what he really wanted to talk about was Jesus Christ. He wanted to talk about the second coming. He gained energy as he considered what the Bible had to say about the last days and the mysteries surrounding the end of the ages. He dreamed about heaven and eternity and wondered what it would be like. I learned a lot about dying from Ken.
My mind went back to my own father’s death five years earlier. He died from leukemia over a three year period. Somewhere along the way I read a wonderful essay about what it was like spending time with the dying. The writer posed the question, “What do you say to a dying man that has a foot in two worlds, this world and the world to come?” the writer mused about how a person that is dying somehow is not quite as taken by the things of this world and how the things of eternity take on more importance.
Ken did not live to find out what happened to the Mariners, but he did not care. He was a man of faith who was prepared to meet the Lord Jesus Christ. Even as he lost strength physically, he found energy in his spirit. The closer he got to death the less he cared about the previous night’s game. The things of this earth became hollow. His family was still important. He was very kind to me. And his faith increased. Ken was renewed in his spirit as he reaffirmed the blessed hope of the coming of Jesus Christ to bring salvation to the world. What a joy and inspiration it was for me to have a front row seat to watch a man come alive as he lived with a foot in two worlds.