Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed... and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
Ecclesiastes 12:6-7

William A. “Bill” Krusen Sr. at the age of 89

My father lay dying. We all knew it and, importantly, he knew it. He was ninety-one years old and had congestive heart failure. My older brother had called me in Belize, where I was living at the time, describing the gravity of the situation. I flew to Tampa the next day.  

As it turned out, I was alone with Dad quite a bit over the next few days. Early on, I asked him if he understood his heart was giving out; that he probably wouldn’t be able to last much longer. I told him he needed to prepare for another journey. He looked at me and said, “I know. I’ve known that for several months now.” 

Those were special days, indeed, as Dad and I made up for years of silence, even estrangement, between us. I often held his hand, and he often asked me to “say a prayer,” which I did. I also sang hymns and songs, which he clearly enjoyed. 

I remember being concerned for the state of his soul. His pastor, John DeBevoise, assured me all was well. “Your father knows where he’s going,” he told me one evening at the conclusion of a visit.  

That same night, Dad sat up in bed and looked directly in front of him. “Oh, be careful!” he cried. “Don’t fall!”  

“What’s the matter, Dad?” I asked, concerned. 

He continued staring straight ahead. “They’re too close to the edge.” 

“Who’s too close to the edge?”  

“Grampa and Granma Barron,” he said, adding, “And Great Grandpa Blakeslee is singing.”  

Grandpa and Grandma Barron were Dad’s maternal grandparents, and Great Grandpa Blakeslee his grandmother’s father. I asked Dad what Great Grandpa Blakeslee was singing, but he said he didn’t know. 

The following day, after some visitors had left the room, Dad called me closer. He looked up at me smiling, speaking in a sweet, almost childlike voice, “All things come to an end.” I leaned in closer. “I’m not frustrated,” he said. “I’m not sad. I’ve left a mark. My family is my mark.” 

I squeezed his hand and smiled. Oh, I loved my dad! 

The next morning, Dad had another “mini-stroke.” This one turned out to be his last. I knew he was going, and then, I knew he was gone. My tears on his face looked as though they were his tears sliding down his cheeks.  

Here’s to you, Dad! Here’s to the mark you left behind! 

Cris with his dad and stepmom in Belize, two months before his dad’s passing.

Such a strange way to ring in the New Year, Cristóbal! 

But is it? Hear the words of the Preacher from the seventh chapter of Ecclesiastes: “A good name is better than fine perfume, and  the day of death better than the day of birth.  It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.” (Ecclesiastes 7:1, 2)    

Dear friends, let’s get it on for 2020! Let us pursue our dreams with all our vigor and may God grant us the desires of our heart! At the same time, let us remember that “all things come to an end” and human kingdoms will not last. Hear again the words of the Preacher: “Young people, enjoy your youth. Be happy while you are still young. Do what you want to do and follow your heart's desire. But remember that God is going to judge you for whatever you do.” (Ecclesiastes 11:9) 

Dad left his mark. What mark will I leave? What mark will you leave? 

P.S. Feel free to reply to this email with your comments. I read each one!

We are excited to report that plans are taking shape for filming The Puzzle Factory scenes in Mexico at the end of February/beginning of March this year!

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Cristóbal Krusen is a filmmaker and author. He founded Messenger Films in 1988.

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