Alvar and Alan


At 10:05 am, Sunday 17 February 2008, my grandfather Alvar Lunn passed
away. My father Alan watched over him in those final moments. This was
as likely as not–Alvar had lived with my parents for the past several
years. He enjoyed the devoted care of my mother and father. He was
embraced as a centerpiece of family gatherings.

Alvar was approaching his 94th birthday. He had taken care of himself
all his life, and his body responded by gliding down to a gentle stop.
He had lived as a professional, a gentleman, and family man. The care he
received at my parents’ hands was perhaps inspired by the loving care he
gave his own wife in the last few years of her life. I don’t say that I
ever knew Alvar well, but I think that he was walking after Christ in
the best way he could. I don’t doubt that he is doing so even now.

My father and I both knew this day would likely come while I was away. I
will miss Alvar, but I have peace about his passing. I cannot say the
same for my father. As Alvar slowly yielded up the functions of life,
Alan took up the responsibilities. As the roles of father and son slowly
reversed between the two men, Alvar’s health and affairs steadily grew
into Alan’s routines.

I was able to call my dad by Satellite phone two days ago. He sounded
haggard, sad, tired, and maybe a bit annoyed. As Alvar’s mind and body
slowly unraveled, he became for the most part, increasingly cherubic.
There were, however, significant challenges with dementia, health
complications, and daily schedules. Alan is ready to set down all that
he has carried for Alvar, but there are still final tasks ahead.

My dad is a hero. He is my hero. Please pray for him.

Toby :: 02.20.08


3 Responses to “Alvar and Alan”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Thank you for such a lovely reflection Toby. Alvar was such a unique and delightful addition to the family. It is obvious that he has shaped all of you in ways you ways that will unfold as you yourself age.

    It has long been a plain and simple fact that Alan and Debby Lunn are two of the most loving and heroic people in that part of the Midwest. Seeing both of them with Alvar was a true picture of goodness of a kind that is rare. May God bless them for their tireless love and care.

    So sad to hear of Alvar’s passing Toby. I am, however, glad you are at peace and that finally Alvar himself is at peace as well.

  2. Leigh Ann Says:

    Hey Toby, as always you are an excellent journaler, I have pondered on the life of Alvar as well… it was quite a life indeed!

  3. hannah Says:

    so lovely toby. i have been thinking about your father a lot these past few days since i heard about alvar. i hope alan can find some of that peace as well.

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