Fran came across the Atlantic Ocean from L’Abri, Switzerland, in December 1983 for cancer treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He was very ill, and the flight was a difficult one. On the way from the airport to the hospital, the doctors in the ambulance were reporting by walkie-talkie his pulse beat, blood pressure, and rate of breathing, all of which were rather alarming. When we finally got to the hospital, a doctor told me he doubted Fran would live through the night. I told him I would call upon God and ask him to be the one to make that judgment.

The next morning, Fran was better. He opened his eyes, and said to me, “Edith, would you be willing to buy a house near the hospital so I don’t ever have to cross the ocean again, and so I could go home and have my things around me?” Of course I said I would, believing that was part of what I had promised in my marriage vows when I said “For better or for worse … till death do us part.”

That evening, I passed a house with a “For Sale” sign in the lawn, and within a week I was signing the papers. A month later, I was back at L’Abri, packing all the possessions of our married life into 269 boxes. It was another five weeks until those boxes reached Rochester. During that time, Fran was in and out of the hospital and on two speaking tours. He was only in the newly furnished house two days before he returned to the hospital for the last time.

On Easter Day, six doctors called me into a room, and the leading consultant said, “He is dying of cancer. Do you want him placed in intensive care on machines? Once a person is on machines, I would never pull the plug. I need to know what your viewpoint is.” ...

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