I smiled the entire time I talked to Brian today...
Gates and Elder Parker Rose
“And… maybe we heard this somewhere, but God is never that far from us.We may drift away from him but he’s always there for us.And so…if it…if you feel pretty weak and you feel that you need someone there, he’s always there, so just get down on your knees and just pray.He’ll answer your prayers.” – Gates Hunsaker (Farewell Talk – 3/27/11)
Brian emailed me Gates’ farewell talk; I transcribed it word-for-word including, from the pulpit, when he said “crap” – which I loved (another good friend to Gates and me smiled about this earlier this week).It was wonderful to reacquaint myself with his message, considering all that’s happened since his discourse.After the Hunsaker family has some time to read it, and with their approval, I will post his entire dissertation.
Gates is free of assisted breathing, less the oxygen mask he adorns on occasion.Once the ventilation was removed, in a gruff, almost inaudible whisper Gates said to his dad, “I want a big ice-cold Sprite!”Brian laughed.Thank you everyone, of all faiths and religious beliefs, for your prayers; Gates breathed, all on his own, throughout the day today.I was happy to hear both sets of Grandparents got to talk to their Grandson.
If Gates stays strong there is hope, a small glimmer of belief he might be transferred from the ICU to rehabilitation as early as tomorrow.If not tomorrow, Monday is the goal.His throat is swollen from the abrasive, yet necessary tubing that helped him breath, so they’re keeping an eye on him overnight.
Upon sustaining an injury like Gates did, the goal is to not let atrophy the muscles he can use.For two hours today he sat in what is known as a “Stroke Chair” while physical therapist made Gates use those muscles in his arms.
Gates and Dad (Brian)
I smiled the entire time I talked to Brian today; he was so blissful and cheery.To listen to his eldest son converse and joke with friends lifted, even more, his ever positive spirits.To my surprise and delight Brian called me again, just one hour later, with even more discussion of the day’s events; the tone in his voice was ringing with joy.
One other thing Brian was sure to mention, was how grateful he was for the comments posted today.So again, the Hunsaker family thanks you for your inspirational and thoughtful notes on the post.You touch more than you realize with your optimism shared for Gates.We all take strength and encouragement from one another and sincerely appreciate those who write, even if you have only just become familiar with Gates via this outlet.
Gates is a remarkable young man and has an uncanny ability to bring people together.
A final thought, piggybacking what Gates shared in his farewell talk and quoted in the first paragraph of this post, which has eternal application:“Now, even the Savior, when He was on the cross, felt His Father far from Him. You will have moments, perhaps long moments, of feelings of separation.But the way to draw closer to God is to pray, and listen, and obey Him all your days.”– President Henry B. Eyring