Opinion

Matters of the Heart

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The heart is a fantastic thing! It appears in the embryo as a thump as early as five weeks, and it just starts seemingly on its own. By six weeks, the baby's heart – now beating 110 times a minute. None of us know how many times it will beat until it makes it's last.

We only had three sons, and each of their personalities was as diverse as one could imagine.

Our youngest son, John Jr., was only 35 years of age when his enlarged heart suddenly stopped beating. It was in his birthday month of May and only about 30 days after he and his wife had just adopted their baby son. We never know how much time we are going to have with our loved ones here on this earth. But the day before his passing was a precious one. We were hosting a Killman family reunion, and many others attended as well. John Jr brought photographs of his new baby and proudly showed them off to all. We all enjoyed a banquet of foods and fellowship with him. It was as though the Lord was allowing all of us to bid him a farewell. It is so important to keep our relationships fresh and void of unforgiveness. Because when that loved one heart beats for the last time, we won't suffer from regrets.

Our middle son, Shannon Killman, experienced a massive "widowmaker" heart attack at the age of 53 while riding with his son taking trash to the dump. Son Jackson was driving, and suddenly without a sound or warning, his dad just fell over into his lap. As The Lord would have it, Jackson had just completed a course in CPR, and he went into action as soon as he pulled his dad out onto the ground and called 911 and continued pounding on his dad's chest for 15 minutes until the paramedics arrived and took over. The paramedics shocked his heart back into a rhythm and survived with just a few symptoms of oxygen deprivation. Up until this time, he ate junk food and sodas all day and only one big evening meal. I don't recall how many stents the doctors put in, but they got him back up and running. He changed the way he eats and attempts to eat three balanced healthy meals a day. He survived the "widowmaker" and headed the doctors' advice. I just spoke to him, and he was climbing the side of Pinnacle Peak mountain in Arizona.

Our eldest son Rantz Killman was a rebel from about the age of twelve. He marched to a different drummer than the rest of our family. He fathered eight beautiful children. In his 30's and 40's, he was a great carpenter. John taught him all he knew, and Rantz thrived at it. He was a great cook and maintained a proper diet. However, he abused alcohol to the max, and it took a toll on his health! His heart went out to the down and outers. He loved little children and senior citizens. I NEVER heard him say a bad thing about anyone, even if they had abused him. He had a good heart, but it stopped beating in November of 2018 at the age of 56.

John shocked me the day we walked into his cardiologist's office. We had a cardiologist because John had several stents put in a few years back. He asked how he was doing, and I answered fine, we are just here for his 6-month check-up. John corrected me and said no, I had had a heart attack several days ago. Tests revealed the necessity to have open heart surgery in September of 2015. He did well, and his heart is still doing its job, beating, as it should.

Matters of the heart are critical, keep a clean conscience, do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. Be sure you have accepted Christ into your heart. Do your best to reduce the fats and sugar you take in. Love one another, and the day your heart beats its last, all will be well with your soul.

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