Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Voice from Beyond...

“Just call to let me know you’re OK.” How often do we ask this and how many times do we listen for the phone to ring to hear a voice on the other end reassure us that they’re fine?

Bill Pohl was that kind of person. When his health problems became more difficult he utilized his cell phone to keep in contact with friends and family.

Bill had been battling diabetic complications for several years. In July of 2007, his two lower legs had been amputated and along with other health issues that meant frequent hospitalization.

This past year he struggled with lung and heart issues. The next decision was whether he would go to a nursing facility or continue to stay at his home.

Bill was a former Cannon Falls High School teacher and football coach. He and his family - wife Lucy, two daughters Kris (O’Brien), Kari (Maffei) and son Kyle lived here for several years. The last years were spent in Onalaska, WI.

A call came...

It was on a Tuesday a couple of weeks ago that Kris was informed that her dad had now had a heart attack and was on a respirator. The family gathered at his bedside with the knowledge that he didn’t want to live that way. Kris explained: “We were all down there when he was taken off it.”

Kris is the Community Education Director at the Kimball Area Public Schools and lives near St. Cloud, MN. She had to go back to get her girls and husband and return to Onalaska for a private ceremony. A memorial service was planned for a couple of weeks later so other relatives could travel to be there.

A voice mail...

So back in St. Cloud on the day after her dad’s death, Kris was on her cell phone making arrangements to be away from work for another couple of days. It was at this point that she saw there was a new voice mail and hit the keypad to listen. (It was actually a voice mail from a week earlier, but came up again as a new voice mail.)

And she burst into tears.

Because the voice on the phone was someone she didn’t expect to hear again.

“Hi Kris, this is Dad.” She didn’t hear the next part because of her shock and tears but then she calmed down and heard him end with: “Anyway I’m just letting you know... I’m home.”

William G. Pohl, 67, passed away Wednesday, January 5, 2011