New Church Life NCL May/June 2018 - Page 39

  complementary forms of love and wisdom. The fruit of family grows from this inner source of love and truth, joined and working together. To this organized family that carefully planned ahead, something utterly unexpected happened. In March 1991, 16 months before Fred’s retirement from the Air Force, a whole new phase of life opened. I think the Lord wanted their special help in preparing a future angel. A really terrible car accident in Missouri took Barbara’s mother from this life, injured Barbara and Daniel, and left 22-year-old Dale very near death, in a coma that lasted three months. Thanks to truly excellent medical treatment by many doctors and close personal care, Dale survived, with special needs – especially the need for caring love and devoted time. The family moved to their 24 th house, in Phoenix, carefully chosen to serve the family’s new needs. New responsibilities taught new kinds of skills, and deepened the meaning of love. My strongest memories of Fred will remain seeing his diligent and sometimes difficult personal care, often quite muscular, carried out with fun and jokes to match Dale’s cheerful – well, Dale’s usually cheerful responses. A truly wonderful spirit grew in the home, with Fred, Barbara and Dale all giving to it. Many of you have shared in the gift of this spirit. I can’t describe it – you have to feel it for yourself. Fred and Barbara became expert in bringing Dale with them to church and to many other occasions, big and little, important and petty, for fun and for interest, and giving many people opportunities to share Dale’s friendly personality, and helping Dale stay abreast of other people’s lives and thoughts. One highlight was a cross-country driving trip for Dale to see many old friends – a typical Fiedler activity: ambitious, difficult, successful, tiring, widely enjoyable. Back in 1991, of course, this new cause looked less like an opening than a closing. But the Lord’s Divine providence brings goodness and help out of the evils that He allows or permits, but does not want. The Fiedler home became a living example that brought true benefits to a great many – including medical practitioners of many kinds, and especially nurses, therapists and other caregivers who’ve worked in their house. Fred and Barbara have been a real moral and spiritual help to this New Church minister and my wife, as we sought to be for them; the 1991 accident that struck Dale was a year and a half after our son, Danny, who played lacrosse with Dale, left this life. The two sets of parents, not especially close previously, found we had a great deal to say to each other. And we discovered a number of common views and interests. Retired from the Air Force, Fred continued to look for worthwhile causes. For a few years he was vice-president at American West Airlines, overseeing flight operations, and also a consultant for the airline industry. 215