Monday, March 31, 2008


I don’t know that I have ever understood death. I don’t know if I still understand death. Although I have learned a lot more about it in the last couple of years. This weekend we were reminded again, a little bit, about the nature of death. One of Lisa’s uncles passed away last Thursday.

I had only met him once and did not know him at all. I do know that this family, largely through the loss of Phil, Lisa’s late husband, has to struggle again with the pain of losing a loved one. The thing that got me thinking about this was Lisa’s mother-in-law mentioning that she had asked her brother to say hello to Phil when he got to heaven.

I remember saying those exact same words when I last saw my Uncle John. That was in July of 2006, two months after Carol died. My Dad had died in March, Carol in May and now my dear uncle was obviously nearing the end of his life. When I had to leave him that day I knew that this would be the last time I would see him alive. I knew that within a few earthly days he would be seeing Carol and my Dad within the glorious beauty and majesty of heaven. I asked him to say hi and to tell them both that we missed them like crazy. I cried and cried just asking him to do that. He didn’t cry at all. I think he was so at peace with the thought of going there that he really longed for it. He was getting weaker by the minute and other physical issues made it difficult for him at the end, and I think he truly longed to be HOME.

Do you think that happens? Can we bring a message from this life over into our heavenly existence? I’m thinking yes. I’m thinking that while time in heaven may or may not be running parallel to earthly time, there is an awareness of one’s earthly existence, one’s relationships, and one’s thought process, etc. I remember reading a book about heaven after Carol died. It seemed that I wanted to learn all I could about it because the person I loved more than anything was now there. I really wanted to get an idea of what she was experiencing. One of the most comforting things I learned was that our loved ones can continue to intercede on behalf of their loved ones while in heaven. WOW! In the months since Carol’s death I have often been encouraged by that thought.

While death seems so final and like such a stark ending, if we can look at it through “eternal” eyes (easier said that done) we can see that its affect on us is temporary. We will see our loved ones again. We will see our Savior face to face. We will have a chance to bring our loved ones, those we will inevitably leave behind, before the throne of God.

Recently we celebrated the Christian holiday of Easter. Because of Easter, because of Christ's resurrection, death is victory. Life is eternal. Joy is perfect. We can “hold on” until the day we can say hi to our loved ones ourselves. Our loved ones lead the way.

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
PSALM 42: 5

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Wise Words From A Friend-

WORK Like you don’t need the money.
LOVE Like nobody has ever hurt you.
DANCE Like nobody is watching.
SING Like nobody is listening.
LIVE As if this is paradise on earth.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I love my Mom! I just had to say that right at the beginning. We had the pleasure of having her stay at our house the last two weeks while my sister and brother-in-law were taking a break in Florida. We had a great time. Lisa and Kelli really enjoyed her company.
It was her 85th birthday on Saturday. That was the day that she was being picked up again so it was a perfect opportunity for us all to get together to celebrate this milestone. However, I think her real party was on Sunday in DeWitt. I was not able to attend that one but I’ve heard about it and would like to tell a little about what I know.
My sister and niece had the idea of having a "card shower" for Mom. They sent out invitations to many of her friends, family, church family, former coworkers etc, asking them to send Mom a birthday card. The response was amazing. Mom received over 40 cards, each with nice comments and well wishes. I could tell from talking to her that it really touched her heart. Another fun aspect of the way my sister presented the cards is the "yellow brick road”. Mom is the queen of the yellow brick road. She would wrap many gifts separately and then put them all into one larger box. She would connect them with yarn (usually yellow) so that there would be a path from one gift to the next. So that is the way her cards were presented to her. Perfect!!
Following is the poem my sister wrote to accompany her card journey:

We just couldn’t resist
To give you a package
That’ll make your eyes mist…

With tears of happy memories
From those you hold dear;
Old friends from afar
And ones right here.

You’ve given so much
Your whole life through,
Here’s a chance for loved ones
To give love to you.

From friends at Good Sam
Where you gave it your all;
Caring for the needy
Spring, summer, winter and fall…

To friends from your church
That you’ve known for so long.
You served side by side
And shared many a song…

And to nieces and nephews
Who call you “Aunt Grete”,
They love you so dearly
From your head to your feet…

They’ve all come together
With wishes so dear;
That you’re not forgotten
They’ve made perfectly clear.

You’ve touched so many lives
With your kind and gentle heart;
They really have missed you
Since you’ve been apart.

So sit back and read these
Again and again…
Whenever you get lonely
And puzzles run thin.

Happy Birthday MOM - We love you
Thanks to you who have made this day extra special for Mom.