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  • Written Nov 27, 2011 5:33pm

    Dear Friends,

    It has been a little over a year since I updated this sight.  I thought it would be a good time to post again during the Thanksgiving weekend. It seems it is easier to update events when the person is ill and things are changing every day, but after the person dies, the events and changes are not as frequent. The healing is far slower than the onslaught of an illness.  It has been a little over a year and a half since Mary’s death.   Even though we are still moving through the grief of losing, a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a friend, we do have much to be thankful for.  The past twelve months has brought some healing and built our faith in an eternal faithful God.  Sorrow is still ever present, and the question why has not been answered, but we are not dwelling there.  Those are God things that may be too heavy for us to carry right now, so we just trust in Him and His wise and perfect plan for us.  God, although, has been sustaining us so we can keep moving forward.  We wake up every morning to go to work, to school, to church, to whatever, and we are not debilitated by bitterness, anger, depression or despair.  We do however; keep our eyes on Jesus, and His spirit and strength keeps us from falling or slipping.  The second year is in some ways is harder than the first.  The shock is not as present as in the first year, but you are more aware of her absence, especially during the holidays.  There is something very special that a Mom brings to a home, especially during the Holidays.  The smell of Turkey, dressing, cookies, brownies and how the house takes on the look of the seasons, and the table has to be set up just so for dinner.  In short a mom makes it a warm special place we call home.  She cares for her family in so many ways; these are the things that we notice are not the same and we long for her.  But, I do see her in our children. They all have taken on the same attention to detail and it does bring joy to my heart to see them work together and make a Thanksgiving dinner with Mary’s family, come together.

    Other events that need mentioning are Emily and Cassie are at Bethel University, Emily is a junior nursing student and Cassie is a freshman hoping to study Social work. They both live on campus and Phillip had an opportunity to move in with some friends this fall, which left just Janelle and me at home.  We went from five to two. That took a little adjustment for both of us.  Also Both Emily and Cassie were baptized on September 30 at Bethlehem’s Mounds View Campus.  Bethlehem video tapes their testimonies a few days before their baptisms to share with the congregation, so they do not have to speak in front of eight or nine hundred people.  I have posted their testimonies on YouTube and link is below:


    Many people will ask me, how are the kids doing, and this is a very good representation of their hearts and how they are doing.  Fair warning, these will pull on your heart, but will also bring a joy of see how God will not forsake us and uses all circumstances to bring us closer to Him and to display His glory to us.

    Keep us in your prayers as we continue to move forward. We are learning to live without Mary, but it is not easy, and it is not suppose to be easy. We miss her greatly, and have the great hope that one day in the near future, when we will stand before the Thorne of God, and we will not only see Jesus’ face, we will also see Mary again and all those who have gone before us and will never have to be separated again.

    Praising God for a future to come,


  • Written Nov 15, 2010 10:15pm

    Dear Friends,

    It has been quite awhile since I lasted updated everyone on how we are fairing.  It surprises me how relentless time is as it marches on.  It was six months, last Sunday that Mary went home to be with the LORD.  She is still a topic of discussion around the house every day.  The tears are still there, but not as often.  It seems like in the last eight weeks, our hearts and minds are beginning to come together.  Our minds knew what happened, but our hearts were lagging behind, not wanting to fully accept the loss of her.  Earlier, they would meet and the sorrow would come and it seemed like they would separate again so you could function.  As time passed, the heart can no longer keep its distance. You come to realize, this is just the way it is going to be.  I have mention to a number of friends, we have moved into the “physical therapy” part of the grief.  When you are first wounded, it is best to do very little.  After a while you need to start moving, then you meet your “physical therapist” and they very quickly become your worst nightmare.  If the wound was not bad enough, the pain experienced at the hand of your physical therapist can be worst, at first.  I noticed a change in the kids and myself as we moved into fall season with a change in our daily activities.  We were standing and looking okay, until something bumped us, set us back, or we started something new, like school. We had two very sprained ankles and we were force to take a step.  Even though the changes had nothing to do with the wound, the pain was real and when you did not move or take a step, you seemed better than you really were.  Hence the physical therapy, although it hurt like crazy, it is part of the healing.  It was helpful for us recognize this and talk through the hard adjustments, acknowledging how wounded we really were.  God is so faithful.  The first place we would go is to our knees, asking our Heavenly Father for help, and He did.  So we are slowly adjusting to life without Mary.  We are even looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The Kids want to keep the traditions of having Mary’s father and brothers over for Thanksgiving and celebrating Christmas Eve with my family at our house.  I know there will be times when this will be overwhelming, but it will be healing for us to move though these times in the strength God gives us in the power of his Spirit through our Savior and King, Jesus.  Please continue to pray for us. We are so held up by your prayers. God is so faithful.

    1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

    13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.


    In the surpassing worth of Knowing Christ Jesus,


  • Written Aug 10, 2010 10:25pm

    It amazes me how fast and how slow time goes at the same time.  Summer is passing by so quickly, and it has only been three months since Mary went home to be with the LORD.  It seems like it has been so much longer and yet time keeps marching on.  It has been a while since I posted so I wanted to update everybody as to how we are fairing as time goes by.

     On the first Sunday after Mary’s death we were on our way to church and I asked the Kids if we should take a week or two and do a road trip this summer.  It has been a while since we have been on a summer vacation as a family.   With starting of colleges, Mary’s illness, and some of the past summer’s work schedules of Phillip and Emily, it has been difficult coordinating a summer road trip.   So it was decided that we would take two weeks and travel west. Phillip took the lead and planned the stops, sights, and hikes. We headed west to Utah to visit several national parks, Arches, Coral Reef, Bryce, The North Rim of Grand Canyon, and Zion.  This was a trip that was a first for all of us.  We have been to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon but we have not traveled to any of these parks before.  It was also the first road trip without Mary.  I did see evidences of her spirit in our children.  Mary always had enough food on broad to feed us for at least a week.  She would make sandwiches in the Suburban as we traveled for lunch and we would either eat it as we were driving or stop at some remote spot that she thought had a nice view.  Sure enough as we traveled across Nebraska and lunch time came, Emily announced “Let’s make lunch, Dad keep driving, there is not view here worth stopping at.”   It was good for us to spend time together as a family. Being able to focus on the day’s activities together and not having all the normal pulls of our different lives and responsibilities demanding our attention.  So often we spend time together, but our attention to each other is divided by the normal demands of life.  

     The conversation was open and often included Mary.  There was more laugher than tears, but there were tears.  One evening in the hotel I was loading the pictures of the day’s events on to my lap top and came across a short video that one of the kids shot of Mary back in December.  I had never seen it and nobody knows who tape it, but there was Mary, full of life and telling us no matter what happens,  keep walking, trusting in God’s goodness, he will provide and will keep you.  When the kids heard Mary’s voice, they all gathered around the computer and watched.  There were no dry eyes. It was the first time we heard her voice since she died.  We spent the next moments in prayer, as a family, thanking God for my Wife, our Mother, the Care Giver, and my best friend.  We also asked the LORD to fill us with his grace, with his mercy, and with his strength for the days ahead.  We also ask that you keep us in your prayers when you think of us.  God is sustaining us and keeping us.  We are filled with a deep joy I cannot explain; other then we have a great Hope that one day very soon we will be with Mary and all the saints that have gone before and we will worship the Lamb of God together forever.

    In the Name that is above all Names, Jesus


    Ps. I post a couple of the picture from our trip in the photo spot.

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St. John's Hospital - HealthEast
1575 Beam Ave.
Maplewood, MN 55109
United States