Archive for June, 2009
How I wish each one of you could have shared with us today in the beautiful, loving Memorial Service for Dan at the church in Hobart, Oklahoma, and at the sweet country cemetery near where his walk on this earth began. Together, Dan’s two sons who were here, placed the handsome marble box containing Dan’s ashes in it’s final resting place beside his family members who went before him — his mother’s parents, his father, his brother, and his mother, Juanita. Dan’s ashes are buried right next to his mother’s grave.
All of his siblings, their children and grandchildren, as well as a number of relatives on his mother’s side arranged to be with us on this work day. I have not counted how many people attended, but I’d estimate around 100.
The rest of the afternoon and evening, this large family spent in the church fellowship hall, talking, eating, playing games, remembering Dan, laughing, crying, bonding…together. We will all be together again in the morning for breakfast as we continue to celebrate Dan’s life and thank God for bringing us to this time as Family.
I’ll close with a message from one of my great encouragers through this long, dark valley —
“The boys and I prayed for you throughout the day, knowing today was the day you were to bury what remains of Dan’s physical body. We prayed this memorial service there blessed you and that you felt the presence of God in tangible ways….
I know you are grieving the loss of Dan. I know you will continue to do so. Never having lost a mate, I cannot know just how gripping that grief can be; how roller-coastering it can seem. Like Sherrie so abley put it, grief is a process, and it seems to be cyclical. But there IS recovery in this way: you WILL find a new norm. It will take time, but you will. And I believe with all my heart you will learn to live vibrantly as your gift to the LORD (the alternative only pleases the enemy). But, take it one day at a time. This journey/process is part of expanding your trust, refining your faith and clarifying allegiance. There’s no telling what else the Lord has to teach you….and we’re never to old to have a teachable spirit!
By the way, I wanted to ask you how your study time went with A. He asked for a toughy. It is such a necessary one, though. I hope you get to share questions and answers together in the weeks ahead.
This day is kind of a special one for me: it’s my spiritual birthday. 36 years ago I was buried with Christ and raised to new life, my sins forgiven. God’s goodness!…..how I’ve been blessed!! How much more I long to know….
Now…..(sigh)……where do you go from here? The horizon is wide before you. Wherever he leads, you follow! (I reckon he’ll let you walk along the Pacific at least a few more times!!!!)
Blessings on your sleep and on your waking,
Amen — Anne
At church this morning, I was looking for Dan and suddenly realized he was not going to come walking into the auditorium. Tonight, when we got to the motel in Altus, Oklahoma, I wanted to phone Dan and tell him that we had made it this far with no problems. Then I remembered, he is not “at our home.” (In fact, we don’t have a home except in Sfantu Gheorghe.)
Monday, in about 15 hours we will bury the beautiful urn in which his ashes lie in the country cemetery near where he was born. How fitting…to honor his family by choosing to be buried with his ancestors. I can understand why some people want their loved one’s ashes with them. I know he is in heaven. I know he is now well and strong and happy. That is important. But I want to have Dan beside me.
That sounds a bit crazy. But I miss him so much. At this moment, I’d take anything I can have of him…even if it’s only ashes. God will help me. Advice – to think about where he is; be happy he is in heaven; keep busy so you don’t think about him. All of that denies that God made humans in such a manner that we are supposed to grieve when we lose a loved one. I do not plan to go sit in a dark room and feel sorry for myself the rest of my life. But neither do I plan to act like I simply lost a sock, or a dime, and move on with no time to acknowledge my God-given feelings.
God will help me get beyond this. This just happens to be where I am tonight. I share this because there are 150,000 people who die every day in the U.S. Their loved ones need to know that God expects them to grieve, shed those tears that cleanse their soul, and come out of the nights of grieving stronger people who walk closer with God. — Anne
Marilyn expressed it well, “The service for Dan Boyd was incredible! The chapel was standing room only as many poured out their love for Dan – so sweet for Anne to hear all these wonderful words, too. Jonathan did an incredible job!”
Nancy Lawrence wrote, “Yes it was a service Dan would have enjoyed. It spoke so well of family and friends and God’s love and scripture and Anne. Dan was a lucky man to walk side by side Anne for 56 years. Anne will continue to walk with Dan by her side within her heart for as many years as God blesses her to teach and pray with us. God bless our dear friend, Lord, she’s doing okay.”
And, now, to bed. God bless each and every one of you! — Anne
I am finally packed, sent Jonathan the eulogy he asked me to write – actually, I sent him a beautiful message that Dr. Samuel Obeng, Kumasi, Ghana, wrote about Dan. God blessed our day Thursday with sunshine. I took time to rest…I’m still only able to sleep 5 hours at night, but that is due to 2 things I think. The first one is that I had to be awake so much in the night and in the early morning to care for Dan. The second one is that one side effect of deep grief is that one does not sleep well…or they sleep too much. No matter what time I go to bed, I sleep 5 hours and wake up.
But God will see me through this. There is light at the end of the tunnel…and it is not a freight train coming towards me from the other end of the track.
A reminder for anyone coming from out of town to Dan’s Memorial Service Saturday — relatives and out of town guests will be served lunch by our former Bible class following the service. And, all of you who can attend the Memorial Service will be blessed by being together to honor Dan…and comfort each other. Our Lord is the God of all comfort.
The best news of the day is that Jonathan Storment, minister who is to preside over Dan’s Memorial service has arranged for Thomas Addudell to lead the congregational singing during the service. He used to sing with the professional singing group, Acappella. He CAN sing!
The good news is that I made it through this very foggy day. Tuesday was sunny and warm enough for children to play in the Pacific Ocean. Today, a blanket of fog covered the coastal side of Montara Mountain. Fog affects me like cloudy weather does…I want to lie down and sleep. I have what is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder except that it is not seasonal with me. When there are clouds, or high pollution, or fog, I feel very tired. So, I wore my light cap until the battery ran down. Then, I used my little portable light box several times.
Around 6 p.m., I drove the 10 minutes over the mountain to Pacifica. Sure enough, there was lovely sunshine. Maybe next time there is fog or cloudy weather, I’ll go over the mountain, take my MacBook, go to Starbucks so I can have some coffee while I work. Later, take a walk in a park in Pacifica.
There are now 101 photos selected for a slideshow running before and after the Memorial Services. All we have to do is find out what kind of equipment the churches have so we know what form to put the photos in. I found some good photos of Dan on his computer that I don’t have on my computer. If I were a technical person, I’d have that all worked out. Maybe one of the grandkids can help me do that tomorrow? It will all work out.
Tonight’s scripture is from Revelation 14, “6Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water….
13Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
On this day, Tuesday, 23 June, Dan’s ashes are in the house with us. The cremation has taken place.. I cannot push my feelings down deep inside me today. I know where his earthly remains are…they are simply ashes. He is not here. He is alive. He cannot come to us, but God has provided a way for us to go to Dan, to spend eternity with God and Dan.
Walking on the beautiful beach, talking to God, my peace was interrupted by a big boxer that ran up behind me full force and slammed my back hard. (It is a law that all dogs on Montara Beach must be kept on a leash but some people do not like laws. Their pets are more important than people.) I’m hoping that one trip to the chiropractor for an adjustment will fix the problem.I really needed comfort.
Two things happened: First, a young minister and his beautiful family were on the beach. Even though he did not see me get hit, he stopped to ask, “How are you?” This led to he and his wife praying over me for healing of my back, and for my sorrow over losing Dan. They prayed for my work and loved ones in Romania. He invited me to come speak to their Women’s Group about God’s work in Romania. Do you see? My suffering led to prayers being offered to God for all those who are hurting over losing Dan, and for everyone in the entire country of Romania.
The God of All Comfort spoke to me Tthrough this message that came today:
“Judy and I received the news of Dan’s passing with the mixed feelings.
We were saddened for you and the entire family, yet consoled knowing
that he has now fulfilled God’s purpose for his life. I know he is
with the Lord, which gives those of us who wait hope for a grand
I do hope that will comfort and sustain you in the days ahead. I must
tell you that it was Dan whom God used to help me come to more fully
appreciate II Cor. 1, where the apostle Paul speaks of the “God of all
comfort”. I’m sure that he reminded his audiences of that many times,
but for us, it was at the time when Ron Keller was suddenly and
unexpectedly taken from us. I offer it to you now in the hope that it
will bless you just as it has us.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father
of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our
troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort
we ourselves have received from God.” II Corinthians 1
Most lovingly, Mike and Judy ”
To that, I say, “Amen!” — Anne
When I read today’s message in God Calling, by A.J. Russell, I blinked! I have said I do not want to run ahead of the Lord, that I’m praying about when to return to Romania. I feel that God is definitely showing me in many ways that He agrees with my desire to return. Today’s message was brief, and “to the point.”
It said, “Go forward fearlessly. Do not think about the Red Sea that lies ahead. Be very sure that when you come to it, the waters will part and you will pass over to your promised land of freedom.” A fleece that I always put before the Lord when I am considering a mission trip is quite simple. I say, “Lord, if I am not to go on this trip, let there be no seats available at the time I want to travel.” It has happened that there were no seats…had to change “My” plans.
Last year, when we needed to return to get Dan back to the oncologist, I prayed that the Lord would make seats available. It is nearly impossible to get upgraded seats in the summer. When I called Northwest Airlines with my request, they said, “Which day this week do you wish to travel? There are seats any day this week.” Prayer makes a difference. So, I am to go ahead fearlessly…move forward through my grief with God’s help.
Today before I phoned the accounting department about two statements, I had to get Dan’s Medicare Card from his billfold. (Today is the first time I’ve opened his billfold since he left us 12 days ago.) There was his fine face on his driver’s license looking at me. I could not make the phone call. Seeing his face reminded me of how much I miss him…that we were one, and now half of me is gone. “Practical” time was lost. I have to deal with my pain if I am going to heal from my loss.
Later, when I phoned, I was told that even though the statements did not explain it, “the bills were sent to Medicare, and to Dan’s Indemnity Plan. The balance was applied to his deductible with Cigna Indemnity. You owe $150.” In today’s mail, I received a 3rd statement from Cigna Medicare saying the bill was submitted to them, and they were denying the claim because Dan was not on Cigna Medicare at the time of the service!
My entire evening was spent locating a motel with 2 rooms for some of us to stay on the way to Hobart. If I were younger, we could make the 4 hour drive with one break. But at 74, my back needs to get out of the car every hour for a brief walk. And, my self will do better on Monday if we stop for the night after 3 hours on the road.
There were other surprises today that mean little plans that I made have to be changed. Unexpected change? There has been a lot of that lately. I must change “my” plans…catch in mid-air the trapeze that God has swung towards me and keep going. God’s Word for me tonight is –
“For the accuser of our brothers,
…has been hurled down.
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short.”