Going home…

Going home…

This has been a week for loss and sad news.  My precious daughter-in-love’s dear mom lost her battle with Parkinson’s and went to be with the Lord a few days ago.  A precious Christian, Joan loved the Lord with all her heart.  She went to sleep on this earth and woke up in Heaven.  What a blessed way for a Christian to leave this life on earth!   Please remember my son and Jeanine and their family as they make the long journey from Montana to East Tennessee to say goodbye.  My heart goes with them…




My precious sister Gerry has now been in Heaven for three years.  I have missed her more than words could say every single day.  Her husband of 65+ years and the love of her life has missed her even more.  He is lost without her.  He is now in a coma with his children at his bedside…waiting to go home to be with the Lord and  his beloved.  He is a strong believer and has sung in the choir for many years.  Just as I imagine my sister Gerry is cooking heavenly biscuits while she sings praises to the Lord, I imagine my brother by marriage will be singing in Heaven’s choir…and once again strumming his guitar.

Gerry and Sonny…at “the house on the hill” in the 1980’s.    She would fuss at me for posting this pic since she is wearing her 80’s “big hair”!  Nah, she’d probably just laugh with that wonderful laugh of hers!



My last year of nursing was spent as in Oncology, and on the walls of the unit there hung this beautiful poem below.  This is how I imagine death and dying…and I have seen several leave this earth during my long nursing career.  Hallelujah, our souls never die!   Thank God, He has made provision for us to spend eternity with Him through His Son!  

The Sailing Ship

What is dying?
I am standing on the seashore.
A ship sails to the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object and I stand watching her
Till at last she fades from the horizon,
And someone at my side says, “She is gone!” Gone where?
Gone from my sight, that is all;
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her,
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her;
And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “She is gone”,
There are others who are watching her coming,
And other voices take up a glad shout,
“There she comes” – and that is dying.

Bishop Charles Henry Brent (1862-1929)

UPDATE:  Wednesday, October 22nd.  Sonny passed away peacefully last night at 11:47 p.m. with his and Gerry’s family by his bedside.  There may be sadness on earth, but there is rejoicing in Heaven as he joins my sister Gerry and the rest of those who have gone before.  What a wonderful, blessed hope we have in Jesus!
A difficult journey…

A difficult journey…

Update:  About noon yesterday, September 23, Brandon Hayslip went home to be with the Lord.  My heart aches for his dear family.  But I can only imagine the glory that Brandon is seeing right now in Heaven!  Please keep this precious family in your thoughts and prayers.  You can read Christina’s beautiful Caring Bridge post here.


Months ago, my dear FaceBook friend, Bonnie Wilkerson Hayslip, sadly shared that her son Brandon was no longer in remission and that his cancer had returned with a vengeance.  Along with thousands of people all over the world, I began to pray for Brandon.  The Lord placed him on my heart all throughout the day and sometimes during the night.  The Holy Spirit would whisper his name and I would pray.

I have a son just about Brandon’s age.  My son is happily married and the father of two beautiful little girls.  Brandon is happily married to Christina and the father of a beautiful baby daughter, Aria, who is about six weeks old.

I tried to imagine a mother’s anguish at losing a child.  Many of you dear readers have lost children and you know the depth of this pain far better than any words I could use to describe it.  Every single time, I would try to imagine how I would feel, the tears would start.  Tears for Brandon.  Tears for Christina and Aria.  Tears for his brother David who has not left his side…and tears for his dear parents, Roger and Bonnie.

Through it all, this young couple has never lost faith.  They have been an inspiration to so many – including me.  Along with everyone else, I have been praying for a miracle.  Praying that this young man – with so much ahead of him to live for – would be totally and completely healed.  Just as I prayed for my two sisters who are in Heaven now, I have prayed for Brandon.  At this point in time, it appears the days on this earth are numbered.  Our Father God is calling Brandon home.    Whatever moments are left, this dear precious family is spending it together…praising God and rejoicing in the life they have shared.

Because Brandon was diagnosed so young, he was denied life insurance.  A fund has been set up to help cover the extensive medical expenses and to help provide for Christina and Aria.  Read more about the fund and Brandon’s story here.

I’d like to ask for your help, dear readers.  Please go to the link here or the link on the right side of my blog and give whatever you can.  Every little bit helps and it all adds up.  Most importantly, would you please pray for this precious family?  Right now, they need rest, strength and the peace that passes all understanding.  Please give and pray.  Thank you!



Here is a link to Brandon’s Caring Bridge journal.

Never say never…

Never say never…

I have flown dozens of times…most likely hundreds.  I think I could honestly say that at one time I loved flying.  The claustrophobia started about a year and a half ago during a storm coming out of Chicago.  It does not happen every time.

I have discovered what I need to do to fly successfully.  Flying successfully means NO claustrophobia!  I do best in a row of two seats – the premium seats (an added cost of about $44 per seat) with the greater leg room.  I do best when I’m by a window.  However, not every flight will have the option of only two seats.

I was in the Denver airport waiting for my connection to Dallas.  Earlier on my flight from Iowa to Denver, the passenger seated next to me asked me if I would like to have the aisle seat.  I politely said I would not.  I had paid an extra $44 for my window seat!

Later,  during the travel day another passenger and I were talking about “never” giving up our premium seats that we had paid extra for.  Oh, yeah…right.

I kept wondering why we were, apparently, getting ready to board so early when I realized that the battery in my watch had stopped two hours prior!  It was really almost 7:00 p.m. and my watch said 5:00!  Obviously, something that I would have to make time to replace in Dallas…

About that time, I heard my name being paged in the Denver airport!  Not again!

I went to the desk and, this time, the desk agent informed me that I had the premium window bulkhead seat.  I already knew that.  I looked to my left and there was a rather large lady in a wheelchair and her husband standing there.  They nodded a greeting to me.  I smiled back.  From their brief explanation, she was paralyzed from the hips down.

“Would you be willing to give up your premium window bulkhead seat?  She needs the extra leg room and you have the largest leg room seat.  I’ve already asked themThey also have the premium bulkhead seating directly across the aisle.” said the desk agent pointedly glancing in the direction of the silly couple of kids who looked to be in their early twenties and were having a hard time keeping their hands off of each other.  “They declined.”

“Of course they did.”  I replied with a slight snarl and a glance in their direction.

“You don’t have to do it either.”  added the ticket agent.

“I have claustrophobia.  I cannot sit at the back of the plane.  I paid an extra $44 for this seat.”  I began…desperately listing my reasons for why I just couldn’t give up my seat.  At this point, I was transported back in time to my last claustrophobic attack:  The Sea Lion Caves in Oregon.  Surprisingly, I had made it fine all through the cave, up the steps inside the cave to the view out the cave wall and then back down again.  I was fine until it came time to get in line for the elevator out and I realized that I couldn’t just get OUT!

“I’d give you the $44 if I had it.”  said the lady who couldn’t use her legs even if she tried.  And then her husband wheeled her away.

I’d like to say that I said yes right away but I did not.  I’m too scared of claustrophobia.  I said no at first.  I really did.

But the Holy Spirit is more powerful than my claustrophobia.  The Holy Spirit does not give you a swift kick but a gentle nudge.  Finally, I said “yes” she could have my seat.  I prayed I would not have claustrophobia!  I prayed that I would not have have a seat at the back of the plane!

Thankfully, the plane wasn’t crowded, so the desk agent blocked out a row of three seats for me so no one would be sitting around me ( though not as much room, still premium seats with extra leg room) directly across from the lady who took my seat and one row back (behind the silly young couple who have a lot of growing up to do).

Then, I went over to tell the lady that she could have my seat and she reached up to squeeze my hand and said “thank you”. 

They seated her on the plane first before they boarded anyone else.  When I sat down later, she glanced back and smiled at me.  I asked her if she were okay.  She replied she was and then she asked me if I were okay.  I knew what she meant.

“Yes, I am.  Thanks!” 

It was a successful flight…



 Above photo by Penny Glenn.  Copyright 2012.  Used with permission.

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