A Place of Refuge

With signs promising an ocean view, we walked through the pedestrian walkway under US 1 along the coast of California, just south of Big Sur. We weren’t disappointed. A short walk further, then this . . . the breath-taking, make-you-want-to-cry beauty of McWay Falls inaccessible except by kayak. Even now, 12 years later I remember…

A Widow’s Reflections – an exceprt

(Carol and Gordon, April 5, 2005) On this, the 10th anniversary of her husband’s death,  my sister-in-law, Carol,  has agreed to share an excerpt here from her recently written series of reflections on the first year  of being a widow.  Yeah, it gets confusing, both of us being Carol and all.  (Gordon died of hypothermia…

“Before and After” PS: An Intentional Journey

(Start HERE  for full “Before and After” series) My REFUGE:  My cousin Janet sends me an email on either Wednesday or Thursday of that week.  I can still remember sitting at Carol’s computer reading her email to me.  It was a short email . . . simply sharing verse that helped her when her dad died….

Before and After, Day 7: Remembering & Comfort – A memorial Service

(Start HERE  for full “Before and After” series) Carol’s (Gordon’s wife) thoughts on the Memorial Service November 12, 2005: God gave me the music one  special song at a time. * Right after the phone call on my way home from Missoula, I heard “I Can Only Imagine” and knew the situation was bad and I might…

Before and After, Day 6 part 2: guest post “Between Life and Death” by Todd Hiestand

(Start HERE  for full “Before and After” series) In Between Death & Life – a blog written by my son Todd on November 11, 2005. It’s not supposed to be this way. You are not supposed to watch your grandparents stand over the coffin of their youngest child. You are not supposed to listen to the cries…

Before and After, Day 6, part 1: People, Flowers and Food

(Start HERE  for full “Before and After” series) This evening we will be at the funeral home greeting friends and family. People and flowers and food flowed into the house. This white flower was one of the first and the most striking in appearance and fragrance. Notice the new Testament and Psalms. Carol and I “lived” in…

Before and After, Day 5, part 1: Picking Up His things

(Start HERE  for full “Before and After” series) I go with Carol to pick up his “things.” Four days later and they’re still soaking wet. (Yes, those are his shoes.) Soaked – everything, even his wallet. Carol looks through everything, her hands shaking. “He didn’t even eat his Skittles.” There are wet matches, his wallet, and…