Before and After – Place of Refuge

Early October, 2005, we drive down US1 with dear friends, stopping along the way as we observe the stunning beauty of the northern California coast. This trip provides me with a gift I would need soon. With signs promising an ocean view, we walk through the pedestrian walkway under US 1 along the coast, just…

Checking the Widow Box, , Reflections by Carol, Gordon’s wife. After Ten Years

(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. Her excellent booklet, “Checking…

“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 8: Coming Home & an Airline Angel

(Start HERE  for full “Before and After” series) It’s Monday Morning and Mom and Dad and I are flying home.  Galen stays behind to help Carol with business matters.  A week ago they were searching for him. Now we are headed home after the Memorial Service.  As I sit there I notice…… The guy in the…

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…

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…

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”…

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…