Carol Wilson Update

Stage 4 Cancer brought many challenges--and also a host of loving and praying friends. Almost-daily postings to this site are to help my friends walk with me through this journey, and to express my gratitude to them and especially to God...On 7/8/08 Carol passed through that final curtain of death and is now healed. We thank God for her life and "arrival"! Chuck

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Arrived in Michigan

The trip to Michigan went well with no complications. There was a fair amount of rain in the mountains that slightly slowed me down, but fortunately there was very little fog. The family will be arriving tomorrow. Everyone will be driving except Lisa who will be flying. With all of the delays and cancellations, we are praying that she will be on time. Having to make one change of planes, adds to the potential of a possible delay.

I will head off to bed shortly to be rested up for the grave-side service tomorrow and the celebration on Saturday.

Thanks for standing by with your prayers and phone calls checking my progress along the way.



Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Blessing During Grief

Yesterday a dear friend who is in South America, included a quote from Thomas de Kempis that continues to be the cry of my heart;

"Make, O Lord, that possible to me by grace
which seemeth impossible to me by nature."

And He does! Last night I enjoyed a good sleep. I am afraid that I never really was thankful for restorative sleep until now when I have been awake so much during many nights. Thank you Lord for your love, grace, mercy and peace that is always available as we trust and obey You! Thanks also to you dear family and friends that stand closely by with calls, notes and visits as you continue to pray for me and my family members. God does hear...and he does answer our prayers!

Last evening I was blessed with visits from two of our "adopted" daughters. Our "southern daughter," Connie, dropped by for a brief good-by, and Sue with her sister Nancy stopped in as they travel North from Florida. Sue has been serving as a nurse at the SIM retirement center in Sebring and is now in final preparation to head for Guinea later this fall. Nancy lost her husband about a year ago, and a granddaughter recently. Their visit was timely and one more of those special gifts from our wonderful Lord.

Tomorrow I will leave early for Michigan where we will commit Carol's earthly remains to the earth at a private family gathering on Friday. On Saturday we will hold a second celebration of her life at Trinity Church in Lansing (3355 Dunkel Road). Celebration information should be in the Lansing State Journal on Friday. Pray for safety as family and friends travel, and for meaningful times of reflection and response as we share in the memory of one who impacted many of us for God's glory...Lord, may I have ears to hear what you are saying to me through these special times, and be obedient to your leading as I attempt to Fully Rely On God! (FROG)

I am not certain about connecting with the internet for the next few days, but will keep you posted as it is possible.

Your prayers and love continue to energise and encourage me.



Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Your communications have been a tremendous encouragement. Please do not feel that I am too busy to take your call or read your note or email. All are much appreciated. During the past week I have received messages from people that I have not known, that have gone to extreme lengths to find out how to communicate with me. It seems that blogger does not always accept your messages. I hesitate giving out any specific contact information here, but if you are trying to reach me and do not know my home or office addresses, you can send an email to a “junk” account. Be sure to insert an obvious subject so that I am sure to open your message. This is not an account that is used on a regular basis, and will not be monitored for long.

From reading The Daily Message, I have been thinking about king David’s charge to his son Solomon in 1 Chronicles 28:

“And you, Solomon my son, get to know well your father’s God; serve him with a whole heart and eager mind, for GOD examines every heart and sees through every motive. If you seek him, he’ll make sure you find him, but if you abandon him, he’ll leave you for good!”

Good advise…know God…serve him…seek him…find him. I trust that I will be on God’s “trail” today.



Monday, July 28, 2008


Yesterday we discussed impatience and irritability as a couple of those “respectable” sins that we tend to tolerate, excusing them by giving them all sorts of acceptable titles. Acceptable to us that is…NOT to God. It was easy to relate to the study as I reflected upon my frequent responses to people and situations. A quote by John Piper sure spoke to me:

“Impatience is a form of unbelief. It’s what we begin to feel when we start to doubt the wisdom of God’s timing or the goodness of his guidance…The opposite of impatience is not a glib, superficial denial of frustration. The opposite of impatience is a deepening, ripening, peaceful willingness either to wait for God where you are in the place of obedience, or to persevere at the pace he allows on the road of obedience – to wait in his place, or to go at his pace.”

I find that daily my emotions are still quite unpredictable. In the afternoon I found myself more deeply grieving than usual. Needing to withdraw, laying my lonely, weepy feelings before the Lord. I recognized that these are feelings not only of a loss, but possibly more like that of an amputation. It seems like half of me is missing…and it is. The study was timely for me. I am thankful for Tom and the God Chasers. They help me to get my thoughts and emotions back on track, looking to the one who loves and heals. Among the various Scriptures that we explored, Exodus 34:6 especially spoke to me”

“GOD, GOD, a God of mercy and grace, patient – so much love, so compassionate – loyal in love for a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin. Still, he doesn’t ignore sin.”

Thanks for your encouragement and prayers as you join me on this road of grief and adjustment...and hopefully recovery. God is God…and He is good!



Sunday, July 27, 2008

Unable to blog

Yesterday morning I was unable to connect to the Internet, so no blog. Friends who own a place in the mountains, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, invited me to join them for a visit. The Blue Ridge is a place where Carol and I often visited, and I was not sure if I was up to doing that without her. I did go on Friday, and I believe took another small step of grief recovery. It was a refreshing time of fellowship with dear friends. We enjoyed meals together at special places, and traveled many miles on small trails over and around the mountains on their “Mule” ATV, admiring the beautiful scenery and an exciting variety of wildlife. Friday night I enjoyed a solid seven hours of sleep up there. Tonight is not going quite as well, but then there is the blessing of having more time to read, pray and send a blog out.

Driving to the mountains and back gave me the opportunity to get caught up on some CD’s by Chip Ingram. Chip has been focusing on being a Romans 12 Christian. He made a special point of our thinking about God’s goodness in our lives. Challenging us to Remember, Reflect and Renew. That especially spoke to my heart, and I am still thinking about God’s goodness to Carol and me over nearly 49 years, especially during these past 2 ½ years as we battled her cancer. As I reflected upon those years, blessing after blessing came to mind, but then I was challenged by the renewal aspect…how best to use the rest of my life? Proverbs 3:5-6 seems like a good place to start:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.” Okay I hear…now it is time to get to the application in my daily life!

I came back late yesterday to get ready for our God Chasers class today. Our study of respectable sins has been a real help for me to identify what I would like to classify as “minor” areas in my life that need major adjustments. Our study continues to clearly indicate that all sin is sin in God’s eyes. This is always a special time of learning and growing with our special group of dedicated friends.

I trust that you to have a wonderful day of growth in Him.



Friday, July 25, 2008


I have read about the various stages of grief. Some believe that they have it all figured out, stage by stage. One statement I read, really connects with me. "Your grief is unique." Daily I recognize new physical and emotional limits that surprise me and that I trust are short-term. But while there are the down sides, there are also many wonderful experiences.

As I was thinking about this early in the morning, I was reminded of the importance of thankfulness as I travel this new road of grief. It is so easy to focus on the down-side and neglect the tremendous blessings that also come my way. Often I wonder how I can possibly thank everyone. I was reminded of Mark 9:41 when Jesus says "If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I assure you, that person will be rewarded." I am thankful for that reminder, but will attempt to also show my gratitude even when I don't feel up to it.

I am frequently reminded that I am blessed to be a blessing. This experience is not all about me...It is about us. Will I just "soak up" all these blessings, or be available to pass them on as the opportunity comes my way. Lord, help me to be more open, honest and available to be used by you!

I am convinced that nothing comes into our lives without the Lord's approval. Why one may be healed and another die, I don't understand. But I am confident that He knows what He is doing. The question I continually ask myself is...can I say with the Apostle Paul; "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain"?

Thanks for sharing the journey with me.



Thursday, July 24, 2008

Difficult Day

Yesterday seemed to be more difficult for me. I was warned by Hospice to have the freedom to experience grief "attacks." Well, in spite of trying to be the strong and brave one, they were quite real.

I was awake quite a bit in the night, which can both bad and good. Loosing sleep is not good, but feeling sorry for yourself can be worse. Fortunately, after a brief "pity party" I was able to read, pray, and get refocused. As I transitioned my thinking, many portions of Scripture and familiar hymns came to mind along with words of encouragement from so many of you. The message I seemed to be getting was that I have so much knowledge in my it is time to let it move into my heart. That sounds like major FROGin to me...Fully Relying On God!

One of the books that I was reading is Your Eternal Reward by Erwin Lutzer. The stated thesis of the book is that the person you are today will determine the rewards you will receive tomorrow....Your life here will impact your life there forever.

Thanks to God's word and Dr. Lutzer, I am up for the new challenges today. Right now I dare not look too far ahead, but certainly I can make it one day at a time. Matthew Henry is quoted as saying; "It ought to be the business of every day to prepare for our last day." That sounds like good advice to me. I believe that Carol was ready for her last day, but I need to do a little more preparation. That reminds me of a motto that I have not seen, or thought of, for a long time...Only one life, twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last.

May this be a day of preparation for each of us.



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Two steps ahead

Yesterday was another busy day getting on top of things at the office and dealing with the many medical bills and legal matters connected with Carol’s home-going. In the evening dear Stuart stopped by to drop off a “care package” along with a dress shirt that his wife Donna had carefully laundered and ironed for me. We both agreed that it may not be best for me to practice ironing on the shirt that I will wear for the Michigan celebration. A big scorch mark might not be fitting.

As Stuart and I talked about the pain that I am experiencing, and the pain that death always brings, we talked about the tremendous pain of death for the Godhead. While death is such a painful thing for us humans, what must it have been for Jesus to die on that cross? To have the power to avoid death but at the same time be willing to die for us, experiencing all of the pain and even mocking from bystanders.

I am reminded of an occasion when Carol and I were talking about her cancer which was not responding well to treatment. We had previously discussed concern for an individual that appeared to be wavering in their faith. Carol quickly responded; “If my cancer and ultimate death helps to strengthen that persons faith in Christ, it is worth it!” Yes these are tough days for each of us that loved Carol. Not detecting the cancer until it was at stage 4 was no accident. God is using it in my life and in the lives of many others to draw us closer to Him and in preparation for that moment when we too will slip through that final curtain of death.

This morning I was rending about David’s problems and battles in I Chronicles 12-14. A short phrase relating to his battle with the Philistines sticks in my mind. “God will be two steps ahead of you…” Two weeks ago, Carol physically slipped out of our lives. As I reflect upon those painful days, I can recall many times when God was clearly ahead of me, two steps or more, giving guidance, encouragement and love. What an amazing and good God we serve!

My you recognize God’s blessings in your life today.



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Praying for you

As hundreds of your emails, cards, notes and calls arrive, the predominate message is; “we are praying for you.” Thank you so very much. I certainly do not fully understand it, but I know that the prayers of God’s people are effective…and I am experiencing the result of those prayers. The New Living Translation interprets James 4:16b “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.”

As I was thinking about your kind words of sympathy and the assurance of your continued prayers, I turned to I Samuel, thinking about Samuel’s concern and prayer for his people, the Israelites. In chapter 12 Samuel says “As for me, I will certainly not sin against the Lord by ending my prayers for you…But be sure to fear the Lord and sincerely worship him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you. But if you continue to sin…” I’ll let you fill in his final words.

Carol and I established a practice of spending about an hour each morning individually reading and praying. Then together we read a brief devotional (Indeed currently) and prayed for mutual concerns about family and friends. Slowly I am getting back to a morning routine that allows me to add Carol’s prayer list to mine and our joint list. The details about some names on her list I am not completely familiar with, but God knows, so I am confident that just the mention of that name is adequate.

As I read I Samuel this morning, I was convicted about my responsibility to pray for you. It is not necessary for me to know all the details of your situation. God knows, and as we join together in prayer, He will provide your heart’s desire. (Psalm 37 is a good place to learn about that)

It is my prayer that this will be a special day as you see God working in you, through you, and around you.

God loves YOU and so do I,


Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday was special

Sunday was a special day! Attending the God Chasers class has been a highlight of the week for Carol and me for many years. Teacher Tom does an excellent job of helping us dig into the Scriptures and hear what God is saying about our lives in relationship to Him. He really gets those grey cells active both during and after the class. And the people are amazing...never have we known a more loving and responsive group of people. In preparation for each class, we are currently reading the book by Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins. Yesterday our focus was on the lack of self-control. Carol would frequently tell me that she had never known anyone more disciplined than me, but I find that clearly discipline and self-control don't run on the same track. About the first thing that came to mine and was mentioned, was ice cream. Like the author, and others in class, I have to restrict having the stuff in our freezer too often. It just seems to jump into a bowl in front of me. From there we went to many other actions or words that can become common in our lives but that do not honor our Lord.

During the church service, we had a former Russian KGB officer tell a bit about his life and his decision to take a step of faith, and trust Jesus. I was interested how he explained the conversion of his (1) head, (2) heart and (3) gut. What a story of God working in an amazing way through the life of a simple individual to accomplish His purpose. I wanted to rush home and tell Carol about it, but then the thrilling reality hit day we both will be able to spend unlimited time with him, hearing the whole story.

Continue to pray for the family. We are keeping in close contact with each other in spite of the miles between, but each is processing the events of Carol's home going in different ways separated by those many miles.

The first thought I had upon awaking this morning was...Trust in the Lord! I believe that the message for me today comes from Proverbs 3:5-6. Thanks for that reminder Lord!

Love to you all,


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Corner Turned?

I believe that I have made it around the first corner. Thanks for praying! I have gone to the office each day this week, trying to catch up on things of lesser urgency that I let accumulate, and I have made considerable headway. With emotions close to the surface, I have avoided getting into many conversations. I have frequently thought about talking with a friend that died of cancer a few years ago, and hearing him relate how difficult conversations can be. I believe that I understand what he was saying better now. It is difficult for many to know how to convey their feelings. Often the message is completely communicated with only a hug and a tear.

I have enjoyed a good rest for two nights, and I was able to go out on the patio yesterday for a time of reading and prayer, enjoying the many birds singing and dropping by for a drink or a bath. This is something Carol and I enjoyed on a regular basis and I just had not felt like doing it alone previously. I did some yard work until it was getting too warm outside. Then I took care of the laundry, some cleaning, and caught up on a bit of reading. I accepted an invitation for dinner at the home of some dear friends, and shortly will be on the patio again, and then off to our class with Tom and to the church service.

Your many cards, notes, emails and calls have been a great encouragement to me. There are so many wonderful verses and messages. One short verse from Micah 7:8 is a good reminder for the days ahead…”When I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.”

Thanks for praying for me and for the family.



Saturday, July 19, 2008


One week ago today we celebrated the life of our friend, mother, grandmother and Wife, Carol. Throughout the celebration we heard about how God had worked in and through this special lady. It was her prayer and desire that the celebration would be about God, His love and availability to every living person. And to that end, she shared her life with each one of us...many through her writing, and even this blog, that she never had the opportunity of meeting.

As I awoke this morning, I was reflecting on the celebration and trying to imagine what she is experiencing now. There is much unknown about eternity but God's word is very clear about it's reality and the complete joy for those passing through that curtain of death who know Him.

This past week I have often listened to music on CDs that were favorites of both Carol and me. Many times I have played a CD of piano selections by our friend Verna who plays much like Carol did, and plans to be part of Carol's celebration in Michigan on August 2. I have also listened many times to the selection by Mercyme, I can Only Imagine that was played as the family followed Carol's casket to the front of the celebration gathering. Here are just a few lines that set my thoughts soaring. Possibly they will yours too:

"I can only imagine what it will be like, when I walk by your side...
I can only imagine, what my eyes will see, when Your Face is before me!
I can only imagine. I can only imagine.

Surrounded by Your Glory, what will my heart feel?

Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of You, be still?
Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing 'Hallelujah!'? Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine! Yeah! I can only imagine!

Have a wonderful weekend!



Friday, July 18, 2008

God is all strength

This morning I opened Carol’s copy of The Daily Message. I enjoyed reading my copy so much last year that I gave one to Carol at Christmas. I noticed her marker and prayer list on May 26th which appears to be her last reading. Sickness, infusions and attempted surgery quickly followed, but she was never able to regain any measure of health. The cancer was too far advanced.

On the reverse side of her personal prayer list, she wrote a reminder to herself which I believe is a good one for me, so I thought that I would share it with you. In her weakened condition she wrote:

“God is all strength for His people. This is exactly what I need – strength to do what you want me to do today, and especially heart strength to continually draw near to you.”

I have been pondering the book of Amos these past few days which sure does indicate how God feels about our hunger for, and relationship with Him. I have been reminded of how many things in this world, even a wonderful wife, can draw my attention away from Him. It is my prayer that I too will continually draw near to Him.

This morning I am invited to join a couple of men from my office for breakfast. I am blessed by a wonderful support group from the neighborhood, the office and the church. But the loss of my dear Carol is with out a doubt the most difficult adjustment I have ever made. At times it seems like the hole that she left is larger than ever and I just cry out to God. Thanks Father for the message from Amos that is helping me to see myself better and to allow you to fill that huge hole in my life.

Have a wonderful God focused day!



Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hunger for God

Yesterday I was able to settle down and have some quiet time in God’s Word after doing the blog. My reading in The Daily Message was Amos 4-6 which is not a book I would likely turn to on my own, but it certainly spoke to my heart. As the Israelites were being addressed, I felt that there was much that I needed to listen to. Here are a few portions of passages that have continued to play in my mind.

“Indolent and pampered, you demand…

This is serious – I, God, have sworn by my holiness!…

But you never get hungry for me. You continue to ignore me…

You didn’t notice me. You continued to ignore me…

So seek God and live! You don’t want to end up with nothing to show for your life but a pile of ashes, a house burned to the ground.

Woe to those addicted to feeling good – life without pain! Those obsessed with looking good – life without wrinkles! They could not care less about their country going to ruin.”

This was what I needed today to bring my thoughts away from my own “troubles” and focus on being hungry for God and living the balance of my life for Him. Oh there is still plenty of pain, and emotions still lie close to the surface, but I have seen Him working in so many unexpected ways that I could never doubt His faithfulness.

Might each of us have a growing hunger for God today.



Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Humble obedience

Several blog readers contacted me about the Scripture yesterday, telling me a bit about a difficult situation in their life and the need to follow the Philippians passage. I am sure that is true in most of our lives. I admit to having awaken several times last night, reviewing that passage again and again in my mind. An interesting thought just crossed my mind as I write this…Could it be due to some “respectable sin” that I have allowed in my life that prevents that peace? Let’s think about that. We have been in a study with teacher Tom, centered around the book by Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins. I realize that in one situation that is troubling me, I am the one standing in the way of my peace. Thank you Lord for the prayers of your people and for your Holy Spirit. Keep speaking to me and I will do my best to listen…and obey.

It is hard to believe that it has been a whole week since Carol took her last breath here on earth. I had a meeting with the funeral director yesterday, and he told me that it was an great honor for him to be at the celebration. It was a tribute to a wonderful lady and a life well lived. Her greatest desire was to be a positive influence for her beloved Jesus. She made that very clear in her good-by to each one of our family members during her last days while she was still able to communicate. It is my prayer that each one of us heard what Carol was saying, not only verbally, but through this blog. And that we will move the focus of our lives from ourselves and catch the vision she had for each of us and for the world.

As I scanned a book Carol was reading last night, I noticed a sentence she had underlined: “The glory of God takes precedence over our health; it is more important that the glory of God be served than that we are free of sorrow. God’s glory is all that matters .”

I think I am starting to get a message Lord. Thank you for this new day and for the new opportunities to glorify you in humble, honest obedience. We no longer have Carol with us, but I am thankful that the same Holy Spirit we saw working in and through Carol is available and ready to work in and through me today. May I not stand in His way. That is my prayer for myself and for each of you.



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Routine comes slowly

Again yesterday, many asked if I would consider continuing this blog. One person, soon anticipating the loss of a spouse, indicated how helpful it has been. I am not certain how long the blog will “live” after the last input is entered, but I will certainly continue until the Michigan celebration so that you have the opportunity to review any entries from the past. From day one when Carol reported “I am not sick” I have continued to keep hard copies of each blog. A total of 1024 entries of thoughts and hopes that were widely read, with her desire to share a winding journey and glorify our wonderful Lord who was with us at each step. To God be the glory…He continues to accomplish great things!

I am finding it difficult to quickly settle into a routine. Yesterday morning after completing the blog and before leaving for the office, I wondered around the house. Stood at the foot of Carol’s hospital bed which will soon be removed, admired the many around-the-world curios that she accumulated, went out on the patio to listen to the birds and look at the flowers that she loved, but could not settle down to focus on my morning reading. Any significant prayer was even difficult. I sat on Carol’s side of our bed and picked up some things that she had been reading before being confined to the hospital bed. A copy of Indeed was folded open to the reading for 4/3/2008. My assumption is that she found it meeting her need at the moment and kept it open to return to it...Possibly several times during the past three months?

”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 4:6-7)

One paragraph by the author jumped off the page for me:

“There is no way to come to this place of rest unless we are able to relinquish our agenda in the situation. We must become willing for God to work it out any way He chooses, whatever the result to us. It seems scary to relinquish control, but we were never really in control anyway. And what outcome might God work out that would not be entirely good? He is completely trustworthy with our problems”.

As you know from her blog, Carol was human. She had anxious moments, BUT with thanksgiving, she continued to take her requests to God AND experienced a special measure of His peace right up to her last breath…Okay Lord, I think that I am getting the message! That sounds like FROGin to me…(Fully Relying On God)

During June I was reading that passage in The Daily Message. "Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worrying into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."

May this be a day of prayer and petition, with praises, for each of us today.



Monday, July 14, 2008

Quiet House

No longer are there the happy sounds of family members in the house. Lisa was the last to leave when I took her to the bus station late last evening. Today is the first day of a new phase of life for me. I will head back to the office this morning after being absent since Last Monday. There will be plenty of work waiting to occupy my day, but first I will participate in our daily chapel/prayer time. A time of worship and prayer for needs here and around the world. As I have said many times, I have never enjoyed a job more but been paid less. My compensation far exceeds any monetary value. I look forward to returning to some sort of a routine in my life, but continue to experience the tremendous loss of the partner and love of my life for nearly 49 years.

A greeting from dear friends rings in my ears, and is the desire of my heart today:

"Lord, if there were words that could heal a heart,
I would speak them...
If there were songs that could fill the emptiness,
I would sing them...
If there were arms big enough to hold the loss...
I would extend them.
But only You, Lord, can offer these precious mercies.

In your grace, please grant them, Lord."



Sunday, July 13, 2008

Beautiful Celebration

After a few hours of sleep, I awoke thinking about the beautiful celebration of God working in and through a very special lady for some 71 years. (Knowing that many around the world could not attend, I just had to go to the computer and type a few lines). It was something that Carol had envisioned when we called Tom and Stuart to our home on June 29, and together with the family, she gave us her thoughts for an appropriate celebration that would focus on her precious Lord. We were reminded that this was to be about Him...not about her.

After hugs and greetings from hundreds of guests, the family and I walked down the center aisle following the casket with the music from Mercyme, I Can Only Imagine, filling the room. This song by the way, was selected by grandson Gavin.

At Carol's request, the celebration was an informal time of sharing, held in the Fellowship Hall with a very limited number of floral arrangements. Clusters of hundreds of pastel balloons and tables with a huge variety of food items were available to help maintain our strength during the two-hour time of greeting guests prior to the planned celebration. "Adopted" daughter Connie and her team did an amazing job of preparing the room. As you prayed, the Lord gave an extra measure of strength to each of us after a long week. We were delighted to see so many from near and far. I was even surprised to see my former secretary from some 35 years ago, who with her husband, drove over twelve hours to be with us. What a humbling experience!

"Adopted" son Rob had prepared cards for each guest with a copy of the picture done by daughter Sue (see earlier blog) that Carol saw three weeks ago when we were in Michigan for the wedding of Justin and Laura. Sue sent the painting home with us, and I put it on the wall where Carol could see it while confined to bed, and she dictated a short personal message to be printed on the reverse side. By the way, we do plan to have those pictures available at the Michigan celebration on August 2.

At the end of the celebration, the family followed the casket out, listening to that wonderful song by Anthony Burger, We Shall Behold Him. I will let your theology dictate if Carol was watching from afar, but regardless, I know that it was the type of celebration that she envisioned. I guess my theology would have her busy with friends and family members in the presence of her Lord, and the things of this world growing extremely dim in comparison to what she is now experiencing.

Carol's final comments written on the back of the picture were: "Thinking back on my life, I am filled with love and gratitude for you. Thank you for allowing me to share in your lives - I have treasured our time together. Cling to Jesus. I'll see you on the other side of the curtain...I love you, Carol"

And from the family...we love you too! The many emails, letters, cards, calls, and delicious food have been amazing expressions of your love for us and for our beloved Carol. We will never be able to adequately thank you for that love!


Chuck and family

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Great Is His Faithfulness

Today we celebrate God's faithfulness in the life of a very special lady...wife, mother, grandmother and dear friend. At Carol's request, this will be an informal gathering to praise God for His faithfulness, in a time of fellowship with family and friends. Please join us in praying that He will be glorified in all that is said and done.

Our love to each one of you!

Chuck and Family

Friday, July 11, 2008

Lansing Celebration

The Michigan celebration has now been confirmed:

Saturday, August 2

12:30-1:30 pm -- Family will greet guests
1:30-2:30 pm -- Celebration

Trinity Church
3355 Dunckel Road
Lansing, MI 48911

There will be a private burial with the immediate family prior to this celebration.

Carol usually was reading several books at a time, which was the case until she became too weak to read. She was reading a devotional by Sarah Young titled Dear Jesus, and I notice that she had the corner of several pages bent over so that she could return quickly to those readings. Here are a few brief excerpts from one of the pages that she marked:

"Holiness is letting Me live through you. Since I dwell in you, you are fully equipped to be holy. Pause before responding to people or situations, giving My Spirit space to act through you." Later in the reading, the author warns " careful not to confuse being holy with trying to appear holy." I liked the final statement: "Remember that I am Christ in you, the hope of Glory. The more you know Me and love Me, the easier it is for you to let Me live through you. Without your even realizing it, intimacy with Me transforms you into My likeness -- My holy image." Carol continually strived to be transformed into His likeness!

Our love to each of you,

Chuck...and the family

Thinking about Saturday

As I was catching up on my readings in The Daily Message this morning, I had to stop and reflect on Luke 10 when Jesus sent out the seventy. His instructions were quite specific, saying in part; "...Be careful this is hazardous work...Travel light...Don't loiter and make small talk with everyone you meet along the way...If your greeting is received...stay...if not, get out...etc." We read that the seventy came back triumphant, and as Jesus talked with them and saw their excitement over even the demons responding to them, he reminded; "...All the same, the great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God's authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you---That's the agenda for rejoicing."

This was what Carol envisioned for her celebration. Not what Carol accomplished, but what God did in and through her and what He will do in each one of His people as we are obedient to Him.

Please join me in praying for the Charlotte celebration on Saturday. As we thank God for Carol and her impact on so many lives, may we especially have open hearts for what He wants to do in our remaining days upon this earth to not only change us, but to impact others through our lives for His glory.

God loves YOU and so do I!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Carol's Wallet

I just noticed a note Carol made. "Here's a poem I carry around in my wallet (It's a song, but not sung much. It's recorded by Geoff Moore and The Distance."

"When the music fades into the past,
When my days of life are through.
What will be remembered of where I've come,
When all is said and done?

Will they say I loved my family,
That I was a faithful friend?
That I lived to tell of God's own Son,
When all is said and done.

Of how I long to see the hour
When I would hear that trumpet sound.
And rise to see my Savior's face,
See Him smile and say 'well done.'

You can forget my name and the songs I've sung,
Every rhyme and every tune,
But remember the truth of Jesus' love,
When all is said and done."

I can't add anything to that other than to say that truly she finished well!

Your many emails and blog messages are a blessing to each of us as we experience such a huge hole in our lives.


Chuck, Sue, Karin, Lisa and all the family

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


The first celebration for Carol is planned for Saturday (7/12) at First Baptist Church, 300 S. Davidson Street, Charlotte, NC.

The Family will receive guests 1:00 - 3:00 PM
The Celebration will be at 3:00 PM

We are planning another celebration in Lansing, Michigan, at which time her body will not be present, having been buried earlier.

In preparation for the celebration I was reviewing some material that Carol and I had worked on and found the following notation from Carol which I thought appropriate to pass along:

"Etta Shuber, in her 1943 volume Paris Underground, told how she and a Parisian friend worked for two years smuggling downed British airmen out of Naxi-occupied France. She told how the Germans had sealed the borders, not letting anyone leave the country. But in one little French town straddling the border, the population kept dwindling."

"Some of the citizens in that little village had remembered that at the back of the town's cemetery was an old gate in the wall that had been sealed for a hundred years. They opened up the gate, and thereafter, when they went to the cemetery for a funeral, they would just keep walking right on through the back gate into the land of freedom and sunshine."

"When I read that, all the bells went off. I realized that this is what Jesus accomplished for me by His death, burial, and resurrection. He opened a gate on the back side of the cemetery. We still go to funerals and graveyards, but we don't stick around. We go right out the back side into the land of freedom and life and sunshine."

Last night, Carol entered that land of freedom, life and sunshine. She is greatly missed!



Tuesday, July 08, 2008


With the three of us at her bedside, Carol departed this world and is now healed in the arms of her wonderful Lord.

We will provide details here later.



Special Love - Special Times

We are thankful that Carol has had no further stomach upsets for about 48 hours. She sleeps much but occasionally will ask for a sip of water or respond with a couple of loving words. I am sure that the medication not only helps prevent the upsets but also relaxes her so that she can rest easier. She rarely indicates having any pain but we have meds to handle that on those rare occasions.

Lisa has been sleeping on the sofa in the room with Carol, and last night took an easy chair from the living room, placing it next to her bed, making a makeshift bed for herself so she can be close by to recognize any indication of need. Presently they are asleep holding hands through the safety bed rail. Both Karin and Lisa take turns sitting by her side during the day, available to meet any need. We are so blessed by a loving family! I have a monitor at my bed to listen for needs, but as Carol grows weaker it is wonderful to have someone close by to hear the whisper.

I have been reading The Vanishing Power of Death by Erwin Lutzer. A couple quotes from the book keep coming to mind: "Through times of joy and suffering, through times of uncertainty and fear, God is always ahead of us...And when death comes to us, as most assuredly it will, we will know that we are not traveling where Jesus has not Himself been. Death is nothing less than an encounter with God in the presence of the One who came to save us."

May you experience Him today in your joy, suffering, uncertainty and/or fear!


Chuck...and Carol too

Monday, July 07, 2008


Carol had a rather quiet night. At 2:00 AM we recognized that she was feeling a bit of discomfort, so I removed fluid from her lung-sac and Lisa gave her a bit of morphine. After some sweet smiles and some attempted words, she settled back to sleep. (Yes Lisa is still here. She said that she just could not leave yet, and sent an email to her manager.)

I awoke a few minutes ago with the words of the Gaither song, Because He Lives going through my head. The chorus says:

"Because He lives I can face tomorrow;
Because He lives all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives"

End-of-life experiences are amazing. Many of you have written about saying good-by to loved ones and how memorable it still is. These are precious times reflecting upon what lies ahead for Carol and for each one of us. The words of Jesus in John 14:19 come to mind: "In just a little while the world will not see me again, but you will. For I will live again, and you will, too."

Shortly before leaving this earth, it was reported that D. L. Moody said; " One day you will read that D. L. Moody died, but don't you believe it. I will then be more alive than I ever have been." That likely is not an exact quote, but as I remember it, which I trust makes the point clear.

Enjoy this new day with new opportunities and experiences.


Chuck...and Carol too

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Blessed when tears flow freely

It has been such a blessing to have our three girls these many days. At 4:00 AM this morning our nurse daughter Sue and husband Jeff left to return to Michigan. We will miss her very much but learned so much about caring for Carol from her. Pray for safe travel and the ability to catch up on the many things left undone at home due to her time here. Daughter Lisa will also leave later today for DC and Karin will be staying a bit longer.

Carol continues to be very sharp, entering our conversations with a few weak words from time to time. Continuing to be the sweet person she has always been and several times mentioning "I never expected to still be here." We have released her to the Lord's plan and timing, but are blessed by every minute that he allows us to have with her. Each of us has spent much time at her bedside, holding her hand, watching her peaceful face, praying and recalling many fond memories. We have been and continue to be so blessed!

My reading in The Daily Message included the Beatitudes (Luke 6) today and I have been
reflecting on the verses:

"You're blessed when the tears flow freely.
Joy comes with the morning."

Have we not experienced that many times? I think of the amazing joy that Carol will soon experience as she passes through the veil and comes face to face with our wonderful Lord. Until that time, I feel so inadequate caring for her, but continue to pray for wisdom and strength for the days ahead.

Have a wonderful Lord's day, and may you clearly hear what He is saying to you through the message and songs.


Chuck...and Carol too

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Days of blessing and hope

Carol continues to sleep much but is very aware of what is being said around her. On several occasions yesterday, we would be discussing something and unable to recall a name, place or whatever, and Carol would quietly enter our conversation with a word or two from what would appear as being total sleep. Her mind is very clear but in her words, she is "very weary."

I continue to tell her about your sweet emails and her response is often "that's so nice" or when learning about a problem someone is facing, will say "I'll pray" and I am certain that she is. Yesterday I had a call from dear friend Bob from their summer place in Northern Canada, who just learned that his cancer has returned and he is preparing to start chemo. Please join us in praying for him and his dear family. They too are traveling a very winding road.

Several wrote how fitting it would be if the Lord took Carol during the celebration of the 4th. A Michigan friend wrote: "...I couldn't help but think how fitting it would be on this Independence Day (a day of celebrating our nation's freedom) for Carol to experience her own 'Day of Freedom' - and gain her independence from her corruptible, cancerous, physical body and put on her incorruptible, spiritual body. What a moment that will be for her! It's with tears in my eyes that I write now." Well said, but it appears that the Lord plans to have a special day for Carol. Not one to be shared.

Thank you for your love, kindness and yes...tears. These are difficult days but at the same time days filled with blessing and hope.


Chuck...and Carol too

Friday, July 04, 2008

Enjoy the holiday

July 4th...Where is time going? As a child I recall wishing that the time for this or that event would come and my dear grandmother would say "now don't wish your life away." Now some seventy years later, it seems that those days and years are flying by. As I awoke early this morning the song America the Beautiful was playing in my head, and I was thankful to live in this beautiful country, a land of the free and the brave. Thankful for each man and women who has, and are presently, serving us in the military! We certainly are a blessed! I suspect that the reports from firecrackers during the night may be what prompted those unexpected thoughts.

Carol is very quietly resting. Possibly in a deeper sleep than usual. Often when I sit at her bedside in the early hours, she will reach out and grasp my hand or say a few quiet words. This morning there is no acknowledgement. Only quiet breathing. It has been my prayer that as those last hours and then moments arrive, she will be carried gently through that curtain. May it be so Lord.

Yesterday, she was hoping to do one more blog. She walked with me to the study and said she would like to sit in the recliner for a few minutes. Shortly another "upset" hit, after which she was so weak that I had to take her back to her hospital bed in a wheelchair. The rest of the day included a much greater time of sleep for her.

My heart is heavy. My voice breaks at times as we discuss tender issues. But there continues to be an amazing peace and strength that can only be from the Lord. Sleep does not come easily for me, but I am able to quickly drop off for shorter periods of time, and actually feel quite refreshed for the next few hours.

Your kind notes of encouragement are such a blessing to each of us. Yesterday when we got to the study, Carol asked about emails and blog responses, and I passed on your wonderful messages to her. Her eyes brightened and she would make remarks about how sweet you are but how undeserving she is of your kind words. Just what we would expect from our Carol!

Thanks for standing by us with your prayers and encouragement. You and loved and appreciated!


Chuck...and Carol

Thursday, July 03, 2008

What does this day hold?

Each day we wonder...Is is today Lord? Carol continued to be alert yesterday but her body is what she describes as weary...not just tired. We are having increasing problems with the PEG tube to her stomach plugging, which if not corrected, will again set off an "upset." The acids that build up need to be released. Carol's sweet spirit continues to shine and she is blessed, having minimal pain. Thank you Lord!

As I was reading in 2 Kings 20:1-10 about Hezekiah's sickness, and how the Lord answered his prayer for healing, giving him fifteen more years of life, I wanted to plead with the Lord again for the same for Carol. But I was reminded of how many of us have prayed for that, including Carol, but I have not seen or heard any indication from Carol that this is now what she wishes. In fact it is due to her wishes that we are no longer administering IV fluids. Even at this stage, I have no doubt that God can still heal her, but I can only pray...your will and your time Lord! Yesterday Carol assured me that while her passing will leave a big hole in our lives, God will fill that void. She is so right, and while it still is painful, we have been blessed with these special days to say our final good-bys and to enjoy each other. Memories that we shall each hold dearly until the curtain parts for us.

Thanks for praying for the family. Yes, these are difficult days, but days that I am sure each of us will hold dearly until we too pass through that curtain. A subject that is more frequently a topic of discussion than would be usual.

Your love and kindness mean so very much to each one of us. My only regret is that I know that I can never thank each of you properly for all of your acts of love.

May you have a keen sense of God's blessing in your life today!

Chuck...and Carol too

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I AM, Yes I AM!

Carol had a good night. When I checked on her around 3 AM, she wanted some ice water and a few minutes ago Lisa replenished her glass again. As I lay in bed last night, I was reflecting on Carol's last have her family around her and some ice water on the side. I beautiful picture of peace and preparedness!

I spent a couple of hours at my office yesterday to handle only the most urgent matters, and when I returned home, I found our three girls around Carol's bed singing from a hymn book. I sat down and joined them, and as we sang, Carol would mouth every word with a huge smile on her face. She continues to build fond memories to leave with her beloved family!

Speaking of family, I have lost count of the daughters, sons and grandchildren that we have. It is a joy to have so many around the world call us mom and dad as well as mimi and boppi as we were named some fifteen years ago by our then learning to talk, grandson Gavin. One of those daughters from Florida sent an email yesterday with the words of the last verse of a song "I AM" on the Nichole Nordeman CD that she thought describes Carol's journey:

"When life had begun, I was woven and spun
You let the angels dance around the throne
and who can say when, but they'll dance again
When I am free and finally headed home!
I will be weak, unable to speak,
Still I will call You by name:
Creator, Maker, Life Sustainer,
Comforter, Healer, my Redeemer,
Lord and King, Beginning and the End.

Yes, I AM!"

Our love and appreciation to you all!

Chuck...and Carol too

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

One day at a time

Carol continues to have a very sharp mind but her body is becoming more tired. Our Hospice nurse was here yesterday to check on Carol. After we had reviewed her vitals and discussed options for medication, with Carol very much in the loop of decision making, the nurse remarked that she had never had a patient like Carol. Never has she seen a person with such a clear mind, so at peace, and ready to pass through the curtain.

It is a delight to have Sue, Karin and Lisa with us helping with the "chores" but also discussing events from the past along with life and death issues. While there is much serious talk, there is also a good amount of laughter in our home. We have prayed for "A" miracle but God in his wisdom has provided us with many many miracles. Some of which we were not even aware that we needed.

Recently while we were talking with teacher Tom, one of Ruth Bell Graham's poems was the topic of discussion, and Carol indicated that she relates to it. Here is what Ruth said:

"And when I die
I hope my soul ascends
slowly, so that I
may watch earth receding
out of sight,
its vastness growing smaller as I rise,
savoring its recession with delight.
Anticipating joy is itself a joy.
And joy unspeakable
and full of glory needs more
than 'in the twinkling of an eye,'
more than 'in a moment.'
Lord, who am I to disagree?
It's only we have much to leave behind;
so much....Before.
These moments of transition
will, for me,
be time to adore."

Possibly those are some thoughts to take with us throughout this new day.


Chuck...and Carol too