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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 soon to be history

Thank you Lord for a special time with the family and safe travel back home. Truly an answer to all of our prayers. It was also no hardship to transition from the wintry weather in Michigan to a sunny 70 here upon my arrival. I made a brief visit to friend Bud at the hospital who had hip replacement yesterday. I had the opportunity to see the doctor while there, and he was pleased with the outcome. Bud was having minimal pain with his greatest problem at that time being an itch which seemed to be a reaction to the medication. We pray for his healing.

The last day of 2008! Last year at this time I had a sampling of living alone while Carol had a special time with our three daughters at Lisa's home in DC. Looking back at her notes, Carol wrote; "It's hard to believe this is the last day of 2007. Would we really want to know all that lies ahead in 2008--both the good and bad? It's enough, I think, to know the One who has promised strength for each day." And He did provide strength for each of us and that strength continues to carry us day by day!

As I reflect upon the past year, the 29th chapter of Jeremiah reminds me of the plans of our loving Father. Verse 11 is a favorite verse quoted by many...His good plans to give us a future and a hope. There are however qualifications attached..."Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed. GOD'S Decree."

I like that for a New Years resolution. Lord help me to involve you in every decision...every action...every thought in 2009. That I will live my life according to your will and allow you to be central in every thought.

Have a Blessed New Year!



Monday, December 29, 2008

The blessing of family

It has been an active time over the Christmas holiday here in Michigan. We have experienced a tremendous variety of weather...Lots of snow on the ground when I arrived in a rain storm. The rain turned to ice at night and the following day the temperature was in the upper 50's causing the snow to begin to melt away. During the night a strong wind came up. The wind along with warmer temperatures took all of the snow away other than the large plowed piles, leaving green grass all around. For a short time it looked like spring, but that changed. Winter temperatures have returned!

With the arrival of the two great grand children, we have been well entertained. It brings back memories of many years ago with a one and two-year-old to experience the excitement of Christmas. Daughter Sue and husband Jeff have done an exceptional job keeping up to seventeen of us well fed and entertained. Justin and Laura had us for a wonderful brunch at their apartment after Christmas. After enjoying lots of delicious food and having a bit of time chatting, the fire alarm in the building went off and we had to leave abruptly. We had lots of fun teasing them about the effective way they have of encouraging guests to leave.

After church Sunday, Lisa and I went to Lansing to visit Carol's grave site and see the marker which has been installed. We also visited friend Ross who will be starting chemo tomorrow followed by radiation each week to shrink his cancer in preparation for surgery in about three months. Tomorrow friend Bud in Charlotte will have hip replacement so they are much in our prayers.

This afternoon Lisa will fly back to DC and I will drive back to Charlotte on Tuesday, leaving early in the morning. The days have gone by rapidly, but it has been wonderful to be together with the family. We all greatly miss Carol and had a special time remembering her together.

It has been a blessing to once again celebrate the birth of Jesus. We join Malcolm Muggeridge who said "The coming of Jesus into the world is the most stupendous event in human history."

Love to you all,


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Arrived in Michigan

Thanks for praying. There was a considerable amount of rain, wind and fog along the way but fortunately no ice or snow on the roads. There is considerable snow on the ground here but only the secondary roads still are snow/slush covered. All of the family has now arrived with the exception of Lisa who plans to fly in tomorrow (Christmas) morning. It is wonderful to be with the family, but I know that we all will be missing Carol.

I trust that you all have a wonderful Christmas.



Tuesday, December 23, 2008

YOU are each a blessing!

Each day I look forward to getting the mail and finding a large handful of cards and letters, many with such sweet personal notes. One yesterday was from a friend that lost his wife eight years ago and is several years my senior. He said in part; "It's not easy I know by experience. I talk to Dorothy's picture and know she doesn't hear, but I have some great memories and good support from my children...The time is moving fast till we all meet again. That's our Blessed & Sure Hope." Thanks Don and thanks to all of you who are a part of my support group, encouraging me with your prayers, notes, calls and visits. YOU are a blessing of God!

Tomorrow I plan to drive to daughter Sue's house to spend Christmas with all of the family. The weather up there has been rather nasty, but if the weather forecast is correct, it appears that I am assured of 100% precipitation during the trip but the temperatures are predicted to moderate so that it will be rain rather than ice and snow. That is my prayer. I have seen many a white Christmas so that is no big deal for me. Safety on the highways with a quick and correct response to any emergencies is my prayer.

It is always a blessing to know so many friends and family members are traveling with me in their prayers, and even phone calls which help make the hours pass more rapidly.

Have a Blessed Christmas!



Friday, December 19, 2008


Early this week I received word that our good friend Jim Wayner was killed in a plane crash in Florida. Carol and I had visited with them in their new home earlier this year. I still feel in shock and can only imagine the shock for his wife Julie and the family. A service to celebrate his life was on Wednesday and when I heard from Julie yesterday, she filled me in about some additional details and was praising the Lord for the wonderful years together with Jim and the Lord's blessing upon their lives. They have been in all of our prayers this week!

Carol's cancer buddy John had his procedure on Wednesday to move one vocal cord closer to the other in an attempt to help him be able to speak again. Since the surgery he is not allowed to attempt to utter a word until healing takes place in a couple of days. What a challenge that must be.

Our friend Joe is spending his last days on earth doing a final reading through the Bible. Being confined to his bed he is using that time to study God's word and encourage everyone around him. An example for each of us in our every-day activities!

I have been blessed by many many Christmas cards and letters arriving each day. Nearly every one with a personal note attached assuring me of love and frequent prayers...I am blessed! Hopefully I will be able to get a brief letter out shortly after the holidays when travel and year end activities are over.

Yesterday I enjoyed a wonderful Christmas dinner and Celebration at Carol's former office. The presentation included a lovely tribute to Carol with photographs that brought back many wonderful memories. It was a thrill to join Carol's former coworkers at the party.

My plans are to celebrate Christmas with all of the family at daughter Sue's home in Michigan. Travel plans are not certain yet. I am watching the weather and will be driving at such time as it appears that the roads will be relatively clear.

A couple of short verses which I read in Indeed this week keep coming to my mind as I think about God's perfect timing:

"Be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." (Psalm 27:14)

"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry." (Psalm 40:1)

Vance Havner reportedly said; "Simply wait upon Him. So doing we shall be directed, supplied, protected, corrected, and rewarded."

Thankful for our wonderful Lord and Savior...and for each of you!



Early this week I received word that our good friend Jim Wayner was killed in a plane crash in Florida.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Challenges of Life

Today Carol’s cancer buddy John will have a procedure to move his vocal cord closer to the other one which hopefully will allow him to be able to speak again as he continues his cancer battle. Friend Ross did not get as good a report from his surgery as I had prayed, but we are reminded that God is still in control. The team of three surgeons found that the tumor had wrapped around his colon and that the bladder had fairly extensive involvement. They did some temporary work and plan a resection and bladder repair in about three months after radiation and chemo treatments. Friend Joe is confined to bed with the effects of cancer but continues to be an inspiration. He is using these final days to focus upon God’s word and is a blessing to all who come in contact with him. Join me in keeping each of these before the Lord in prayer.

Last evening I talked with our “old” friend Maxine in Florida who lost her husband to cancer earlier this year. She too is greatly missing him and we had a good time remembering times spent together in Michigan as well as on Cat Island in the Bahamas. Wonderful memories with laughter and a few tears as we recalled many blessed times together and with our spouses, sharing some of our adjustments to life without them.

Hearing Carol’s words in my mind, I put up some Christmas decorations in the house and outside…to avoid being a Scrooge. The lights, angels and manger scenes keep directing my thoughts to the true meaning of Christmas…Christ with us! I like the words of the elderly apostle John as he describes his close relationship with Jesus. I can only imagine what a thrill it will be when I join Carol on the other side of that curtain of death and meet him face to face.

“From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in—we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes: The infinite Life of God himself took shape before us.”

“We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy!”
(1 John 1:1-4 The Message)

Might each of us enjoy His presence in our lives as we are obedient to Him!

Have a wonderful week!



Friday, December 12, 2008

Fresh Strength

Today friend Ross has colon surgery in Michigan. Join me in praying for the surgeons and assistants that they will have special wisdom and skill as the deal with the cancer. Also for a special measure of strength and peace for Ross, Inky and the family as they await the outcome.

It was on December 7 three years ago when we found Carol had a massive cancer. Through numerous miracles, surgery was scheduled and Carol was headed home from the hospital on Christmas afternoon. What a Christmas gift! This is a difficult time of year to work in a surprise surgery, as I well recall, and I have been praying often for Ross and his family. As I have been praying, I am continually reminded that God is in control and I know that they are praying as did we, that He will be glorified through all of this.

Today I was thinking of Isaiah 40 as He reminds Israel and us:

"GOD doesn't come and go. God lasts.
He's Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon GOD get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles.
They run and don't get tired,
they walk and don't lag behind."
(The Message)

May each of us tap into that fresh strength today.

Love to you all,


Monday, December 08, 2008

Wonderful Trip

Thanks to all of you that prayed and to the Lord who gave us a very special time together along with safety as we traveled snow-covered roads for many miles.

The Candlelight Carols program was fantastic! Presented in the historic Moody Church, the Moody students presentation "To All People A SAVIOR" is still echoing in my head. The cast included the Chorale, Men's Collegiate Choir, Symphonic Band and the Women's Concert Choir & Bell Ensemble...two hours of outstanding music and message followed by a special reception for friends of the school. I were blessed to be there and to enjoy time with Gavin, Jeremy and Sue. It was well worth the lengthy trip on some rather treacherous roads.

While traveling, I listened to the monthly update from Chip Ingram regarding his family and ministry. It was most appropriate for me as I thought about how much nicer the trip would be on dry roads without the snow. Sharing his struggles with health and other issues recently, Chip focused on Philippians 2:14 which in part says "In everything you do, stay away from that no one can speak a word of blame against you." Okay...the snow was beautiful but it did add a bit of stress to the complaints however.

For an attitude adjustment, Chip focused on Psalm 37 selecting five specific mind-changers from the first eight verses of the chapter:

1. Do not fret [worry] or envy (vs 1-2)
2. Trust in the Lord and do good (vs 3)
3. Delight yourself in the Lord, he will give you your heart's desires (vs 4)
4. Commit everything you do to the Lord...Trust him (vs 5)
5. Stop your anger (vs 8)

There is much more in that chapter, but those five points are a good focus for my anticipated busy day back at the office today.

Thanks so much for traveling with me by prayer and with you phone calls and emails. You have no idea what an encouragement that is!

Love to you all,


Friday, December 05, 2008

Chicago is COLD!

Gavin and I arrived at the hotel around 11:00 pm and Jeremy and Sue were waiting for us. After about an hour of chatting, we were off to dream land. There were a few snow flurries as we came into Chicago, but no accumulation for which I am thankful. This morning we hear that the temperature is only nine degrees, so we decided to stay inside until it is a bit milder out. The sky is clear and sun beautiful with minimal wind, so it should at least feel warmer outside shortly.

This morning Gavin is attending several classes with Jeremy and we will all meet for lunch with some Moody friends. The afternoon is open, depending upon the weather. We will be attending Candlelight and Carols in the evening with a reception following.

Saturday we will be leaving fairly early to be back in Warsaw by 11:00 am so that Gavin will be ready for his next swim meet. I was delighted to be able to be at his first meet Friday. He did well and is motivated to learn more about the strokes so that he can continue to improve. Jeremy suggested that they could do some swimming at the Moody pool today if time permits.

Thanks to all of you who faithfully keep up with me. Your love and prayers mean so much!



Thursday, December 04, 2008

No travel problems

The trip to Indiana was without incident and while the snow was beautiful on the mountains, it did not create a problem on the road. Gavin and I will head on to Chicago this evening after his swim meet here.

On my way here, I received two phone calls about Michigan friends in need of prayer. Our dear friend Ross who worked on the celebration for Carol for me received a surprise diagnosis of colon cancer, which he was warned today could be somewhat extensive. He is meeting with the surgeon tomorrow and hopes to schedule an early surgery date then. Also, our good friend Norm is in the hospital with a heart attack and had a stroke while there. Please join me in praying for both of these special long-time Michigan friends and their families.

My human mind says that I will ask the Lord about how all of these illnesses fit into his total plan when I get to heaven. But I suspect that when I see Him face to face, his love and compassion coupled with the knowledge of His grace and mercy will not require an answer. But right now, I want to ask why?

In the meantime I will be content to FROG (Fully Rely On God) through the days that he allows me to continue on this side of that curtain of death.



Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Heading North

For all of you praying friends that are keeping close "tabs" on me, I will be heading for Indiana early tomorrow. On Thursday I will take grandson Gavin with me to Chicago to visit grandson Jeremy and attend the Moody Candlelight Carols program. Daughter Sue will join us there too.

I am praying for minimal (none would be best) snow along the way. Weather predictions look good at the moment but that can change. Hopefully I will be able to connect to the internet and send an update from Chicago.

Love to you all,


Monday, December 01, 2008

Grief & Stress

Spending this first Thanksgiving holiday without Carol and being away from the family has been rather difficult as predicted, but I am thankful for wonderful friends, neighbors and a family that have been praying and keeping in touch with me. Hospice says that denying feelings and failing to work through the five stages of grief is harder on the body and mind than going through them. Well, I must not be in denial. I am very much aware of the “pain” which is my one-word description for those many feelings that like to attack me when I least expect it.

Sunday I talked with both Judy and Mary Ella about their husbands that are each having a very difficult time with cancer. Joe has become so weak that he cannot get out of bed and is unable to take much nourishment. Hospice has been called to assist them. John is still unable to talk and continues his radiation treatments this week. On the 15th he will meet with the Oncologist to consider possible chemo treatments to shrink the cancer. Do join me in praying for those families. They each are choice jewels that are a blessing to know and it is a joy to share in their lives.

Sunday afternoon I decided to put Christmas decorations up in the house and will do the outside when the weather clears. Christmas has always been a special time for Carol and me so I feel that I need to continue the tradition of entertaining and reaching out to friends and neighbors. During the afternoon I enjoyed listening to non-stop Christmas carols. I am looking forward to being with the family in Michigan for Christmas, so I just may see a white Christmas this year…not that I really miss the white stuff.

As I was reading Isaiah 40 yesterday I was especially encouraged by the final verses of the chapter: “He [God] never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak…But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

With an awesome God like that, why do I let that grief and stress get to me at times? It must be when I fail to FROG (Fully Rely On God). Hopefully this slow learner will soon catch on.

Love to you all,