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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Look to the LORD

The past few days seem to have been a bit extra stressful for me. I required a steroid shot to arrest a nasty case of poison ivy and it seemed to do a number on my sleep. Spending many nighttime hours remembering those days a year ago as Carol was valiantly finishing well. It was just a year ago yesterday that we met with Tom and Stuart to discuss plans for her celebration. Carol was able to spend over 12 hours with the family that day and even watched us eat our final dinner together as she was no longer able to take in food. It was so wonderful to have the family all here for that special time and after we tucked Carol into bed, each family member went into her room sharing some final thoughts before their hugs and kisses and departure back home. Our three daughters stayed on and were a tremendous encouragement to both Carol and me.

As I reflect on those days, I am reminded of a recent reading in Indeed which quoted 1 Chronicles 16:11: "Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always." The author said; "...humility and impossibility set the stage for His power. Weakness demonstrates His strength." We certainly did feel weak during those days but at the same time experienced amazing strength which I know was from the Lord.

Early tomorrow I plan to head for our lake house in Indiana and will connect with Karin, Keith and family. On Thursday we plan to continue to Sault Ste. Marie (Michigan) where we will join Sue and Jeff at their new home and welcome all of the extended family with the exception of Lisa who cannot get away at that time. Lots of miles, but I am so thrilled to be able to be with the family again. Those are always such special times. I am praying for safe travel and good health for everyone.

Thanks for your prayers and frequent contacts. You have no idea how much that encourages me.

Love to you all,


Friday, June 26, 2009

Final Hugs

One year ago today Carol pushed herself to do a final blog, having daughter Sue insert some photos from Justin and Laura's wedding as promised. Her words are worth repeating:

"We don't know but that I may have very few days left in this body. I want to thank you for walking this cancer journey with us for 2 1/2 years. Your prayers and notes of encouragement have made a huge difference. Even after we've said our final goodbyes, you will still have your own journey to walk. Please don't forget to Fully Rely on God. I'll also appreciate your continued prayers for Chuck and the family."

"Final Hugs: I visualize hundreds of dear people whom I would love to hug and speak a personal goodbye to. It may be impossible. Please be hugged."

"I want to step out of this life with all my relationships in order. To the best of my understanding I am at peace. If you feel you have anything to resolve with me, please feel free to take advantage of the time remaining."

Included with the blog was a photograph of the painting "Into the Light" that daughter Sue painted and which was reproduced with Carol's final thoughts on the reverse side. I still have some copies left if you missed it or would like an extra. Just let me know. I'll be glad to send it to you.

Have a blessed weekend with family and friends.

Love to you all,


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hold on to Jesus

This morning as I have my breakfast on our patio, I am enjoying the peaceful surroundings. A lovely morning with a gentle breeze, birds singing and flitting from bush to tree and back. Potential new tenants are examining the Bluebird house and appear to be checking me out also as they make their decision. Neighbors are important too you know! The fig trees are loaded with what would appear to be a generous crop later in the season and the pomegranate is starting to display its’ beautiful blooms. A large number of flowers have made their appearance and I am reminded of the many hours that Carol and I spent designing and tenderly placing the little plants that have become a mature landscape...which requires more care than we had anticipated at the time.

I am reminded that a year ago today we were at our lake house with Hospice nurses fighting to make it possible for Carol to attend Justin and Laura’s wedding the following day in Michigan. Frankly, it appeared that Carol’s condition was so grave that it was most questionable if it would be possible for her to travel any further as she so much desired. But again we saw miracle upon miracle and late that evening she said “let’s go!” We were not only able to attend the wedding with Carol reading the Scripture, but we were able to complete the third “bundle” Carol had referred to, and return to Charlotte.

Recently as I sat in Carol’s study/office where she spent her last weeks in a hospital bed surrounded by many books and artifacts from our trips to various world-wide locations. I picked up a small notebook that Carol made an entry in during her final days that was not written in her usual perfect penmanship but obviously written with considerable difficulty. On it she scrawled some lines from the Mercy Me song Homesick which apparently was an expression of her feelings as she anticipated that soon coming moment, and it was almost as if I could hear her voice as I read the following:

“I close my eyes and I see your face
If heaven is where my heart is,
Then I am out of place.
Lord won’t you give me strength
To make it through some how
Cause I’ve never been more homesick than now.
In Christ there are no goodbyes.
In Christ there is no end.
So I hold on to Jesus with all that I have…”

Those are some thoughts that my homesick mind is processing currently…holding on to Jesus.

Love to you all,


Friday, June 12, 2009


This morning as I listened to a report by Beaj, a missionary who lost her husband a few years ago to cancer, memories flooded back to that day. Steve her husband, spoke during our chapel time about his battle with cancer and read a tender letter he had written to their daughter talking about suffering and reminding her that suffering can destroy or refine us. ”The option is ours", he said. Within thirty minutes as he drove away, his earthly life ended and his vehicle came to a stop against a guardrail. At that time, our battle with Carol’s cancer was in the early stages and we both wondered what would lie ahead for our family.

I am thankful for the experiences that Carol and I chronicled during those 2 ½ years. To be able to read again about our challenges and thoughts, then seeing how God strengthened us and orchestrated events and people to come alongside us, helps to strengthen my faith for the future.

It was just a year ago that Carol wrote “Such good news! Just before midnight I crept out of my hospital bed and crawled into Chuck’s bed… Not only did I sleep sweetly the rest of the night, but so did Chuck, a total of 7 hours for him." That was the last time she was able to do that and the memory must have been on my mind during the night when I was having a bit of difficulty sleeping. I awoke this morning holding her pillow tightly. Carol’s last big desire that she noted then was to attend the wedding for Justin and Laura in Michigan and by God’s grace and the help of many; we were able to do it!

This morning “Indeed” featured dependence and was a good reminder for me of the need for my dependence upon God and not on self-sufficiency and being independent. 1 Chronicles 16:11 is clear about that “Look to the LORD and his strength, seek his face always.” Now if I can just remember that…always.



Tuesday, June 09, 2009


I am always thankful for safe travel when I consider the thousands of vehicles that I meet and the condition of many of the drivers, both physical and mental. I continue to be amazed about how green everything is this year in comparison to the past dry years.

On Saturday we went to South Bend to watch the soccer tournament that Calli was playing in. They didn't win, but played a good game. We enjoyed the concluding message of an eight-week series by Pastor Denny Sunday morning on the end times which he appropriately titled "God Wins." Sunday afternoon Gavin had a group of his friends at the lake for some games, water activity and delicious food prepared by Karin. It was a good time for me to sit back and just relax. It was especially fun to watch the swan family swim by frequently, heads reaching deep into the water teaching the little ones to "hustle their own groceries".

It is always amazing how much accumulates on my desk while I am away, but I feel like it is rather well under control as I wrap up this first day back at the office.



Saturday, June 06, 2009


Travel went well and I was pleased to see that our swan couple have five new little ones. They are proud but busy parents. They came over to our pier to show them off to me when I first walked down to the lake. The weather is beautiful and should be a restful weekend. When I left Charlotte it was raining hard and from the calls that I had en route it sounds like things are being well watered. It is a blessing after some mighty dry years.

As I was reading Paul's letter to the Philippians in The Daily Message (Ch. 1), it reminded me of each of you faithful friends: "Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart." You are each a blessing.

Have a blessed weekend,


Thursday, June 04, 2009


This week has been quite a contrast from last year when I celebrated my birthday in the hospital with Carol as we anticipated a surgery which ultimately was not able to be done because of the advanced growth of the cancer. I have been thankful for all of the calls, emails, cards and meals this week. It is a good thing that I don't get fed like that all of the time or I would not fit into my clothes.

We heard several exciting reports this week from missionaries returning from the fields of India, Nigeria, Italy, and Liberia. God works in amazing ways in the lives of people as they open their hearts to Him. It is a tremendous joy to be working with such a wonderful group of His people. I am blessed to have this opportunity!

I plan to spend the weekend at our lake house in Indiana but this will be a rather quick trip. I need to be back in the office on Tuesday, but it will be good to be able to check things out up there and see a few family members. Presently Sue and Jeff are in the process of moving and so are James, Liz and family. I am sure glad that it is not me that is moving presently. That may come one of these days, but I am quite content to sit tight for now.

You all continue to be a great blessing to me. Thanks so very much!

Love to all,