After Micky’s appointment with the reconstructive urologist on September 8 (see below), she encouraged me to drive to Tennessee. I left immediately upon our return to Linden, arrived late that night at her bedside and spoke to Mom. She was delirious and while she responded appropriately, I was not sure she knew I was there. However, the next morning, she recognized my voice when I responded to something she said, called me by name and told me that she loved me. That was the last meaningful communication we had and she slipped gently into the light shortly after 8:00 PM.
The funeral was held this past Saturday in our hometown of Lapeer, Michigan. Despite the weeping skies, it was well-attended by family and friends, any of whom had known her for up to 65 years. First Baptist Church of Lapeer hosted the funeral dinner. The service was one of celebration more than mourning. We have hope of eternal life and laughter and joy were only lubricated by tears, not destroyed by them. She may rest in peace but it was due to the fact that she lived in peace. We saw some family members I hadn’t seen in over 50 years. The pastor, at our request, made clear the message of salvation.
Respecting her passion for missions and her long-time encouragement of us, the family has recommended that all donations given in lieu of flowers be given to CMDA-PAACS, PO Box 1118, Bristol, TN 37621.
We want to thank so many of you who sent cards and Facebook condolences. Your sympathy and prayers meant a great deal and helped ease the difficult time.
Due to post-election violence in Gabon and the threat of terrorism directed toward westerners at the hospital in Niger, the decision was made to cancel the Loma Linda University Inspection Trip to Gabon, Cameroon and Niger. We were scheduled to leave on the same day as the funeral, but because the airlines had to change flights, we lost very little in cancelling the special missionary fares. It will be rescheduled for April and May of next year (under the leadership of my replacement, Dr. Keir Thelander).
The residents who were eligible took their College of Surgery of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) membership and fellowship exams on Wednesday, September 7. The results are due by the end of the month and we are all waiting with bated breath.
Dr. Keir Thelander came to Linden on August 28 to stay with me for a few days and then traveled to the 2.5 day CMDA-Medsend Conference held at the SIM headquarters in Charlotte. We used the time effectively to help continue the transition process as he replaces me.
We saw the second surgeon in Raleigh about Micky’s problems. She has finally been scheduled for robotic laparoscopic repair but not until October 26. She will spend 2 or 3 days in the hospital and then have various tubes for three weeks after that. Please pray with us for patience for her and for complete healing through the surgeon.
In between all the trips and chaos, I was able to finish 90 hours of Continuing Medical Education credit that I needed to get done by October 31. So very glad that it is over! Medicine has sure changed since I quit my practice!
My daughter, Michelle, and her family, Joey and Auggie, came for a two-week vacation. By God’s providence, they were here already when Mom passed and neither Ryan nor Chrissy had any unbreakable appointments for their wedding and photography business. Bethany was unable to go, but the four others carpooled to Michigan for the funeral. Michelle, Joey and Auggie finally got to start their vacation in Myrtle Beach a few days late. It was a blessed timed together despite the occasion. They are coming back to Linden in a few days – and little Auggie will certainly be spoiled if we have anything to do with it!
Please join us in praying that the Holy Spirit will use the lifelong testimony of my mother and the words of the sermon to reach the hearts of people we love so much. We rest in His arms, not grieving as those who have no hope.