Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"Where is Grandpa Pete?"

Saturday morning was a sunny morning, but very cold!
The windchill was in the teens.

We had my Dad's burial at the Pretty Prairie First Mennonite Church cemetery.  This was the church he pastored for 6 years.  Many of our family are buried there as this is the area both my husband's family is from and also my Dad's family.  We have purchased lots there too.

We kept the outside services short.
Adam gave a few words.

Aunt Betty, in the pink, is the last sibling left.  She was 10 years younger than Dad.
 The mortuary provided blankets.  So grateful!!

Claire asked "Where is Grandpa Pete?"  We explained it to her and her eyes began to tear up.  We encouraged her that one day we will see him again.

  1. ’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to take Him at His Word;
    Just to rest upon His promise,
    And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
    • Refrain:
      Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
      How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
      Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
      Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
  2. Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just to trust His cleansing blood;
    And in simple faith to plunge me
    ’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
  3. Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
    Just from sin and self to cease;
    Just from Jesus simply taking
    Life and rest, and joy and peace.
  4. I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
    Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
    And I know that Thou art with me,
    Wilt be with me to the end.




It was so good to get back inside the warm church where the ladies had arranged a luncheon for us. 
We enjoyed visiting with such dear friends of my parents!  Many of their friends have passed away or are not able to travel any longer.  

 We tease my sister-in-law, Linda, that she always closes her eyes!

Eli wearing his great-grandpa Pete's hat.

After visiting with the Pretty Prairie folk, it was back to Newton, where my parents have lived since 1991, to have the funeral.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Top Crust

My daddy is gone from this world.   

I remember the words of Dwight L. Moody.  In his final days he said  "Soon you will read in the newspaper that I am dead.  Don't believe it for a moment.  I will be more alive than ever before!"

We had the viewing the evening before the funeral.  I thought Jack, at Ruzens, did a great job on the flowers for the casket!  A little bit of subtropics for the area of Japan where my parents were missionaries.

I had Dad wear this tie clasp.  It was a gift to Dad when he lived in Japan.
The kanji, or Chinese character, is "kotobuki" or something like congratulations, happy, long life.  Sort of fitting.

I cried to see flowers from a couple of the churches Dad served at in Japan and also from some dear Japanese friends.  It was so touching for them to remember him!

There were lots of flowers or plants. 

 My young mom's Bible study group sent this bouquet.

Quite a few friends and family dropped by.  
Our children, Josh, Jill and Mindy were all there also to be with us.

Several friends cried with us as we talked about my Dad.
One dear couple who came were Jim and Shirley. 
Shirley told us a story about when they came to visit us in Japan.  My parents took them to a public bath house.  Their son was with my Dad and he was a little concerned that a curtain was all that divided the men's bath from the women's bath. 
                "Uncle Pete, what will we do if the curtain falls down?"  
                "We will just stay under the water!" he replied.

Jim and Shirley have plots at the same cemetery we do.  As do my parents and Al's parents.  His grandparents and my Voran grandparents.  Lots of friends and relatives.  
                 We got all excited to think that one day we will all rise together!!

1 Thess. 4:16 
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.

One lady shared with us that her grandmother attended the first church that my Dad pastored before going to Japan.  She said her grandmother was a little critical of Dad at first.  He would play baseball with the youth and didn't the pastor have better things to do than to play baseball with young people?  But after awhile, she decided he was all right.  Makes me so proud to hear that about my Dad!  Dad loved baseball and what a great thing to do!

One person made the remark to me "You are now the top crust."  ??  I wasn't sure what she meant until she said "You are no longer in the sandwich generation."  That's right!!  I have been a part of the sandwich generation for many years, taking care of my parents on one end and helping with my children/grandchildren on the other.  Goodness.  We are the old ones now.  Matriarch/patriarch.

Thank you to all who came to give hugs and give words of encouragement!

After the viewing was over, Al's sister, Julie and his cousin, Jim and his wife Joanne came over.  Such a good visit.  Too often it takes a funeral to bring some of us together.