Friday, October 19, 2012

Arkansas Part 1

This has been an emotionally and physically exhausting week, but it was wonderful to reunite with so many of Mike's family in Arkansas.  We all met in Crossett the town that Mike and his brother Daniel grew up.  There are so many pictures we want to share, so today as we are finally traveling home I am sharing part 1 of our pictures. 

This picture melts my heart.  Here is Mike thanking the military men who came to do Taps at the graveside service for his Dad.  His Dad served two years in the army. 
Here is Michael and David with his Dad's only sister, Melanie. 
Group shot of our family, Daniel and Pam and their three boys, and Mike's mom Cathy.  Cathy now lives in Texas but she travelled to Crossett to be there for her boys and to see her grandchildren. 
Mike and the boys looking at peaceful Opa.  He knew the Lord and he is in a much better place now.
David was so fascinated with Opa in his casket that he laid down on a pew and tried to look like him!  This boy provides us comic relief always when we need it. 
Our sweet three!
Mike's best friend from growing up Chuck drove 6 hours from Dallas to be see Mike.  It was great to see Chuck and how wonderful a friend he was to drive that far:)
We all gathered at Cathy's sisters house, Sylvia.  There were lots of kids in that house that night and here are Daniel and Pam's boys with Kyle. 
David giving Oma  a warm welcome!
Mike's cousin, Vanessa has two cuties and Hope had fun playing with Anneke. 

We all kept saying how great it was to get together we just hated that it took a funeral for it all to happen.  This was the first parent we have had to bury and it was truly heartbreaking for Mike.  His Dad instilled a strong work ethic in him and taught him to always do the right thing.  Mike will miss his Dad but we are all thankful he is in a better place. 

I still have so much to share from this week.  But for now, I am thankful for time with family, time to honor a man who taught my husband how to work hard, and for Jesus who has prepared a place in heaven for all who know him.  What comfort at that graveside service when our hearts were breaking that Opa is truly free from his earthly body and he is with Jesus. 

Sadly our trip home has been extremely eventful.  We left after the meal at the church Wednesday night around 7.  We drove through the Mississippi delta and drove through a scary and awful storm.  Mike's phone went off saying that we were in a tornado warning.  There was no safe place to stop and we had to plow ahead to get to safety.  It was so scary.

We then found a hotel in Memphis to stop for the night.  We had not been settled in an hour or so when Mike and I both got violently ill. Yesterday we had to stay an extra day in Memphis for Mike and I to get care at a local ER and to recover.  We both were diagnosed with food poisoning and I had the extra fun of a urinary tract infection.  We are limping home now ready to see our house and our own bed.  God has been with us in many regards and He once again got us through the scary storms in Mississippi and landed us in a awesome hotel room right down the street from a nice hospital. 

It has been an emotional and hard week but once again God's hand has guided us through the storms of the week.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

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