“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal, a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;” Eccl. 3:1-4
Nicholas by his new house – Sept. 2011
My dad has been gone now for over four months. There are many days when he is constantly on my mind and the thought of him still brings tears to my eyes. I know these things will ease over time but for now they are a constant presence in my life. I am so thankful that I had my dad for as long as I did.
There have been a lot of changes in our lives since Dad died. The biggest is that Nicholas bought a house and now lives in town. He hasn’t liked living in the country for quite some time. The long drive back and forth got to be tiring for him. He has wanted to move out for a long time but with going on mission trips and then to South Africa he didn’t have
Nicholas’s kitchen before it was redone
the kind of money he would need to strike out on his own. When he began getting serious again about moving out and started looking at apartments, he noticed that rent for an apartment was more than what a house payment would be. He decided that it would be wise to consider buying a house instead of renting.
We were with him when he went to look at one particular house.
Nicholas’s kitchen after it was redone.
The first words out of his mouth when he walked in the door were, “This is it. It is exactly what I’ve been looking for”. As he continued to look at the rest of the house he knew it was the one for him. When he started doing all the things that needed to be done in order to secure a loan, he found out that since he didn’t have enough money in the bank he did not qualify for a loan. He had run himself dry by being in South Africa for seven months without a job and he hadn’t been back long enough to build up his savings.
Nicholas’s kitchen before it was redone.
Nicholas and his friend, Ian, have talked about rooming together for a long time. When Nicholas wasn’t able to get the house Ian decided that he would see if he could get it. Ian has a full time job lined up for when he graduates from college, but since he hadn’t actually started it, he couldn’t get the loan either. That was a big disappointment, but they know things happen for a reason
Nicholas’s kitchen after being redone.
so they figured God didn’t want them to have the house so they started looking at apartments again. This went on for a few months, but nothing seemed right or it was too expensive. In the meantime Nicholas would periodically check on the status of the house. It was still for sale. I wondered if God was saving the house for Nicholas.
Melissa and Mom looking at paint chips and fabric.
A couple months after my dad died my mom had us over for dinner. After dinner was over she handed each of the kids an envelope. Inside the envelope was a beautiful letter from my mom telling the kids how much their grandfather had loved them and how proud of them he had always been. Also, inside the envelope with the letter was a check. Mom had given each of the kids a small inheritance from their grandpa to do with as they pleased.
Mom’s kitchen before being redone.
It wasn’t a lot of money by some people’s standards, but it meant a lot to each of the kids. It was also enough for the bank to see that Nicholas had a little savings so he was able to get the loan! When Nicholas went back to make an offer on the house, he found out that they had just dropped the price by $3,000! What a blessing! He now owns his own home and it is only 2 minutes from work. That sure beats a half hour drive!
Mom’s kitchen after it was done.
He immediately “hired” his sister to redo the kitchen. For some reason he didn’t want his kitchen to be yellow and white with lacy curtains! 🙂 He chose the colors and Melissa did the rest. I’m her chief “grunt” so I got to help. We also made curtains to match the new decor. His kitchen now looks more manly and turned out very nice. We are so happy for him!
Mom’s kitchen before it was redone.
Even though this was a very exciting time, it was also a little sad watching him walk out our door for the very last time as he moved out for good. The date was one day shy of his leaving for South Africa last year. It is amazing how much things can change in one year!
Since Dad died Mom has done a lot of rearranging at her house. There are some things that she won’t need anymore and there are other things that she’s not going to use anymore because it’s too hard for her to make them work by herself. We kids are always willing to help her, but she doesn’t want to have to rely on having help any more than she needs to.
Mom’s kitchen after it was done.
The wood stove will be one of the first things to go. I’m so thankful for all the memories we have of doing wood with my parents. I know life has to go on, but sometimes it is a little sad saying goodbye to things you’ve always done, even when you know it’s best. Mom decided that a pellet/corn stove would be much more practical for her. So, now instead of doing wood together, we will be making new memories as we haul pellets or corn and unload it into her basement. I’m so thankful we have a lot to look forward to so we don’t have to be stuck in the past with nothing but sad memories of what we have lost.
The basket Melissa made for Mom’s kitchen table.
Mom will use up the wood that she already has and then my brother will be taking the wood stove for his place. Dad designed and made the wood stove himself so it holds special memories to my brother. My dad was always inventing or designing something. Growing up during the depression and not having much money really helped a lot of people learn how to improvise and make things out of what most people would call junk!
Lisa, Bethany, Bill, and Skip unloading pellets – Sept. 2011
Mom has wanted to redo her kitchen for a long time. The only thing they had changed since they moved in around 1980 was the flooring. Melissa was excited when Mom asked her to redo the kitchen. It was fun watching the two of them as they were going over paint chips and fabric trying to decide what colors to go with. It was also a lot of fun going shopping with Grandma’s kitchen in mind! Melissa would
Nicholas catching bags and Michael stacking them in the basement.
bring back items she thought Mom would like and then after Mom chose what she wanted Melissa hung them up. The kitchen has a totally new look and Mom is very happy with it.
Although Mom is slowly getting many things organized and done around the house, there is one job that no one is looking forward to doing. Sometime, someone is going to have to go through my Dad’s quancet and do something with all of his things. Just walking in there you can feel his presence. Everywhere you look you can “see” my dad. His writing is everywhere and in your mind’s eye you
Bill, Mom, and Barbara
can see him standing there in his white t-shirt, smiling as he is excitedly telling you about something he was working on. Or you can see him sitting there welding, building, or fixing something. It’s a really strange feeling and affects us too much to even contemplate doing that job yet. I think my mom and brother will do it together when they are ready.
Lisa catching the bags to stack
Another change that has taken place happened to Melissa. After watching what her Grandpa went through with cancer and witnessing all the things that the nurses did, she decided that she wants to be a nurse and work with children with cancer. Just the thought of seeing little children suffer is hard for me so I don’t think I could ever do a job like that. But, if Melissa gets to the point where it is too tough for her, she can still be a nurse in a number of different fields. I think Melissa will make a great nurse. She has always been good with children and she is so sweet and kind. I think she
Skip getting the last few bags of pellets stacked.
will do an excellent job helping others in their time of need. I know I’m a tad prejudice, but that is what I think! She has since changed her major and is now working towards that goal.
Although we still have a ways to go to get use to life without Dad, I would say that we are all progressing nicely. It is nice seeing Mom doing things and going places and not sitting around the house feeling sorry for herself. I know she must have some tough days, but she is doing well accepting her life as it now is. It helps a lot knowing that when a Christian dies they are really just going home to be with the Lord. What a comfort that is to those of us left behind! Those of us that are saved will see my dad again one day!
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14
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